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Someone Suggests Being A Landlord, Buying A Three Unit, Living In One...(Belching Starts).


Suddenly you don't feel so well. You're sweating, heart is racing.

The thought of living in a unit with two or more other renters overhead playing Metallica and Willie Nelson cranked loudly at 2 in the morning is not your idea of fun. Let's think this thru. You've heard about tenants that make the place look like Stephen King made a movie there. You've had friends who could not get a non-paying tenant out because the paperwork was not served right, over and over. The tenants dug in like Taliban and do this every six months you learn later, never paying and sometimes being paid to just leave.  And Mr Tenant knows-landlord-law-backwards-and-forwards, has a masters degree in the subject. He was way way ahead of the newbie landlord on the current procedure and tenant rights' legislation. Dumpsters full to the brim and over with someone else "stuff" to be hauled away when they do finally leave months later. Garbage, debris at so much a pound. Rats. Health officials screaming, other tenants whining about the smell. Ahhhh...that's the downside of squabbling, non paying, doing damage and garbage piling up tenants.

     Now if you get a place where the tenant turn over is nil, where all the tenants get along and when a unit comes up, you ask if they know of someone they want for a neighbor, it can work smoothly. These guys pay their rent like clockwork, respect their landlord, and appreciate all the work you do to the place. They know not much else is out there in as good a shape, as reasonable and moving is not in the cards because you look after the place. You don't just collect the rent and let the place go down around your happy maine beach kidsears. This keep the place maintained can be like a happy day at the beach with fun in the sun. Rent coming in, place up to snuff, everyone happy and considerate of the other tenants, of the property you are making payments on.


You don't hear about the good tenants, the happy campers like you and I would be right? (smiling)

The ones that go to bed nights, have jobs, are responsible and their kids are not Dennis The Menaces with emotional destructive issues and pellet guns. These apartment houses are nice enough to put a family member in, places you would be happy as a clam to hang your hat. Or to have your mom live in, right in the unit behind you.

     If you service the heating, keep the roof repaired before it leaks, police the laundry situations where everyone and their brother was doing loads and loads before the newly installed coin operated machines, it can run smoothly. Tenants off at work during the day without Bowser the Hound out back in the yard digging a hole to China or destroying the siding are the ones to look for.

     And tenants are surprising honest when asked where they used to live. When they rant Mike Brown is such a jerk and is making a fortune off them with pure profit rent. How upset he gets month after month when they decide to use the money to go to the fair, get a tattoo, your ears should perk. You know a different Mike than they outline and that he runs a tight ship. He has to pay the bank on time or his credit gets messed up like the tenants who are forced to rent because there credit score is in the negative number range. That's why some buyers look for an empty, no tenant home and "build" a healthy business from the ground up. Detailing one unit at a time of a "dog in a good neighborhood situation" and getting each unit on line with paying, caring tenants that are waited for. Keep a unit empty rather than renting to a poor credit, no pay tenant that has a long long history of not paying their bills, or doing major damage to their last three rents. You may elect not to get involved in the sectional eight route altogether and just rent to professionals that are single, work at government or health care facilities. Get references. These tenants may only be on board for two years or so but they don't abuse the place. They are gone to work during the day. They only sleep there and are low low impact.

     Ask some questions, get a credit check, call the previous landlords, not just the current one. Get the first, next, last months rent so that seperates out the non paying ones and their is a security deposit to cover the tenant that shoot themselves in the foot and turns out to be a lemon.

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Comment balloon 5 commentsAndrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 • September 22 2009 02:11PM


Funny post, Andrew. :)  I have a friend who along with her husband and brother manage a 12 unit place here in Houston. Most tenants are elderly and very faithful in paying the rent.  I haven't asked her how it's going lately. I assume no news is good news.   

Posted by Sonja Patterson, Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou (Keller Williams - BV) over 11 years ago

I think the older tenants take better care of the place, don't abuse the heat, try to get along, don't do damage. They went thru the depression, ww 2 and just are savvy and think of the landlord's property with respect!

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 11 years ago

We have a rental on both sides of us.  One guy can't find a decent tenant to save his life (we called it the crack house, whore house and stripper daycare) the other guy has screened so well that in the 5 years we have been here we do not have ONE complaint about the tenants :knock on wood:

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 11 years ago

Not being so up against it you rent to the next call without asking the financial questions to determine is this tenant going to pay, destroy the place and really get the rest of them cranked up to the point of leaving..where you lose good tenants. Have one tenant in a place we have for sale who had started a laundry services with a spike in the water/sewer bill and had to curtail that and also raise her rent to make the place float financially. Wait for the right tenant to come along. I have a farm house that I will rent but very very carefully as the nice woodwork, detail makes it not just a rental and a place I plan to live some day. There are some super careful on the ball renters out there...I had a super cop and his wife in the place for a long time until we sold them a home. I would rather have it empty until a good fit comes along.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 11 years ago

Andrew-Here in Mass. it is really tough to own rental properties. The courts all favor the tenants.

Posted by Joseph D. Federico, Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate (Donahue Real Estate Co.) over 11 years ago

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