Money-Saving Hints from Landlords

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on May 3, 2010 under Landlord Tips, Tenant Screening & Background Checks | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

home-and-money2Landlords are happy to share information to help out their fellow rental property owners—especially when it comes to saving money, time, and trouble. Here is a round-up of some of our favorite easy-to-implement ideas.

Out with the carpeting. If you own an older rental building or home, there are probably hardwood floors lurking beneath that worn-out carpeting you’re getting ready to replace. Get rid of the carpet, and you’ll never have to buy another roll of carpet again. And you don’t have to refinish the floors, either—you can simply paint them. Look for special floor paint in a dark color, like brown or dark grey. Just roll it on and cover a multitude of sins. And no more carpet burns or stains! Keep in mind this type of paint takes longer to cure, and is subject to scratching for about 30 days. So don’t blame your new tenants if they scratch an uncured floor when they move in!

Replacing cabinets, counters, or hardware? Check recycled building materials stores first! Most larger cities have Re-Stores, run by non profits like Habitat for Humanity. These stores carry all kinds of building materials, from shingles to clawfoot tubs. Besides great prices, these stores keep a lot of trash out of the landfill. It’s all about recycling these days. They’ll even take your leftover renovation materials as a donation—which could mean tax savings for you (check with your professional tax advisor, please).

Invest in a digital camcorder. The come in handy for rental property inspections, move-in/move-out checklist making, and for those times you need to prove a point to a tenant—or even to a judge! For example, a landlord we know was faced with tenants who didn’t believe he got complaints about their dog barking when they were away. A simple recording of the apartment door (with their number) and the barking coming from behind it was enough to prove his case.

Trust your gut: If you have a bad feeling about a potential tenant, save yourself time and worry—don’t rent to them. Just make sure that you are basing your decision on legally-binding reasons, such as length of employment, income, and credit history—not appearance, disability, or any other reason protected by the Fair Housing Act. The best way to treat applicants fairly is to require background screening, credit check, and criminal history check on all tenant applicants.

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