Landlord Checklist: Tenancy Arrangement and House Repair
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Landlord Checklist: Tenancy Arrangement and House Repair

What many landlord/investors prefer is the month-to-month tenancy. It can be terminated with a month's notice by either party. A wise landlord will keep the rents modest in order to keep the good tenant. The wise landlord will also pay special attention to any good tenant's complaint.
                    tenancy agreement

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Should I use a month-to-month tenancy arrangement?

What many landlord/investors prefer is the month-to-month tenancy. It can be terminated with a month's notice (sometimes two months depending on the state you're in and the situation) by either party. Thus, if the tenants want to leave, they have a way out. If you want to raise rents or get them out so you can sell, you have a way to do it. (The tenancy normally runs with the land. The next landlord must continue to honor the rental agreements you make.) Besides, even with a month-to-month arrangement, you can still get first and last month's rent up front plus a cleaning/security deposit, if desired.

How do I keep my good tenants?

Keep them happy. That includes not raising the rent very often. Many landlords will raise the rents every year or even every six months on a tenant who pays well and doesn't complain much. Thus the reward for being a good tenant becomes higher rent. And, as a result, the tenant moves out. A wise landlord will keep the rents modest in order to keep the good tenant. The wise landlord will also pay special attention to any good tenant's complaint. If it's a legitimate problem, the landlord will get it fixed, pronto. Finally, the savvy landlord will have a regular maintenance schedule for each rental unit. Every three years, for example, the units all get painted. Every six years, they get new carpeting. And so on. Thus, the tenant who stays a long time isn't penalized. Instead, on a periodic basis, the property is upgraded. That's going to make any tenant happy.

What should I do when there's a repair problem?

This is the bane of most small investors/landlords. You've just settled back in your lounge chair after a lovely dinner and are enjoying an after-dinner drink, when there's a phone call. It's a tenant. It's raining outside and there's a leak. Water is coming in the roof and getting on their bed. They want it fixed now. So what does a good landlord do? He or she promptly fixes it. If it can be handled right away, get someone out there to do it. If it's going to take a few days, call the tenant, explain the situation, and ask for their indulgence. Then, get it fixed as soon as possible. Don't let any repair problem fester and slip over time. If the property becomes uninhabitable, the tenant may move out without paying rent. In most states, if you don't fix the problem after the tenants have given you reasonable notice, they may have the right to fix it themselves (often in the most expensive way) and then subtract the costs from their next rent. Repair and maintenance problems are a fact of life when you have rental property. They go with the territory. And, as an investor, it's up to you to take care of them.

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Comments (3)

it is rare that people rent from month to month here our leases run from July 1 of one year to June 30th of the next year.water leaking is an emergency you have to get a repair person right away regardless of the hour of the day. Remember the ceiling could collapse and kill someone.

Good points to mention for landlords to be assisted while renting out their real estate property. Well done.

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I agree with all that has been said in this article and I have a suggestion as well. What a landlord shouldn't do is appear unannounced on a Saturday, when it's 10 °F outside and start painting the walls and doing repairs all day, with the tenant still in the apartment in her pajamas. I am saying this because it happened to a friend of mine this weekend, and it is the most annoying thing a person can think of on a Saturday, with a feet of snow and freezing cold outside. It wasn't even an emergency, if it were, I could understand.

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