Friday, December 9, 2016

Writer's Digest book review ...

I entered What You Must Know BEFORE Becoming a Greedy Landlord in the 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards contest.

Here is Judge #87’s Commentary:

The writer’s tone and amusing (though often, if you think about it carefully, very depressing) anecdotes make this book fun to read, even for a reader who has no interest in owning rental properties. 

My favorite parts of the book are the pieces of practical advice I wouldn’t have thought of myself (such as driving by a potential rental property at night and not buying property more than 10 miles away from where you live yourself), along with the stories of terrible tenants and common mistakes.

I’m wondering how many renters really like the idea of the landlord visiting monthly to replace the air-conditioning filters, and whether this is really a common practice among landlords.

The writer is very frank throughout most of the book; a place where I would suggest more frankness is on just what the potential landlord should have going for him or her before getting into the business.  How much cash money does the potential landlord really need?  How much in the way of skills? 

For example, the writer says he was able to repaint a whole house in two-and-a-half days and then re-carpet it in just a few more.  This suggests a great deal of skill on his part.  

Is it worth it for a new landlord to get into the business at all if he or she is not prepared to do those things?

Click here to get your copy. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

65% of UK landlords live close to investment

In What You Must Know BEFORE Becoming a Greedy Landlord, I gave readers the 6 important rules I’ve learned when looking for something to buy.

My #1 rule: Stay within 10 miles of your home.

And a new survey found that 65% of landlords from across the pond agree with me!

Click here to read more of the survey’s results.   

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Repair vs. Improvement

A reader sent the following question …

Dear Sir:

I just finished reading What You Must Know BEFORE Becoming a Greedy Landlord, which is an excellent resource for potential and current landlords. 

My question concerns repairs versus improvements. 

If a repair cannot be made and an item must be replaced for safety reasons, does that still count as an improvement?

The item in question is a set of concrete steps that have broken away from the foundation and cannot be repaired. The steps are dangerous and need to be replaced before we can rent the house out.

Thank you!



My answer:

Hi John,

With the tax code, much depends on how you interpret it.

Here’s what it says regarding repairs:

“You can deduct the cost of repairs that you make to your rental property. A repair keeps your property in good operating condition and does not materially add value to the property. Examples are painting, fixing leaks and replacing broken doors or other parts of the rental property.

So if I were you, I’d classify your new steps as a repair and deduct the full cost.

Good luck!


Monday, August 15, 2016

Seniors fuming over massive price hikes

Seniors say they feel ‘scammed’ by MetLife and Unum. To learn why, click here

Friday, August 12, 2016

Photo tips to get your property rented … FAST!

Putting photos in your ads can boost the odds of renting your property. In fact, a study found that listings with 11 to 15 photos get 70% more clicks than those with none at all.

But if you make these six mistakes, your photos could actually take away from your rental’s appeal. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Homeownerships down; rentals on the upswing

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that homeownership has hit a 50-year low. And that could be good news for investors willing to step into the single-family home market, according to experts.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Florida law favors tenants

“There was a time when landlords would remove the front and back doors or turn off the water to get deadbeats out. But we live in a kinder, gentler society now, which means you have to follow the letter of the law.”

Abiding by the law often results in a time lag between filing for an eviction and getting one. And such delays in the justice system can cost you.

I had a tenant who was behind in his rent. He said he wanted out of his lease because he didn’t like his neighbors and the HOA’s rules. I agreed as long as he would pay what he owed me.

He didn’t keep his end of the bargain, so I filed an eviction note.

When I arrived with the sheriff’s deputy to execute the eviction, the tenant was gone. 

And I was left with …

Holes in walls, broken bi-fold doors, filthy oven, disgusting refrigerator. 

I got a $6,000+ judgment against the slimeball, but that’s not worth the paper it’s written on here in Florida.

The lesson to be learned is that you can’t afford to be a nice guy. And you must move as quickly as possible once a tenant falls behind in the rent.