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What are some tips for a first time landlord?

Asked by Trulia Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA Mon Dec 10, 2012

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Dorene Slavitz’s answer
The first thing a landlord should do is to become familiar with the laws. There is a great online source for Landlord and Tenant laws It oulines the duties and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2012
Get your building under an LLC to protect your personal assets. Get a good property management company, but if you decide to manage it yourself, besides the tips already given, install recording surveillance cameras throughout the outside and common areas of the building.

Cheer to your success!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 10, 2012
Do your homework on your Tenants. Check their references and work history. Call employer, call references. Ask for past Landlord info and follow up on that. It is not all about credit scores. Especially the last couple of years, many good, honorable people, that will make very good tenants have had their credit ratings destroyed.
Photograph premises at time of occupancy and attach to both copies of the Lease (yours and their)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 10, 2012
Remember what might look good on paper may not always be the case. Since this is your first time, you have to become a private investigator and do a lot of research. Even then no matter what kind of checking you do, no one can tell what will happen in the future, even if you pre screen. I would look for groups on Facebook (I don't use Facebook) or online to see what they tell you..even a good book to read. You can talk to agent... but no-one works for free so they might expect you to hire them the next time around or even sell with them if the landlord thing doesn't work out..... which people don't know untill they try it that being a llandlord isn't always fun. There is a lot of work involved especially if you get a bad tenant that you have to evict. California law favors tenants.... Best place for a landlord is Nevada, there you can evict someone in 2 weeks compared to 6 months like CA...... oh and one more thing.. make sure which ever part of the house that is going to be leased is permitted or have them sign a wavier saying they know it is not permitted (talk to an attorney). If they turn you in to the Housing Department.. they are living rent free intill you fix it.

Don't want to scare you, good luck.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 10, 2012
I would recommend that you hire a property management company. There's no need to have the tenants know who you are or how to contact you. Believe me, they will call you at all times of the day and night. The property management company will deal with the repairs, filling vacancies and evictions, etc. Normally they charge around 6-7%. It's a fair price for not having to deal with the tenants.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 10, 2012
Heres few important points for a new or wanna be landlord:
Property evaluation ( check property condition and evaluate any potential issues - risks)
Tenant screening ( check every tenant to make sure they are qualified).
Property maintanance ( make sure to maintain you property in proper condition to prevent yourself from possible unexpected costs/ surprises)

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 10, 2012
When I purchased income property I made a point of Introducing myself to the tenants in person. If I couldn't introduce myself in person then I sent them an email letting them know how to contact me if there's an issue and where to send the rent.

I tried to repair/fix items as they came up.

This is a good start to hopefully a good investment for you.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 10, 2012
A first time landlord should be careful of who they choose as a tenant, rather than quickly trying to get any old tenant in the unit. A quality tenant is easy to recognize if you know what to look for. Good credit history, sensible income and the overall package should be considered. Listing your rental with me, I pre-qualify all tenants to the up-most standards to ensure long lasting relationships and on-time payments.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 10, 2012
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