Cash Flow: Cash In:/ Cash Out: $8900 / $4600
Year to Date Cash In / Cash Out: $33,333 / $23,000
Net Worth: 1,843,334
Total Hours Spent: (see below for detail) 8 hours
<insert photo of me and crazy Ed at property>
Summary: February was a crazy month for me personally, but rents (and a few hours of tasks) continued to flow with the addition of my third child. Right after delivery, I had to deal with a pissed tenant and a dispute on his utility bill. It turned out his heating system had a heat register running to the apartment above. He and his new neighbor figured it all out while moving a mattress upstairs. PECO ended up transferring the bill to the Landlord until I fixed the issue. The fix was simple, we covered the vents with trim molding and called the utility company back to inspect the apartment. Two months later the issue was closed and I am now responsible for a nice $546 dollar PECO bill.
Unfortunately in an older building, you just never know what your going to find. $546 dollars is a lot of money, yes. However, it has motivated me to review all rents at the building and start getting an automatic rent increase clause into everyones leases. I will update everyone on this with a later post.
We also had a fun little incident where water pipes were freezing in one of the units, causing all sorts of madness. Note – if you’re a landlord in a cold climate, invest in heating pipe insulation and heat tape to eliminate frozen pipes. Could have been worse, nothing exploded. Just needed to run a space heater in a crawl space for about 24 hours and the tenants hot water was restored. The TRICK = maintain good communication in these kinds of scenarios. I have found that even in bad situations, when I maintain good communication, tenants really appreciate it and are nice.
To be a good landlord, you must be a good communicator.
Another funny situation – only funny because I have a good functional sump pump – was my washing machine water line exploded from the freezing weather, resulting in running water in my basement for about 24 hours. I had a tenant call and leave a message, but I didnt get it until next day. Listen to this: <INSERT WAV FILE HERE>. All they had to do was turn off the valve, but no – just didnt think about it. This is why renters are renters, will rent for a long time, and why the rental market exists. People are just downright lazy sometimes and if your thinking of being a landlord, you can profit.
The only other details to share about Feb was just a lot of ice and snow payments sent to my landscaper. He likes to be paid quickly via check via mail and I very seldom can just stop what I am doing and address an envelope. Not a big deal, it just resulted in a bunch of extra voicemails and phone conversations explaining, “the checks in the mail”. To optomize your time, buy a five dollar rubber stamper like this one for return address, put a stack of envelopes in your car, buy stamps and keep them in the car, and even keep check books in the car. This way next time he calls and leaves a message, I just just write up a check and toss it in the nearest mailbox.
It’s the little things that add up ,if you live a busy life, busy family and busy career, you need tips like this to stay sane and organized.
Time Spent – Detailed Report
2/23 – 5 minutes discussing online rent payment process with tenant, also dealing with parking issue
2/17 -1 minute sms regarding rent check tomorrow
2/18 – pickup two checks, stop at bank, stop at courthouse – 45 minutes
2/5, 2/10 – (2 hours) Tenant putting construction debris at side of building, township filed two complaints. Getting reimbursed, paying fines and dealing with the nonsee, picking up checks.
2/23 – 20 minutes talking to tenants regarding dispute and heating vent issue
2/12 – 2 hours . Foreign wiring issue, calling tenants and dealing with nonsense.
2/17 – 1 hour, calls back and forth to PECO during the week. Calls to tenants and contractors
2/23 – 1 hour – meeting at property to discuss dispute with tenant, a little awkward but you need to maintain good relations at all times, even if your pissed.
Property 48 :
2/23 – 2 hours – water spraying in basement, coordinating repairs with contractors
2/16 – (3.5 hours) call for no hot water in Apt #4. Spent 20 minutes dispatching plumber. Frozen pipes, could not resolve. Spent three hours myself putting space heater in crawl space and cleaning basement. Missed putting the kids to bed and got a few sighs from my wife.
What I learned: Get good insulated pipes foam stuff, get good heat tape, keep basements clean and ventelated in the summer/ sealed up in the winter.
Photos: (insert photo of crawl space)
Property 36: 1 hour – phone conversations and completing reference paperwork for tenant planning to move out. They have been a long term tenant, not surprised they want to buy a home.