King Solomon’s reputation for wisdom has endured for thousands of years – and thinking like Solomon can help investors manage the headaches and hassles that come with being a hands on landlord for investment properties.
Remember the story in which the great King was presented with two women claiming to be the mother of the same child? Solomon proposed slicing the baby in half, which exposed the real mother’s identity. As a landlord you probably wont’ be confronted with that kind of dramatic situation – but applying a little Solomonic wisdom along with the principles of God centered investing just might make your job a little easier.
As Jason Hartman says, nesting in income property is the surest route to wealth that lasts a lifetime. And direct investing – managing your investment properties yourself – is the best way to stay in control of your portfolio and avoid incompetent or unscrupulous middlemen. But landlording it yourself, rather than turning things over to investment companies or other kinds of third parties means dealing with every aspect of the rental process, from screening tenants to evicting them.
Christian investors recognize that they aren’t buying and managing properties for themselves – but for God. They’re simply his stewards, carrying out his plan. And that creates a framework for making good decisions about investing in general and dealing with the day-to-day issues in particular. That’s where Solomon’s wisdom – and its cousin prudence – comes in when dealing with legal issues and tenant problems.
Did you know that virtually any animal, from a hamster to a pony, can be considered a service animal, exempt from “no pets” policies and pet deposits?
Many laws – federal and local – apply to rental properties. And the wise landlord makes the effort to stay up to date and in compliance. Federal laws such as the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Fair housing Act apply regardless of which state your property is located in.
It’s a landlord’s job to know what’s covered by these and other housing related pieces of legislation. A seemingly minor misunderstanding or thoughtless turn of phrase could land the unwary investor/landlord in court. Learning a landlord’s rights and responsibilities is the first step toward protecting your investment and keeping a good. professional relationship with tenants.
Zoning and other local housing related ordinances can have can affect your decisions on everything from putting up fence to paying fees and taxes. Since these can vary from state to state and even city to city, it’s every investor’s responsibility to learn about them. Some areas of the country are more landlord friendly than others.
Did you know that in some areas, landlords can be held liable for failing to evict problem tenants?
Wise landlords head off problems before they start, with smart screening that weeds out potential problem tenants before they move in. The Solomonic landlord tempers this with prudence and compassion, though. The applicant with the lower credit score may be working hard to overcome past problems such as foreclosure or medical debt – while the good credit risk might bring other problems along.
But a good screening process that respects laws like the Fair Housing Act and spells out expectations, rights and responsibilities of all parties involved can save headaches down the line.
Being a wise landlord also means dealing promptly with tenant issues when they do arise. That attention to details and problems helps retain good tenants and makes it easier to get rid of bad ones. A leading reason renters leave apartments and homes is the landlord’s failure to respond promptly to complaints and concerns.
It’s a landlord’s responsibility to make sure the property is safe and secure, so paying attention to tenant concerns and dealing with issues such as crime on the premises creates good relationships in the neighborhood and makes the property a desirable rental.
Nobody likes evictions. Closing the doors on a tenant who’s destructive, a slacker on the rent, or someone who creates other problems can be a long and arduous process that involves the courts and the law. But paying scrupulous attention to every legal aspect of conducting an eviction – and applying Solomon’s principles of fairness and justice go a long way toward protecting both sides in the process.
Landlord tenant law takes up volumes, and in some areas, the balance is tilted toward tenants, while in others, laws favor landlords. Knowing where you stand and keeping in mind the principles of stewardship and the wisdom of Solomon are keys to making your investment properties work for you – and build wealth that endures. (Featured image:flickr/byrdiegyrrl)
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The Solomon Success Team