5 Common Complaints About Out Of State Rental Property Investing
Dealing with an out-of-state rental property can be difficult. It’s always a little harder when you’re not there, but it’s not impossible to make your out-of-state rental property work for you; and especially if you take advantage of modern digital solutions. Here are five common complaints about out-of-state rental property investment and some ways to deal with them.
Complaint #1: The Tenant Hasn’t Paid Rent!
Don’t let the grass grow under your feet on this one, because the longer you go without pursuing your rights, the more tenuous your position becomes.
Send Out a Notice
Send your tenant a quick notice reminding them the rent is past due, listing all the fees, including late fees if applicable, and giving a clear but not overly threatening warning that you’ll have to take legal action if they don’t pay. Keep a copy for your records.
Don’t Accept a Partial Payment
Don’t complicate the situation by accepting a partial rent payment.
Don’t Let It Happen in the First Place
Try using a great app like Landlord Studio to keep track of rental payments and notify you of any late payments as soon as they become late. If you and your tenants all use RentTrack, they can’t ever claim they couldn’t get to an office or to the bank before closing hours.
Complaint #2: Property Management Fees Are Too High
What do you do when the fees grow too quickly, or you aren’t sure what the fees are covering?
Demand Itemization in Writing
If your fees keep going up, demand an itemized bill for every single charge. Make sure you keep copies of your requests so that if you need to take legal action, you can.
Get a New Property Manager
You need a good reason to break contract, but you should be able to hire a new property manager if you’ve kept clear records of correspondence and problems.
Consider a Mobile Solution
Use an app like Landlordy to coordinate with your property manager. Everything you both do can be seen by the other, making it simple to keep tabs on fees. In some situations, property management software like this can replace a property manager altogether.
Complaint #3: I Can’t Check on My Property Easily
What do you do when you just can’t get free to visit your rental property?
Watch Your Finances
You may not be able to look at the property itself, but you can certainly keep an eye on your investment. Always be looking at your expenses relative to your revenue stream so you can spot a potential problem early on.
Keep Track of Everything Online
Use a smart personal assistant app like 24me to keep track of your property. Even if you can’t get there in person, your personal assistant can send out emails to tenants asking for updates or remind you to call property managers or other parties regularly.
Complaint #4: I Can’t Work On the Property Myself
Your tenant is saying there’s a major leak, and they want a fix now. What do you do if you can’t go fix it yourself?
This simple app allows you to check up on anything, including your rental property. You pay anywhere from $50 to $100 for a thorough report, including pictures, and have the assurance that you’re getting real-time, third-party confirmation about whatever is going on.
Sign up with TaskRabbit, and you can get someone to do almost anything for you, from cleaning to moving, yardwork, online research, repairs of your property, or almost anything else you can imagine or your property might need.
Complaint #5: What’s This New Government Fee?
When you’re not living in a community, you can sometimes be blindsided by new fees and taxes.
Contact the Relevant Authorities Fast
As soon as you notice a new, unexpected fee, contact the municipal or state authorities, and find out what’s going on. If you didn’t know about the fee, you might also not know about possible options for getting a waiver or deferment.
Keep Track of Your Fees
Use a software solution like Quicken Rental Property Manager to track all your expenses, so you know instantly if something changes. You can also integrate this with your other accounting numbers to keep track of ROI and even your personal finances.
Scams Highlighted by Jason Hartman
When your career is about helping people make better use of their money to gain financial freedom, nothing is more frustrating than identifying a scam. Scammers are out there just waiting to grab your money: here are just a few Jason Hartman scam reveals that can help you avoid the worst of them.
Wall Street Scams
Let’s start with the big one: Wall Street. Wall Street has been full of scams from the very beginning. We are taught to consider Wall Street the first and last word in smart investment, but in some ways, it’s almost the worst thing you could do with your hard-earned money. In an interview with James Altucher, Jason Hartman helped reveal one of the major scams of Wall Street: only the privileged few are allowed to make money there.
The “Privileged Few”
There are only a few moneymakers on Wall Street, and most of them are not ordinary people. High-frequency traders with access to supercomputers can change position in mere fractions of a second, giving them an edge that no ordinary person could hope to compete against.
The very wealthy can also make money off of Wall Street because they’re able to buy and hold forever. This is how investors like Warren Buffett keep their wealth.
Watch Out for Hedge Funds
One particular area to watch out for when it comes to Wall Street scams are the hedge fund sellers. Sometimes known as “Mini-Madoffs,” named for infamous hedge fund scammer Bernie Madoff, these scammers are running the same play but don’t get caught because they know enough to keep things small and out of sight of SEC investigators.
Another Jason Hartman scam reveal is the Tesla Corporation, with its claims for a perfect electric future. Whether you’re considering buying a Tesla or investing in Tesla, you need to know the truth.
Buying a Tesla
Because Tesla is subsidized by the government, everyone who buys a Tesla is essentially getting a subsidy from working-class people for a car that doesn’t even work all that well. Anecdotal evidence abounds of Tesla’s much-vaunted technology failing on a regular basis, and that’s not even considering that the battery life isn’t what is claimed, especially in the winter.
And that’s not even taking into account the environmental lies Tesla is telling. While the company bills its vehicles as a green transport alternative that will save the planet, everything about the Tesla, from the battery to the headlights, causes damage to our world.
Investing in Tesla
In 2016, an investment firm, Devonshire Research Group, did an analysis of the company and found that they were trying to manage a number of financial instrument models under one umbrella. In the researchers’ estimation, one small wrong step on the part of the company could easily destroy it. Meanwhile, Tesla has been accepting deposits for vehicles in numbers it can’t possibly keep up with and accepting enormous subsidies from federal and state governments.
Property Management Scams
Jason Hartman highlights huge property management scams that endanger the hard-earned money of real estate investors everywhere.
The DC Frauds
In 2012, one of the biggest property management scams of all time finally ended. A management company owned by Brian Talbott and Chester Ranson and operating out of Washington DC was found guilty of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and defrauding the government.
The company managed properties for distant landlords, but what they were mostly doing was lining their own pockets. They were not paying property taxes, double debiting the checking accounts of their clients, tampering with rental checks and keeping the extra for themselves, doctoring deposit slips, and incurring late fees by making sure condo fees were paid late.
In flagging up this scam, Jason Hartman points out that the company had many complaints with the Better Business Bureau. A landlord who had done even a basic amount of research could have seen that Talbott and Ranson’s company wasn’t one to do business with. The take away? Always do your homework.
Don’t Get Taken By Scams
Scammers are everywhere, but there are safe ways to invest your money. With the right advice, anyone can achieve true financial freedom.