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Tuesday, July 19

Tenant and Property Issues

Managing rental properties is great when everything is rented and your tenants are paid up. On the other hand, when something does go wrong I never seem to have just one problem. I guess whoever said "When it rains, it pours" was right.

Right now I'm dealing with issues at three of my properties. The one that seems like it would be the easiest to fix is at one of the townhouses. The fascia board and attached gutter have come loose from the house. Probably a result of all the rain we've been having. Since I don't have a ladder that's tall enough to reach the second floor roof, I put an ad out on Craigslist seeking bids. I had about 10 people respond but the person I selected was a no-show. I'm now waiting to hear back from the second person. No one seems to have the sense of urgency that I have.

The second problem is one I've dealt with many times before: a tenant who is behind on her rent. I'm crossing my fingers that she pays her July rent before the August rent is due. She's a decent tenant so I hope this is just a one time issue. What I don't like are all the excuses. I've always been taught that you should have six months living expenses set aside for a rainy day. Tenants inevitably live month to month.

The last issue is an empty condo. I lost my tenant due to a leak from the neighboring unit that caused some very minor damage to my own unit. Rather than deal with the threats of legal action I let the tenants cancel their lease. The problem has been fixed but it wasn't worth the hassle of tenants who insinuate that the problem is causing their infant children to have respiratory issues. I've spent the last two weeks repairing the problem and detail-cleaning the condo. You could eat off the floor now... I'm really proud of the job I did cleaning up after them. Normally when I put an ad on Craigslist I get 10-15 potential tenant responses within 24 hours. This time I've only received one and, frankly, her email scared me.

Thus goes the world of landlording. Right now my cash situation isn't an issue but it certainly could become one. With two of seven properties not generating income it wouldn't take long for me to start sweating.

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