There really is nothing complicated about managing residential and commercial tenants. You do not need 100 hours of dry, dull, boring property management courses or 10 years of property management experience in order to be an effective property manager. As far as I am concerned, property management can be best summed up in these four words: select, collect, maintain, and administer. All that you really need to know to be a competent property manager is how to:
1. Select the best qualified tenant applicants available.
2. Collect rental payments on the day they are due, or initiate eviction proceedings.
3. Maintain the property in an efficient, clean, safe, and cost-effective manner.
4. Administer accurate income, expense, tenant, property, and tax records.
The landlords who quickly learn how to master the tenant selection, rent collection, property maintenance, and record administration aspects of the property rental business are the ones who are profitable and stay in business. They are also the ones who quickly come to the realization that the term property management is a misnomer and that they are really in the people management business. There are a lot of little tricks of the landlord trade that you need to know in order to avoid being taken to the cleaners by the numerous professional deadbeat tenants, who are experts at bilking amateur landlords out of free rent and unpaid property damages. I have three pieces of sage advice that I would like to share with you on how to effectively manage your tenants. My first piece of advice is that you read and become familiar with your state's residential and nonresidential landlord and tenant acts. Both of these statutes are part of your state's civil statutes, which should be available online or at your county's public law library. Once you have found the statutes online, bookmark them on your computer. My second piece of advice is that you visit my award-winning web site, www.floridalandlord.com, and bookmark it on your computer for future reference. My third piece of advice is that you get your hands on a copy of my book, The Florida Landlord's Manual, which is available for purchase at my web site, www.thomaslucier.com, and use it as your hands-on guide to running a profitable, hassle-free rental property business. Ignore the specific reference to Florida because 95 percent of the book's content is applicable to do-it-yourself landlords nationwide.
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