Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Did you know

Putting the right person in the right house is a win win for both the tenant and the landlord. The landlord wants a tenant who will pay the rent and take care of the property. The tenant wants the landlord to take care of the property and give them “Quiet Enjoyment”(They want to be left alone to enjoy the home)

It all starts with the application process. It can be very quick or it can take some time.It all depends on the landlord or the property manager. Either one can do it with the same tools, IF they want to do it RIGHT.

As a landlord you can shake their hand and say, “The house is yours. When can you move?”


You can give them an application. Ask them to fill it out. You will then begin the process IF you want to “Put the right person in the right house so you both win.

As the landlord you want to find out if they have the income to afford your property. The best way to do this is to verify their income. You can use their last paycheck, tax return or 1099 form. If they are paid cash, then they probably don’t file a tax return and probably won’t be renting your house.

You also want to talk to their existing and previous landlord. Now you may ask.
“Why should I talk to their previous landlord.?” The best reason of all. If you talk to the existing landlord they may want the tenant out asap and they will lie to you. If you talk to the previous landlord, they will tell more than likely tell you the truth.

Now the last step. It is now time to get a background check and credit report. Times the way they are, it is part of the process to do a credit report. You do not want to base everything on the credit score. For several years, I did not do background checks. I felt that I could tell if there was a problem. I was “SMART” I could “read” this people. Boy, was I wrong. I really don’t like admitting that I am wrong but I decided it was time to do background checks with a prospective tenant told me that he had been convicted of a

sex offender. I thought he was a good guy. BOY WAS I WRONG!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Did you know

When someone comes to your house to cut the grass, clean your windows, or build a deck, they may or may not have insurance. One type of insurance they need is liability insurance. This type of insurance will cover them if they cut your grass and the lawnmower blows a rock and breaks your window. Your window will be replaced using their liability insurance.The other type of insurance is workman’s compensation insurance. This insurance covers them if they fall off the lawnmower and hurt themselves.

It is imperative that you check to see if they have both kinds insurance. There are a lot of people that work here and don’t have insurance. Ok,what is the big deal if they don’t have liability insurance or workman’s compensation.

Do you know that if these people do not have workman’s compensation that they can come after you if they are injured on the job. The job happens to be on your property.You can be held responsible. Sometimes they will even say, “Oh, I will just sign a waiver.” I am not an attorney or an insurance agent BUT my understanding is that this form does not eliminate the possibility that they can come after the owner.

Over the past several years talking to multiple insurance agents in the area, it is my understanding if someone comes on to your property and they get injured they can come after you for compensation.

When a property management company has a lawn guy, window washer or carpenter come work on your house, you, the owner is hiring this person. The property management company is not hiring these people. The property management company is hiring on behalf of the owner.

So how does the owner and/or property manager protect themselves when hiring people who do not have insurance?

The most common way is to just not worry about it. If they get hurt then worry about it when it happens. This is probably not the smartest way to handle it but it is the most common.

The second way to handle it, is to not hire anyone that does not have insurance. This is particular difficult to do, since may people do not have insurance.

The third, and for me the most successful, is to form a Maintenance company that covers all workers that do NOT have insurance. It is expensive but well worth the risk.

A couple of years ago, a work order was issued to remove a sign from a building The worker went out to remove the sign and fell from the ladder. $25,000 later he was back at work. If there had not been workman’s compensation insurance, the owner would have been at risk. I am not willing to take that risk. Are you?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Did you know

Working with tenants is an experience and can be trying to say the least. Now you may think that it is trying because of the tenants but I am not talking about the tenants. In this particular article I am talking about the landlord that is renting to the tenant. This tenant want to move into a house that we handle and their existing landlord is being difficult to say the least.

When a tenant puts in an application with Mountain Manager we then begin to process the application. We run a credit and background check. We verify the income by asking for a current pay stub. We verify that the tenant is still working at their existing job by calling the employer. We will call their previous landlord to verify that they have paid their rent on time. They did not abuse the property and they had no NSF or late fees.

We also do this with the existing landlord. The previous landlord will tell the truth but the existing landlord may not. They may tell you they are great tenants because they want them to move.

We want to make sure that what has been written on the application is true and accurate. This is not always an easy thing to do but we do try hard.

Today I experienced something that is just so unbelievable, it may be too hard to believe.

Here is the story. A prospect tenant submits an application. We run the credit and background check. It was good. We verify employment with a current pay stub and call the employer. Verified. We call former landlord. Also good. Now we need to call existing landlord.

This particular landlord requires that we mail the verification form to them. They would not do it over the phone. Ok, I understand. They don’t know who we are and need to make sure they do not give out information to the wrong people.They would not allow it to be faxed. So I asked if I brought the form to their house, would they fill it out.

The wife said her husband had to fill out the form. So I asked, “What time do you expect him to be home?”. She said, “He should be home between 5 and 6.

I planned my visit so I would arrive at their home by 6pm. When I arrived, I rang the the doorbell and “Mr. Smith” came to the door. I introduced myself and explained why I was there. I gave him the form that needed to be filled out. I also showed him the permission form from the tenant that gave him permission to fill out the verification form.

He then said, “ Do you have a copy of the permission form?” I said, “No, I do not.” With that he began to close the door and I said, “There is no reason to act like this. If you want a copy, can you not make a copy?” Then the door closed. It closed quietly but what an insult. I can not explain the anger I felt when he closed the door in my face.

I then went to a convenient store close by and purchased gas. While there asked if they had a copy machine. They did. I then said, “ I will be more than happy to pay for the copy, How much is it?” I love living in this fabulous area! They did not charge me. There are so many wonderful people here that are just plain NICE. It is so refreshing.

Not the case with Mr Smith. Now back in the car and off I go to his house again. Once there, I ring the doorbell again. No one comes. Wait and wait. I ring the doorbell again. Then a management decision is made. I get in my car and say to myself, “Prospective tenant, you now are approved:”

Aa I am driving away, the wife comes to the door.

The prospective tenant is called. She is told the following: You are approved. You need to move as soon as possible. No one needs to be subject to a person like this landlord that I just met. If you did not pay your rent on time, you will with Mountain Manager. If you did not take care of the place, you will with Mountain Manager.