Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rules A Landlord Should Live By For Protection

Drama Reduction
It is not uncommon for a landlord to be assaulted or killed by their tenants. This has happened in Roanoke on a number of occasions. Below are a few tips that you should live by. I have always done the exact opposite of this and due to getting older now since I broke the big 40 number I wish to lower the drama level in my life by a few notches.

Live Out Of A P.O. Box - Never let your tenants know where you live. I'm the kind of guy that ends up reinventing the wheel. Every single tenant I have knows where I live as they often drop their rent payments off in my mailbox. Bad Idea! This has lead on many occasions to tenants vandalizing my property when in the process of or after being evicted. They often get caught considering the fact that my house is like Fort Knox and there are security cameras all around it recording on a DVR that will hold 7 days of continuous footage. I have also had tenants show up at my house wanting to fight. BAD IDEA doing that! I'm a big guy and can definitely hold my own. Threatening me on my personal property equals a serious beat down.

In my efforts of reducing the every day drama I am now relocating to an undisclosed location outside of the city. I'll call it my bunker.  Rehab is underway.

Let Your Maintenance People Do Set Outs -  I like to be there and help with carrying peoples couches and personal belongings out to set them on the curb when the sheriff shows up for a writ of possession. The big smile on my face while we do this really irritates deadbeat tenants. However if you don't like conflict you are best off not showing up. The deadbeats won't be mad at your maintenance people as they are just doing their job. You are the evil landlord who evicted them because they decided to get one over on you and not pay what they owe.

Now I intend on just having my contractor do my set outs. I really don't care too much about pissing my deadbeat tenants off anymore. Used to be a source of entertainment. My focus and literal payback will be on garnishing their wages or seizing their bank account.

Mail Your Pay Or Quits - To avoid face to face drama, mail your pay or quit notices by first class mail to your tenants. This is a change that I have already made. I have had some pretty heavy drama when dropping off pay or quit notices and wish to avoid that. Our Real Estate Attorney, Ross Hart told me that you do not legally have to send pay or quits by certified mail. Good info as it saves me money.

Have Pleasant Conversations On The Phone - If your tenant gets irate on the phone tell them calmly, "I didn't get involved in this business to listen to your attitude. Call me when you calm down and we will talk." And simply hang up on them.... They will likely blow up your phone for the next 30 minutes. Don't answer it. If they call the next day they are often completely different people and you can at that time have an adult conversation.

Do Not Collect Rent - I just recently stopped collecting rent. Not only was it taking an exorbitant amount of my time running people down but you are also going to end up having some nasty conversations from time to time. Send a letter to all of your tenants stating that you will no longer collect rent. It is their responsibility to get the rent to you by X date. Or just do what I did and don't collect it and just send out a pile of 5 day pay or quits on the 5th and let it play out. 2 months ago I did this. Out of 44 units I sent out 15 pay or quits on the 5th. On the 6th and 7th everyone started to call me. By the 11th I had only one eviction to serve which I was already expecting. Last month I did the same thing but this time I only had to send out 7 pay or quits. And had most of what was owed by the 11th. A few deals with tenants who paid partial payments. I expect this month most of my residents will be conditioned to get their rent to me. This is a business. AEP, the Water Authority and the Gas company don't go around collecting their bills. You shouldn't either.

Have A Payment Location - Some people are late or want to pay cash instead of check or money order so have a payment location within the city where tenants can pay you the same day and you don't have to wait for the mail which may put them past your filing for eviction date. The key is that this payment location is not at your house or your business. This payment location should be something operated by another location that has nothing to do with your business. Similar to what AEP does with the Stop In Stores. I'm still working on a solution for this. Haven't come up with that yet.

Be Armed - If you are showing properties to prospective tenants in war zone type areas, get your concealed weapons permit and carry a gun on you as I do. You could avoid all of this by getting a property manager but some of us like to keep all of our money. Most of the time you will be fine but you never know what will happen and you will be best off if you can at least protect yourself if necessary. I'm a big guy and can hold my own as said before but I'm not going to bring my fists or a knife to a gunfight.

If you are interested in getting your concealed weapons permit Click Here:

A recent reason below of why you should be protected.

News from

An elderly landlord was found beaten and incoherent in his apartment in the Woodmont neighborhood on Monday, according to this week’s Arlington County crime report.
The man was in his 80′s and police believe the assailant was a prior tenant who owed the landlord money, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 10/22/12, 3300 block of N. Lorcom Lane. On October 22 at 8:35 am, a resident of a multi-unit dwelling found his elderly landlord in his bedroom incoherent, with a orbital fracture of the right eye. The victim had been assaulted but struggled to recall the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Former Roanoke Landlord Gets 13 More Months In Prison

Has This Man Lost His Mind?
Or Was It Always Gone?
Former Roanoke City west end landlord gets another 10 months and then another 3 months to top off another prison sentence for ditching the country and getting caught in Mexico while on probation.

After White got caught he sent a message to the U.S. District Court that while he was locked up he was given a cocktail of drugs that changed him. White is apparently now capable of "communicating with beings that opened certain paths to (him) and allowed (him) to explore certain hidden and obscured aspects of the human experience."

I've been trying to get that same thing to happen to me with the communication from beings but it seems that I am just too closely tied with reality to make it work.

White later said his prison sentence was simultaneously difficult and disorienting. These beings lead him to be able to read Egyptian Heiroglyphics and he is now living in multiple layers of reality. That he has no real existence and he broke free on May 4th which was when he went on the run.

Sounds pretty complicated to me. I'm a big fan of the keep things simple stupid slogan.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Backed Into A Corner, Open Letter

 This is a followup to The Commentary Rogue Code Enforcement

Unfortunately Dana Horne-Shambry backed me into a corner with relentless attacks that were clear violations of the law so I was forced to send her a trespassing notice. Below is the trespassing notice and the image attached you can click on which will enlarge to read. It is Dan Webb's response to this trespassing notice. Below that is my final response.


DATE & TIME OF INCIDENT: 06/17/2011 05:48 pm
9/21/12 and 9/27/12

You, Dana Horne-Shambry, are hereby notified pursuant to
Virginia Code § 18.2-119 and 55-248.31:01 that you are hereby barred from entering in or upon the premises or cartilage of the property of the address:

All properties owned by Dallas Powell, Lowes Homes LLC, DeTrak LLC, Melrose Associates LLC and Star Equity LLC.

You may not trespass on any of the above listed properties without either, Dallas Powell or Larry Wilson in presence and an accompanying supervisor from Roanoke City Code Enforcement.  Further, you are hereby notified that if you are found entered upon the above premises after the date of 9/28/12 without the presence of Dallas Powell or Larry Wilson and a supervisor, your presence shall be deemed a trespass upon said property herein described and the owner, or duly authorized representative shall take every measure permitted by law to prevent such trespass, which shall include arrest by a police officer.

Should you enter or cross my property, I will notify the Police Department and seek a criminal complaint against you in the General District Court for trespassing and or apply with the magistrate for a warrant for trespass.

I, Dana Horne-Shambry
Of xxxxxxxxxxxxxx St.
Lynchburg VA 24501

 I have fully read and understand the significance of the above notice of trespass and
voluntarily affix my signature.

__________________________________       ______________________
(signature)                                                            (date)

(signature of property owner / agent)                        (date)

***REASON: Illegally entering the property of a rental unit with a valid rental inspection. Neighbors fence does not constitute probable cause.

I hereby certify that I served this Notice upon the named trespasser by:
________Delivering a copy of it personally to the trespasser.
____X_ _By phone or verbally.
________Service by certified mail with return receipt requested.
____X___ Service by email and standard mail.

 Dear Dan,

This message is in response to your letter dated 10/10/12 regarding the notice of trespass that I sent Dana Horne-Shambry on 9/28/12.

You are referring to the property 621 Hanover but this is not a property that I own. My complaint now, as then was about her continual involvement with 1336 Melrose Avenue, NW Roanoke. A house that  has always had a valid rental certificate since I owned it.  A rental certificate that Dana gave to me. She was fully aware what the inside of 1336 Melrose Apt 1 looked like. It looked the same as it always did since she gave me the rental certificate.

You can read my posting here for full details of what my complaint with Dana is about.

One thing that is not included is a violation she gave me behind 425 Bullitt on property I don't even own. I spent $1,000 cleaning up someone else's property and cutting their brush down so she would leave me alone even though it was not my property.

You state that on September 21st 2012 there was a compliance date of a trash citation that was dated September 7th 2012. I received no trash citation. I have never had a problem getting my mail so it was clearly not sent to me.

As a matter of fact, Dana clearly stated in her code violation for 1336 Melrose Apt 1 that she entered the premises due to a fence violation, a fence that I do not own.  Therefore she was yet again illegally on my property according to Virginia Code 18.2-119 and Virginia Rental Inspections code 36-105.1:1 after she had already been sent a trespassing notice on 6/17/11.

Dana had absolutely no probable cause to indicate that there are any code violations inside 1336 Melrose Apt 1, a unit with a valid rental certificate. Skirting around the law is not something that I have seen judges being favorable of in the past.  I am not saying that I am intending on taking Dana to court at this point in time. I am just making a point that she needs to contact me or my contractor to enter my property due to her previous violations of the law.

As I clearly stated on 9/28/12, Dana Horne-Shambry is not allowed access to any of my properties without the presence of me, my contractor Larry Wilson and one of her supervisors. A simple phone call is all that is needed. My properties are on the bar program with the city. I'm sorry but I have no other option than to protect myself from Dana.

Best regards,

Dallas Powell

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Landlord Drama


As landlords, we all have drama from time to time. Sometimes tenants like to include you in their drama. Landlording low income property has a greater share of this garbage that you have to deal with. I have had my share of it lately. So I'm going to give you a couple examples of what it's like landlording low income property. The more you have the more you have to put up with. Many of my residents are great hard working people but I always end up having a few at a time that are problem children.

So a couple days ago I see some of my tenants moving out. The woman on the lease there (Telaya Nicole Wickline) had her mom and drug dealing girlfriend (Diamond) living with her that she said she wanted out of her house. I thought the mom and GF were leaving. Later that night I got a call from the tenant downstairs and a couple tenants next door that she kicked out a couple windows on the way out.  I found that the next day that she also trashed the place and smeared food all over the kitchen walls.

Telaya and I were on good terms, never any arguments or anything prior to this negative behavior. I don't understand this at all. She was a little behind on rent but I was working with her to catch up.


Yesterday I got a call from one of my tenants that at one of my Quads the tenant upstairs kicked down the main front entrance door because they forgot their keys rather than calling me or maintenance. Apparently they banged on the windows of one of the lower units which woke up her children and due to that she refused to open the door. So they kicked it down. I really don't get it. What the hell is a matter with people these days. If I got pissed at someone in that house I wouldn't go to another persons car and beat their windshield in. So why would they kick my door in when I did nothing to them.

There are some very serious cultural problems in this country that need to be resolved. I can assure you though, each and every person will be held accountable for their actions....

Criminal charges first, civil charges follow....

Life as a low income landlord. Reports from the past week. Thought you may find it interesting what I go through on a weekly basis. The above vandalism is not typical. Happens once and a while but rare. Below reports are every day drama.

Tenant reports: Tenant catches someone breaking into their car over by the Rescue Mission. They call the cops. I believe the dirtball got away.

Tenant reports that neighbor next door to her is mad at her and keeps turning her in for petty things. She was sitting on her porch and she says that the parents hold up a 9 year old girl in the window and pulls the girls pants down. Essentially moons her with their daughters rear end.

Tenant wishes that I would be their payee so I went ahead and did that. Their check is send to me and I take my rent out first and help manage their bills by allocating them money to pay the rest of what they owe. If you do this you have to keep accurate records of what is paid for what and receipts for everything.

And lots more but not that interesting. He said she said stuff....

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tax Penalty to Hit 6 Million Who Don’t Buy Health Insurance by 2016


By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar | September 24, 2012

Nearly 6 million Americans — significantly more than first estimated— will face a tax penalty under President Barack Obama’s health overhaul for not getting insurance, congressional analysts said. 

Most would be in the middle class. The new estimate amounts to an inconvenient fact for the administration, a reminder of what critics see as broken promises. 

The numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are 50 percent higher than a previous projection by the same office in 2010, shortly after the law passed. 

The earlier estimate found 4 million people would be affected in 2016, when the penalty is fully in effect. 

That’s still only a sliver of the population, given that more than 150 million people currently are covered by employer plans. 

Nonetheless, in his first campaign for the White House, Obama pledged not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year and couples making less than $250,000. 

And the budget office analysis found that nearly 80 percent of those who’ll face the penalty would be making up to or less than five times the federal poverty level. 

Currently that would work out to $55,850 or less for an individual and $115,250 or less for a family of four. 

Average penalty: about $1,200 in 2016. “The bad news and broken promises from Obamacare just keep piling up,” said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, who wants to repeal the law. 

Starting in 2014, virtually every legal resident of the U.S. will be required to carry health insurance or face a tax penalty, with exemptions for financial hardship, religious objections and certain other circumstances. 

Most people will not have to worry about the requirement since they already have coverage through employers, government programs like Medicare or by buying their own policies. 

A spokeswoman for the Obama administration said 98 percent of Americans will not be affected by the tax penalty — and suggested that those who will be should face up to their civic responsibilities. 

“This (analysis) doesn’t change the basic fact that the individual responsibility policy will only affect people who can afford health care but choose not to buy it,” said Erin Shields Britt of the Health and Human Services Department. 

“We’re no longer going to subsidize the care of those who can afford to buy insurance but make a choice not to buy it.” 

The budget office said most of the increase in its estimate is due to changes in underlying projections about the economy, incorporating the effects of new federal legislation, as well as higher unemployment and lower wages. 

The Supreme Court upheld Obama’s law as constitutional in a 5-4 decision this summer, finding that the insurance mandate and the tax penalty enforcing it fall within the power of Congress to impose taxes. The penalty will be collected by the IRS, just like taxes. The budget office said the penalty will raise $6.9 billion in 2016. 

The new law will also provide government aid to help middle-class and low-income households afford coverage, the financial carrot that balances out the penalty. 

Nonetheless, some people might still decide to remain uninsured because they object to government mandates or because they feel they would come out ahead financially even if they have to pay the penalty. 

Health insurance is expensive, with employer-provided family coverage averaging nearly $15,800 a year for a family and $4,300 for a single plan. 

Indeed, insurance industry experts say the federal penalty may be too low. 

The Supreme Court also allowed individual states to opt out of a major Medicaid expansion under the law. 

The Obama administration says it will exempt low-income people in states that opt out from having to comply with the insurance requirement. 

Many Republicans still regard the insurance mandate as unconstitutional and rue the day the Supreme Court upheld it. 

However, the idea for an individual insurance requirement comes from Republican health care plans in the 1990s. 

It’s also a central element of the 2006 Massachusetts health care law signed by then-GOP Gov. Mitt Romney, now running against Obama and promising to repeal the federal law. 

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said the new report is more evidence that Obama’s law is a “costly disaster.” 

“Even more of the middle-class families who President Obama promised would see no tax increase will in fact see a massive tax increase thanks to Obamacare,” she said. 

Romney says insurance mandates should be up to each state. The approach seems to have worked well in Massachusetts, with virtually all residents covered and dwindling numbers opting to pay the penalty instead.

For Affordable Health Insurance Solutions ask about REI of Virginia's OPTIMA Health Link
 Carico Insurance Agency- (540) 772-3362  ~Authorized~   OPTIMA Health/REI Broker

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