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 ARLnow.com

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.


2 comments:

-- ross on November 10, 2012 at 8:24 AM said...

The law does not require 5 day notices to be sent Certified, and sending that way slows down delivery IF IF tenants actually pick up the mail. First class is all that is needed.

Dallas ® on November 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM said...

That's good to know Ross. Thanks. I have been told my many landlords that I need to send it certified. I'm glad I don't!!! You just saved me some money...

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