Happy New Year everyone! I hope the new year has been as great to you so far as it’s been to me. This year has brought me 4 more condos to manage already and a few properties the owners want me to rent out for them as well. The last few months of 2012 were spent reflecting, healing and refocusing what’s happening at Landlord Rescue.
I quit the Building Project at the end of September. There were very strange and unusual circumstances, maybe one day I will even write about them. In any case what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. There’s no two ways about it, distressed properties are more trouble than they’re worth.
After a rest and much thought I decided that I just wanted to do a better job of managing my properties, I was trained by people that didn’t want to spend money. That is stupid if it means that you go to jail. For the month of December my main goal was to completely update all the properties fire and carbon monoxide detectors. In some cases it was expensive and I found smoke detectors dated from as far back as 1999. I even found a couple with no date at all written on them. I don’t know when manufacturers began writing the date on the smoke detectors but these were obviously installed before then.
Property Managers Are Liable
A lot of owners do not realize that their property manager can be arrested and charged or fined Building Code and Fire Code offenses. I respect that owners do want to save money (I like that myself) I’m really not doing anyone any favors by deferring maintenance. Property care and management is the job and I need more owners who will let me do that. I want properties that I manage to improve over time rather than decline.
During the course of my fire inspections I reacquainted myself with my really nice tenants. I saw them all and gave them gifts for the Holidays. I was struck by what a genuinely nice bunch of people they all are. 99% of them are people I placed in the properties and I have to say they are just wonderful. I really had to stop and give myself credit for doing such fine work selecting these nice people for these properties.
Tenant selection is key to making any money as a landlord.
I Got Yelled At…
During my quest to bring Fire Safety to my tenants I rented an apartment. I was completing a move in inspection and I noticed the the fire alarms were over 15 years old and the carbon monoxide detector was over 10 years old. I was not doing an official fire inspection but one of the items on the unit inspection form is “Do the Fire Alarms Work?” The new resident walks over to push the button on the alarm and all it does is make a small almost inaudible squeaky sound. After pushing it a few times it starts making regular fire alarm sounds but I asked the guy to unscrew it and look at the date on it.
I called the owner and he gets mad at me when I tell him he has to change out the alarms. He tells me “They work now don’t they?” So then I tell him that smoke alarms don’t last forever and that they need changing. 10 years for fire detectors and 7 years for carbon monoxide detectors. That’s when he started yelling at me about “How it’s a scam and I’m some kind of shill for the detector people” To which I replied “That’s ok, I don’t manage this property so I won’t be the one going to jail to save money on a $60 smoke/carbon monoxide alarm”
We have a complex relationship. The last time I rented his place I ended up writing about his scaring potential tenants away. I ended up renting that place to new residents who still live there now, a couple years later.
I like meeting and working for landlords who want to take good care of their properties and for whatever reason don’t have the time or availability to do it themselves. I don’t know what the future holds except that it’s going to be great for me and I wish the best health, wealth and happiness for yourself and your family.