WAYS LANDLORDS REDUCE THEIR VISIBILITY
The following dozen plus suggestions are what some mom and pop landlords do to lower their visibility when around residents, contractors and others. Why? If others think (wrongly or rightly) that you own rental property, that equates to having lots of money and they tend to want or expect more from you.
- Deflect ownership questions, simply say “I’m the property manager” or I say that I manage the building(s) for XXX LLC. Most are satisfied with that.
- Modest work clothes.
- When going to rentals for any reason, drive an older vehicle (usually filled with tools or supplies).
- Never brag.
- Besides my business shirts, all the t shirts I buy now are gray. Stole that idea from Zuckerberg.
- I use a nickname, not my real name, when contacting prospects or residents.
- Most of the people I run into in my area are not into being landlords/investors, so I just don’t talk about it. If they ask what I do, I just tell them I’m retired.
- All of my tenants think that the house they are in is the only house I own.
- Title the property in an entity (LLC, Trust) and name other than my own name.
- When around the rental property, I sometimes pick up debris or do needed chores or repairs as though I am simply hired help.
- I don’t volunteer any information about where I live or other properties I may have.
- . Use a PO Box as my address on all correspondence regarding rentals. Or the UPS Store mailing address for everything. That allows a level of anonymity.
- I wear a polo shirt with my company name and logo when going to properties. Wear a vest in the winter with the name and logo as well.HOW TO SHOW PROOF OF DELIVERY
Landlords often send notices regarding rent increase, Pay or Quit, a violation or change of lease term and want proof of mailing or proof the notice was delivered. When the notice is sent by certified mail, it’s also very common for a renter to not accept the mailing. One landlord asked what other landlords do to show proof of mailing or proof of delivery. Several landlords responded, and the following is just one of the responses:
When I need ‘proof’ that a resident has received some type of notification, I do the following:
First, I have the notice copy-mailed with a first-class stamp. (This meets the requirement for notice received). Also, you might add a certificate of mailing, to show proof that you actually deposited the copy into the US Mail. It is a hard presumption for the tenant to deny that the letter was delivered (although he may do so).- Advertisers -
Second copy, you send with a tracking number whose log will show exactly when and where the copy was actually delivered. I can then access via the internet to show that the letter was delivered to the address.
Third, sometimes I’ll send a notice in a parcel box from a different address, like my office. The package has to be delivered to the person via UPS that the carrier will confirm was received by the resident with a signature, and I’ll get an email confirmation.
So, if it cost me 58 cents, 5 bucks or even $12 — my resident will be served and next month I’ll get the extra rental amount”.
CARPET CLEANING AT MOVE-OUT
How do landlords handle carpet cleaning at move-out? That is one of the big discussions currently going on in our Q&A Forum. Many landlords agreed that the best way to handle it is to include a clause in your lease that informs all residents up front that when they move out, carpets must be professionally cleaned at resident’s expense. Some landlords allow the resident to use a professional carpet company that has been pre-approved by the landlord (and submit receipts). Other landlords simply say a flat fee of XX dollars will be charged to the resident and the landlord handles the carpet cleaning (getting professionally done at a negotiated price by a regular guy the landlord always uses). It’s important to note that in either case, the resident is not given the option to do the cleaning themselves (DIY), (i.e., rug doctor or using a rented machine from a local store.) Of course, check what your state statutes allow, to be sure that whatever way you handle charges of carpet cleaning, it is legally permitted.
It should also be noted that more and more landlords are getting rid of carpet all together; which completely eliminates the issue, potential headaches, and costs.
The tips in this column are shared by regular contributors to the popular MrLandlord.com Q&A forum, by real estate authors and by Jeffrey Taylor, [email protected]. To receive a free sample of the Mr. Landlord newsletter, call 1-800-950-2250 or visit their informative Q&A Forum at LandlordingAdvice.com, where you can ask landlording questions and seek advice of other landlords 24 hours a day.