Tag Archives: house

Reference Required

Just like with any other application, a reference letter can definitely set someone apart from the rest. Though it’s not necessarily a requirement of the lease application process, asking your possible tenant for a reference letter from their previous landlord is absolutely in your best interest.

Other parts of the application, like proof of income, and credit history, give you information about the tenant and whether or not they can afford rent, but they don’t really tell you if they’re going to be a good tenant or not. The reference letter is written from someone who was in the exact same position as you, so it’s going to be your best source. This is where their previous landlord can tell you about any specific issues they may have had (that you probably won’t know right away), and where they can also tell you if that tenant was the best they’ve ever had. The reference letter is a way of knowing things that you wouldn’t immediately know about the tenant, but you should consider when making the final decision.

The same wreferenceay that you would expect an honest and detailed reference letter from a possible tenant, you should always be willing to provide your tenants with a reference once they move out. When you’re writing the reference letter, talk about anything that you feel is relevant and valuable to the next landlord. Mention how well your tenant took care of the property, if they paid rent on time, etc. Maybe you want to provide a number where the landlord can reach you at in case they have other questions.

 

It’s All in the Family

Recently, we talked about the different benefits and costs that come with investing in single family homes vs. apartments (multi-family homes).  Like we talked about before, multi-family homes allow you to house several families, meaning toooons of tenants. Because of the cost and management, apartments aren’t typically everyone’s first choice as far as real estate investments.  Aside from apartments, what other kinds of multi-family homes can you look into?

Duplexes

A duplex is pretty much two separate homes, side by side, under the same roof. Each half of the duplex is equipped like it’s own mini-home, allowing for two separate families to live there. Duplexes are nice because you have two separate rental incomes coming in from one single property. If you have a big house that you might want to convert, a duplex is not difficult to achieve with the right permits.

Townhouses

Townhouses are multiple separate homes, side by side, usually within a communal style neighborhood. Townhouses definitely require more work than duplexes, because you’ll definitely have more than two families, but they can be less work than apartments. Like apartments, you’ll typically use a property manager to manage your property.

Two-Flats

Two-flats are structurally similar to duplexes in that they are pretty much built in houses. In a two-flat, you have one apartment on the top floor, and another on the bottom floor. Both usually share a common basement, and front entrance, because they’re constructed in what looks to be a normal house.

multi-family home

Where should you invest?

As someone looking into investing in residential real estate, you need to figure out what kind of properties will be most profitable. Typically, the choice lies  between single family homes, and apartments. Both offer different benefits and require different levels of investment so it’s important to do research on what will serve your market (and your budget) best.

With apartments, you definitely have lower cost-per-unit than if you were to buy multiple houses as investments.Even though your cost-per-unit is lower with apartments, the startup cost is much lower when you invest in single family homes. Buuuuut…if you invest in an apartment building, you really have no choice as to how many properties you’ll be managing, it’s pretty much all or nothing. With houses, you can pick the number of properties you want to invest in and go from there.

As far as managing the properties, there’s definitely more of a need for a property manager when you’re investing in apartments. With a house, or houses, it’s pretty much your responsibility to deal with the tenants and properties, because hiring a property manager is not a cheap deal if you’re only renting out a few houses. Now that we’re talking about dealing with tenants, you should recognize that those who rent single family homes are usually long-term tenants; those who rent apartments typically do not expect to stay there for an extended amount of time.

Basically, look at how much you’re planning on investing in start-up costs, and whether or not you want a property management company to work with or not, and go from there.

investment

Keeping Good Tenants – Top 5 Tips for Tenant Retention

At Tenant File Property Management Software, we recently covered the importance of tenant screening. But once you have a good person chosen and moved in, how do you ensure tenant retention? We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 tips for keeping good tenants that you should be sure to use if you want to guarantee a low tenant turnover.

1. Allow pets.

It’s very difficult for pet owners to find a rental home that will let them bring their four-legged friends, so if they find a home that does allow pets they are likely to stay there for a long time. A tenant with a pet is also responsible (they have to take care of themselves and their pet!), so they’ll be responsible enough to take care of your home

2. Listen to your tenants.

Listening to your tenant is key in being able to keep them as your tenant! If your tenant has a request, like painting a wall, or changing an appliance, hear them out and try to take care of it as best as you can. It’s important that you and your tenant listen to each other and voice any concerns or requests either of you may have.

3. Offer discounted leases.

If you have a tenant who’s lived with you for an extended period of time (over a couple of years or so), you can offer them discounted or reduced rent. This gives them an incentive to keep living with you and makes it clear that you like having them as your tenant.

4. Take care of issues promptly.

If something breaks, fix it quickly! Don’t make your tenant wait a long time for things to be fixed, because they’re going to think that you don’t care about taking care of them or the property.

5. Treat your tenant right.

It’s important to talk to your tenant and be able to develop a relationship with them. If they’re having issues that may prevent them from paying rent, or may require them to leave for a period, your tenant should feel comfortable enough with you to be able to talk to you about these things. Sending cards for birthdays and other holidays are also great because they give your tenant a nice reminder that you’re thinking about them.

Do you have any tips you recommend for keeping a good tenant?

landlord and tenant