These are unconventional landlording tactics from Jesse Brewer’s Tenants Uncommon.
- Always store your tenants’ bank account information. This comes in handy I case you need to garnish their wages, should you get a judgment against them in court.
- Collect e-mail addresses too—and get your tenants to become your friends on Facebook and/or Twitter. People post almost everything they do on these types of sites.
- Be wary of tenants who seem super-anxious to move in. If you get a tenant who tells you they must move within a day of viewing your property, and they want to pay cash upfront, then chances are they have not paid their previous landlord and are being forced out.
- Be suspicious also of tenants who want to pay for several months’ rent upfront with cash. They figure that most landlords will turn greedy, accept the money, and skip doing a thorough background check. Odds are that as soon as that money runs out, they’ll be flat broke.
- Never get suckered into paying for any tenant’s utilities.
- If an applicant works for a doctor or a lawyer in some capacity, you may want to be careful about renting to them. People in these fields are quicker to file litigation against a landlord—or at least threaten litigation. (Note—this is merely an opinion.)
- When you move a new tenant into a property, give them 11 self-addressed, stamped envelopes, or 11 direct deposit slips, for monthly rent payments.
- Never, under any circumstances, allow tenants to make payments on a security deposit.
- When it comes time to raise the rent, here are two important tips. The first one is do it in an odd amount. Instead of a $10 increase, make it either an $8 or $11 one. For some reason an even amount just seems like more rent to the tenant. But if their new rent ends in a nontraditional number such as $546 or $734, it just does not feel like such a high increase.
- Secondly, the time of year is important. I suggest during the coldest months—late November or early December. People will be hard-pressed to move during drop-dead cold weather over a few dollars per month. Plus, it’s harder to move during the holidays.