Rent Collection: What’s the Best Way to Collect Rent from Your Tenant?

What's the best way to collect rent from a tenant? When I decided to become a landlord, one of the areas that I gave the least amount of thought to was collecting rent. In hindsight, I should have determined my policy for rent payment and informed the tenant during the vetting process. Because I left it 'up in the air', I got a variety of suggestions from my potential tenants. Some worked out OK and others were poor choices. It's a … [Read more...]

Finally Rented: Creating and Signing a Residential Lease Agreement

Ready to collect your rent? Get it in writing! Okay, truthfully we didn't just rent our home. But it did take a while. We listed our home for rent in mid-June, and my tenant moved in on August 15th. It was an up and down couple of months as I explained in previous posts. I enjoyed fixing up the rental unit, but I wasn't a big fan of finding the tenant. Once we'd gone through all of that and found our tenant, it was time to make it official: create and sign … [Read more...]

Find a Tenant: Credit Check and Screening

Our rental property after a rare Texas snow. So you just became a landlord and you want to know how to screen tenants and complete that tenant credit check? Well, you are in luck. I just became a rental property owner myself and I learned how to properly screen tenants, including the credit check. One of the great unknowns of becoming a landlord is how to screen tenants so that you can find the right people to live in your rental unit. Lord knows you don't … [Read more...]

Rental Repairs: Fixing Up My Rental Property

The new kick plate I made and installed on our rental property saved us $200. Call me crazy, but one of the most enjoyable things I've done over the past few weeks is spending some time preparing our rental property for its first tenant. I can see how people become addicted to dealing with real estate. There's just something about "taking care" of your rental property. You really get a sense of improving on your property and instantly increasing its … [Read more...]

The Best Places to List and Advertise Your Rental Property (Some Free!)

If you're anything like me, one of your biggest fears with owning a rental property is that you will not be able to find a quality tenant quickly. Taking two or three months to find a quality renter (or spending too much on advertising to do so) could easily ruin your chances of a positive cash flow rental property. You've got to get a quality renter into the property...and quick. Here are some options for advertising your rental … [Read more...]

My First Rental Property: Not Really a Great Investment

Update: As it turns out, this rental property IS a really great investment. Vacancies have been zilch, rent was raised by $100, and there have been minimal expenses related to repairs and maintenance. See my current cash flow analysis here showing returns around 10% (even with principal payments included). Looking for your first rental property? Check out our How to Find Rental Properties guide or start your property search at … [Read more...]

How to Find Investment Properties: Evaluating Real Estate Property for Purchase

I love the idea of owning several real estate investment properties and living off of the cash flow from the rental income. But while I love the thought, I'm not so sure I'd actually like the things that go along with owning investment properties (e.g. tenants, maintenance, etc.). Over the weekend I did some reading about starting up real estate investing, and I also had a discussion with a successful real estate investor. Here are some of the thoughts I have as a … [Read more...]