Landlord Tips And Tricks

Every real estate investor dealing in rental homes has done his own clean-up and fix-up, at least in the early years. Landlords also become very skilled at managing tenants after being burned a few times.

You learn the tricks of the trade and how to get the best results for the least cost. Maybe a few of these tips will be new to you.

You can give kitchen cabinets new life with a liberal application of Liquid Gold.

Everyone has at least one chip or scratch in the porcelain on their refrigerator, bathtub, stove (except high heat surfaces), sink, washer or dryer. The solution? Touch up that nick with a tough porcelain glaze called “Porcelain Chip Repair”. Just dab it on with the built in brush and it hardens in 24 hours. If your hardware store does not carry it you can find it with a Google search.

You can quickly clean black scuff marks from vinyl floor covering with a squirt of WD 40 lubricant and a rub with a clean cloth.

Put a shiny new strainer in the sink drain. Then install new handles and drawer pulls and you often have a minor kitchen miracle.

Get rid of globs of sticky adhesive residue with Goo Gone.

When tenants move out they seldom do a really good cleaning job on the oven… or the dishwasher.

I’m sure you have discovered the many effective oven cleaners, but how about that gunk caked onto the inside of the dishwasher?

Try a product called “Dishwasher Magic”… found in many markets and some hardware stores.

The label reads “Removes Lime Scale, Rust & Buildup. Disinfectant”.

You just remove the cap… place the blue, plastic bottle upside down inside the silverware basket and turn the machine on. You might have to use two bottles if your first look into the washer causes you to run screaming from the house.

When vinyl flooring is ready to be replaced use commercial grade floor tile instead. It lasts almost forever and it is cheap to replace a damaged tile now and then.

Have you ever received an unsigned rent check? Here’s a method that often allows you to deposit that check.

Write or type the word “over” on the line where the signature would normally appear. On the back of the check type “lack of signature guaranteed”. Add your company’s name, and your name and title. Then you sign it on the back.

This guarantees your bank that you will take back the check as a charge against your account if is isn’t honored. Many banks will then process the check and remit the funds. This saves you the trouble of returning the check to your renter for a signature.

Spot those bad checks with this tips. 90% of bad checks are numbered 101 to 150, indicating a new account.

Legitimate checks have at least one perforated edge. Most forgeries are cutouts of copy machine created fakes.

Checks dated more than six months ago are usually not cashable, no matter how much money the issuer has in his/her account.

If the amounts written on a check in words is different from he amount written in numbers, the bank will pay the sum shown in words.

If you receive a check with the date missing, it’s legal to fill in a date reasonably close to the date you receive it. To predate or postdate the check by several weeks is a criminal act… don’t do it.

Remember, landlording is not for sissies. I hope these tips will save you a few dollars and a barrel full of aggravation.

5 Smart Tips on Leasing Your Next Car

Consumers shopping for a new car have three options for making a deal. The first option involves a cash payment with no financing involved. The second option is automotive financing, where the consumer puts money down on a new car and finances the rest. The third option is to lease a car, basically renting it for a term and then returning it at the end of the lease.

Few people can afford to pay cash for a car, leaving the other two options as possibilities. While financing can help you to eventually own your car, leasing can help you get a new car every few years and avoid the hassle and expense of major repairs down the line.

Let’s take a look at several smart tips on leasing your next car:

1. Consider your purchase. What type of new vehicle do you want? When leasing, you need to identify the vehicle that is right for you including the make/model, trim level and other amenities. Choose the car you want and outfit it the way you want before moving to the next step. Yes, you should test drive your vehicle too to make sure that it is the right car for you.

2. Select a term. How long do you want to lease your next car? Although it is possible to get out from underneath a lease, you’ll pay transfer costs to a new owner, that is if you can find one. Choose a lease term that suits you, opting for a shorter 24-month lease if you expect your transportation needs will change or a 36-month or longer lease if you expect your needs will remain the same. The longer the lease, the lower the monthly payment… usually.

3. Know your mileage limits. Leasees often get hammered at the end of the lease term because they did not know their mileage and other limitations. Typically, you’ll be able to drive 1,000 miles per month or 39,000 miles for a 39-month lease. Go over that number and you could be charged 20 cents per mile, a payment you’ll need to make at the end of the lease term.

4. Consider wear and tear. When leasing, you need to take care of the usual maintenance unless a maintenance program is included with your lease. Change the oil at regular intervals, rotate tires, replace the air filter and handle other end of lease term matters. If you return the vehicle with obvious signs of wear and tear, expect to accessed a fee for maintenance. You may end up holding a bill for hundreds of dollars in repairs, maintenance and touch ups inside and out.

5. When to buy. Some people contend that there are better times to lease a car than others. Typically, that time can appear during the last four months of the calendar year as manufacturers seek to move older product off of dealer lots to free up space for new models. Still, lease deals can be had throughout the year, therefore keep your eyes peeled for bargains. Also, you can negotiate your lease too, reducing your monthly payment and your down payment or your capitalized cost rate.

Final Thoughts

When leasing a car, you’ll typically lease through the manufacturer’s financing arm. Negotiate the best deal and if you later decide you don’t want the car, there are services such as Swapalease.com and LeaseTrader.com that can help you get out from underneath a lease. You can also use those services to test leasing, taking over lease payments yourself to find out if a particular car and leasing is right for you.

Tips to Choose Perfect Serviced Apartments

Serviced apartments are preferred mode of accommodation, for families on a long vacation, business men who travel on work, for people who move into larger cities for medical care and prolonged treatments, for parents who move into cities for training or education of their siblings and as a temporary accommodation before you move into a renovated or a new house. The serviced apartments score high when compared to a hotel because it gives a feeling of a home away from home, for which a proper match of, our needs and services provided in the apartment is a prerequisite. Take care of:

Location

Location of the Serviced apartment is important. The serviced apartments are usually, situated in the centre of the city so that it will be easy to commute for students and businessmen who need to travel often. But, this might not be an ideal location for people who are looking for long lazy holiday to rejuvenate themselves and for people who enjoy picturesque places. In case of medical tourists, a quiet place in proximity to the hospital is suitable. Therefore, need determines the location.

Amenities

It is imperative to collect a list of all amenities available like availability of air conditioner, geyser, kitchen appliances, refrigerator, couch, cot, foldable bed and other amenities like 24hrs water supply, WIFI facilities, well manned front desk, round the clock security, intercom facilities for room service, laundry facilities etc. Checkout, whether, the cost for these amenities are already added to your rent. Make a list of amenities for which you need to pay, decide if those services are needed and then opt for it.

Flexibility in house -keeping services

House keeping services can make or mar your peace. If the house keeping services are going to be rigid and restricted to fixed timings, it would definitely be detrimental to your freedom to move out when you are on a holiday. One should also ensure that washing utensils is also included in the house keeping services if cooking your own food is in the agenda.

Food

If you plan to cook, clarify that the kitchen is fully equipped with utensils you need to cook and to serve. If the apartment is annexed to a hotel (aparthotel), problem of locating an eatery is put to rest. However, verify if room service is available. It is better to select an apartment with at least a cafeteria so that it saves you the trouble of locating a café for your coffee or tea early in the morning, if you are dependent on food from outside.

Budget

Take stock of your needs and see at what price it comes to you for the length of the stay. It would be better to compare it with the other serviced apartments in the locality you prefer and then take a wise decision.

Serviced apartments which match your needs at affordable cost with good security and transport facilities can make your life easy during your stay.

Tips on Being a Better Landlord – Get Started by Learning From Others

When I bought my first property and placed my first tenant…I was a complete disaster! No point in beating around the bush right! As a real estate investor, I learned just enough to be dangerous and I certainly was. I was dangerous to my bottom line and dangerous to my future earnings. By not being diligent with the learning process and making sure I had all the information I needed in place, I was jeopardizing my families investment in that property. Here are some tips that I learned the hard way and you can learn the easy way! Follow these steps and operating an investment property as the landlord can be made easier and less stressful.

What are the laws in your state or municipality

There are different laws around the country for both landlords and renters and you absolutely must know the laws that pertain to your area. That being said, here is the easiest way to learn those laws. First, contact local property management companies and ask for their guidance with local land lording laws. It may take more than one call, but be proactive and ask for their assistance. Most will be more than happy to answer a few of your top questions. Second, contact local landlords that advertise properties for rent in the local papers. Many times, with an offer to buy them lunch or dinner, a local landlord will spend time telling you how they operate and what they know about local laws. Finally, when you have a better idea of your market place and the local laws, you turn to a local attorney who specializes in representing landlords. They can assist you with the ins and outs of how to operate as a landlord to give yourself the best opportunity for success.

Developing a great lease

Once you have established a better understanding of your local land lording laws, you can also develop your lease. Chances are, if you will ask, other landlords will share their lease with you. Another possibility is that your attorney will already have a lease that they can give you to use. Using a proper lease is the best way to protect yourself when it comes time to collect late rents or possibly move towards dealing with a problem tenant in the legal process. Being clear and precise in your lease is the best way to protect yourself when it comes time to involve the local courts and laws as a landlord. Once you have a great lease, make sure you have a great closing process. Make sure that your tenant not only signs every page of your lease, but it is a good idea to have them sign key parts of the lease where the legal process is laid out. Cover yourself and your tenant to ensure your success.

Create your process

Problems will absolutely occur when you are a landlord. From late rents, evictions, maintenance calls and even maintenance issues that have to be charged back to the tenant. All of these situations will occur to you as a landlord and you must be prepared form the beginning on how you are going to handle each of those situations and be consistent. I suggest you put it in writing and have that process filed with your attorney. Once you have committed it to writing and filed it with your attorney, you have no choice! You must follow that policy. That policy will spell out when a tenant is late, what the repercussions are going to be, when that process moves to the stage of eviction, when the tenant will be notified and again, what the repercussions are going to be. If you will follow the process you lay out, you will be moving in the right direction and the legal process will be easy.

Dealing with evictions

Evictions are one of the few absolutes in the property investment business. If you are going to manage your own properties, then getting over the fact that you will have evictions to deal with is a must. Renters will pay late, they will push the envelope and some know every step to take to play the game of staying in a property for the maximum number of days for the minimum number of dollars. If you have created your lease based on what you learned form other landlords, management companies and your lawyer and created your process for dealing with tenants (and followed that process) then you will have a very good chance of winning the eviction as quick as possible and for the least amount of work and cost.

Moving forward as a landlord

Investing in real estate and choosing to operate as your own landlord both can be very profitable and rewarding. Simply making that decision will not be enough. You must take the time to get educated and prepared to be a good landlord and out your contracts and systems in place. These simple steps will absolutely help you to become a better investor and a better landlord.

Tips To Get The Perfect Tenant Mix for Your Retail Property

The ultimate goal for any landlord is to achieve maximum income from their retail property. However, that does not imply that they must lose focus on the bigger picture and let their space to any retailer who is interested in the property. Maintaining the perfect tenant mix in the property leads to increased foot traffic, greater spend, delighted tenants and ultimately more demand and better rates for the property.

Read on to find out the five ways to create the ultimate blend of tenants for a retail center.

Study the demographics of the environment

The demographics of the nearby locations play a vital role in determining what kind of retailers will best tick among the shoppers. Conduct surveys and collect information pertaining to what your target customers would like to see in the area around them. For instance, pharmacy stores may be a valuable addition for an aging population.

Talk to your existing tenants

Existing retail tenants may be a good source of providing insight into what brands and products can add more value to their own store and ultimately to the landlord. Analyze the performance of the stores and take a deeper look into their strengths and weakness and build ways to overcome or enhance them.

Mix brands and categories

A retail center that draws a balance between the big and the small brands and has a wider collection of product categories than simply focusing on part of the demographics enjoy better foot traffic. Choose tenants from various product categories and be sure to include local retailers who always have something new and fresh to offer. Look beyond the retail line up and set up service facilities like ATMs to optimize the time and effort spent on creating the perfect tenant mix.

Make market assessment a part of the responsibility

Tenants come and may go at the end of the lease. This may interrupt the existing interconnections within the retail space. For instance, men visiting your retail center to buy baby diapers in one outlet tend to grab a few drinks at the next one. Retail centers must continually invest time and effort to assess the market and ensure that their tenant mix is optimizing the overall performance.

Hire a good commercial real estate property company

Commercial real estate property management services have mastered the art of using several proven techniques in finding the right mix for any kind of retail property. They study the area around the property, analyze the geographical pros and cons of the place and have seasoned real estate experts to work on the tenant mix. They perform competitor analysis to check what products and services are missing in the area and also work towards acquiring high quality tenants for the property.

Landlords and real estate companies can use real estate property management services to manage tenant relationships from the start till the end while they focus on other core activities.