Showing posts with label rental. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rental. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Making Property Management More Complicated

I've been so busy lately, or maybe I am just busy in my head.  On Thursday, I drove by my rental house to see if they had removed the foil from the windows.  I got a violation letter from the HOA and I sent it to my property management company who sends it to my tenant.  I could have the letter go straight from the HOA to the property management company but I like to know what is going on.  So, the foil was still up.  This is an east facing bay window and I felt bad about the window coverings that I hastily purchased for that room.  They were those matchstick roll-up shades and they don't block light at all.  I read about those honeycomb shades from Home Depot that are cheap and get great reviews so on Friday I raced to Home Depot at lunch and bought 2 shades (one for the middle window and the other to be cut in half for the 2 smaller windows) and one semi-circle fan shade for the window at the top.

After work, I stopped by the house not really expecting anyone to be home but a lady was home with her toddler.  I hadn't met my current tenants.  They were very nice and said that they had not received the violation notice from the property management company.  That is very annoying because the HOA only gives me 10 days to fix the problem.  She took the shades and promised to put them up.  She also told me that they hire a landscaper to trim the backyard and pull the weeds in the front yard (yay!) and they pay for a pest control company (double yay!).  I think I really like these tenants.

I drove by the house after work yesterday and the foil was gone, shades were up and they look nice even though Home Depot only carried light grey shades instead of white.  I hope the HOA doesn't get that picky.  I couldn't tell they were light grey from the street.  When I got home today, there was a letter in my mailbox from the property management company.  Inside was a printed copy of the violation notice.  Now I am confused.  They sent me a copy of the same thing that I sent them.  Did they even send the notice to my tenants at all?  What am I paying these people for?  Plus, it's been a week since I sent them the letter.  Are they really that slow?  These are questions that I will ask tomorrow when I give them a call.  It doesn't seem that complicated to me.  Send the violation letter to the tenant, not the owner.  If I didn't already know that I hate being a landlord, I would be tempted to do it myself.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tyrant Trees

I got 2 letters from the home owner's association complaining about the tree at my rental house. The next step after letters is to call me before the board to explain why I can't keep my tree trimmed and then they will fine me. Technically this is something that the tenants should do but I decided to go over there and check it out for myself.

I brought my tree pruners to trim it back the required 8' above the walkways. I went over on my lunch break on Friday and stood in front of the giant tree. Um...ya, it has grown a bit beyond my little pruners. That tree is quite large and hanging over not only the sidewalk but the neighbor's driveway. I decided that this was more than the tenants could handle unless they were professional tree-trimmers. I called a landscaping company and they came out and gave me a bid and they will cut the tree back next week.

I called my HOA and explained that I was working on the problem since the letter stated that I only had until Monday before the next level of threats kicked in. The lady was very nice and said that she made a note of my intentions to hire a tree trimmer and that she wouldn't be checking on the houses until next Friday. Whew. I don't want to face the wrath of the HOA.

This is something that the property management should have handled since I emailed the complaint letters to them last week. They should have let me know that the tree was in need of professional help. I intend to complain to them on Monday. One thing that I do not like about the PM co. is their lack of response and the inability to talk to a human when I call. That is so annoying.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Still No Vacancy

Well, I took my foster dog to work and the first person to see him decided he was too big to be a playmate for their poodle. Then I contacted the second people, a mother and son, who were interested and they were able to make it to my work before 5. They really liked him but the son wanted his wife to meet the dog before he brought it home so he is going to bring her to the adoption event on Saturday. I was kind of hoping someone would take him home today.

Oh well, having a dog at work made the day go a lot faster. I even got some work done. Some good news for tenants paid their rent so I am eagerly checking my bank account for a deposit. Yay!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Late Again

Once again I was looking forward to rent money magically appearing in my bank account. Once again I received, instead, an email that said my tenants were sent a 5 day notice because they didn't pay their rent or their check bounced again. I don't even want to know what the excuse was this time. Luckily I am not depending on that money for any immediate need. I hope they will pay and I will get the money at the end of the month like I did for July but this trend is not encouraging. They obviously can't afford my house. Well, I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to let the property management company handle it because it is their job and I am going to live within my means so that I am not dependent on the rent money.

Only one more day until the weekend! This weekend is full of dog adoption events on Saturday and house hunting on Sunday. And somehow I need to find the time for an oil change. My poor truck. I am terrible with auto maintenance. I'm lucky it is so reliable.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Delegating Is A Job Too

I called my property management company today and my contact person didn't answer the phone or return my messages. I started feeling like a crazy person for calling 10 times. Finally I hit 0 for the operator and told her who I was looking for. She asked what it was regarding so I told her and she transferred me to maintenance. I was sure the maintenance guy would be out maintaining stuff but he actually answered the phone and I told him that I wanted him to take care of the house issues for me. He was nice and said no problem. Their policy is to notify me of costs above $250. That's a relief. I could feel a huge stress cloud forming over my head yesterday and today it lifted. I'll let the professionals handle the jobs that stress me out and I will stick to trying to do my job so I can keep getting paychecks.

I showed my boss the house that I am interested in and he thinks it is a wonderful idea and suggested that I go get pre-qualified for a mortgage tomorrow morning. I was going to do it Saturday morning and bring 2 dogs with me but gee, if my boss wants me to do it tomorrow then I had better listen to him! I also asked my property management company about rents around the air force base and they said that 3 bedroom homes with large yards are renting for $1,000. Wow. That is hard to believe. I looked up the one that he mentioned and it looks just like the house that I want to buy except it is a little bigger. It is good to know that renting out the home is an option down the road and that the rent will easily cover the $450 mortgage. I also looked up the names of all of the people on the same street as the house I want and checked them out in the court database. It looks like everyone has a few traffic tickets but that is it. That's good to know.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Downs and Ups

I have always heard that it is better and cheaper to handle repairs for the rental house myself rather than let the property management company do it. So far I am finding that it is a huge hassle. I can't get a hold of the tenants and somehow I have to coordinate the plumber, A/C guy and door repair. I wish I knew how much the property management company would charge me. Having a full time job and trying to get anything else done during business hours, 9 to 5, is almost impossible without taking time off and I don't have a lot of time off to spend. If I don't hear from the tenants by tomorrow I think I will just ask the property management company to handle things. It gets too complicated with so many people involved.

On a brighter note, I was told that the tenants did send a cashier's check for the rent today. Too bad it is so late that I won't get it by the second disbursement date of the 25th. I suppose I will have to wait until the 12th of next month when next months' rent is distributed. I wonder if they will be able to pay next months rent? I hope so because it looks like I will be spending at least half of this months rent on repairs.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Maintenance Duties first official maintenance requests with my new tenants. They told the property management company that one sink is leaking, one drain is clogged, the AC isn't coming out of the living room or master bedroom vents and the laundry bi-fold doors are broken. I'm not sure how these things are handled but I do know that it is cheaper for me to find my own service guys so tomorrow I will be calling people. The plumber is easy, I just need to know how to coordinate with the tenant. The AC is easy too, I had both the AC people and plumbers out a few months ago. The laundry doors are a question mark. I would like to replace them so I need to measure, buy them, and get someone to install them. The old ones have been fixed and patched too many times. Hopefully this won't be too much of a hassle.

I still don't know if the tenants have paid the rent. I sure hope they did. They certainly sound like they are sticking around.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shrugging Off The Set Backs

I picked the boss up from the airport today and he bought me lunch. It's always nice to get a free lunch. No word on my rent money. I paid $500 of my Home Depot bill and I should be able to pay the rest next month. I have until the September bill to pay it off interest free. It shouldn't be a problem. I am trying very hard not to charge anything extra this month. I need to keep my emergency fund for real emergencies not for spending spree's.

The rain seems to have taken this week off. Hopefully it will start again next week. My water tanks are still very low. I have 200 gallons that I can transfer to my mobile home tank. I am expecting all of my tanks to fill up this Summer.

Someone called me and wants to borrow my dog trap to catch a stray dog. I had to dig the trap out of my shed. I still have all of my stuff from my rental house in there...carpet remnants, tile saw and tools, cleaning supplies. Cleaning out the shed is just another thing on my very long to-do list.

After work I stopped by my friend's house to check on her cat. Yes, it was still there. On the way there I saw a steer running down the side of the road. I was going to call the police but then I saw 2 sheriff cars so I am sure they could handle it...if they carry lassos.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bouncy Bouncy

Last month I got a notification from my property management company that my tenants had paid the rent early. I was excited and planned on paying off my Home Depot credit card with the money. I have been watching my bank account since this is usually the time that the money shows up in my account.

Today I got an email that said that the rent is late and my tenants have been sent a 5 day notice to pay or vacate the premises. Noooo! I emailed and called trying to get some sort of explanation and finally they called me back in the afternoon. The tenant's early check had bounced.

Hopefully the tenants will just write a new check and I will get the money on the 25th. I sure hope they aren't having financial difficulties. I don't want an empty house again.

I'm going to pay part of my Home Depot bill but not all since I don't want to empty my bank account. I have one more month of no interest so I can wait for another paycheck before I pay it off. If I do get the rent later in the month then that will go towards my emergency fund.

And to go with the bouncy theme, here's a link to some cute wild Foxes Jumping On Trampoline

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Unofficial Party

I checked my bank account today not expecting to see any change but then I looked where my mortgage balance should be and it was gone. I was kind of hoping to catch it when it said zero but it was just gone so I took a screen shot and wrote in Mortgage.....$0.00 for my own "closure".

That's where it used to be. Right under my credit card. Now it is just blank. My check got processed faster than I expected. I suppose they will mail me the final paperwork in a few days. Then I will really know that it is closed and gone and then I can have a party!

That was $102,000 paid off in 6 years and 8 months!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How Anticlimactic

Back to Chase bank I went today even though yesterday was disappointing. I was greeted at the door and I told the woman what I wanted. I got a less than enthusiastic response and then was told that wiring the funds would cost $30 and a cashier's check would cost $8. I went with $8 and was told to get in line. I filled out a withdrawal slip and waited and waited. People working there kept passing by and saying "Welcome to Chase. Welcome to Chase" but they did not offer any help. Finally the same woman who said "Welcome to Chase" when I walked in the door opened a window and helped me. I was trying to figure out how much extra interest to add since my payoff quote was for the 1st of the month and now there would be more days added for travel time. The woman said that transactions usually take 10 days so I just added an extra $20 to be safe. They will send back the extra.

I got my cashier's check and then had to make a detour to the post office before heading back to work. I estimate that my check won't reach a human until Monday at the best. Perhaps by next Friday I will see my account updated or maybe that is being too optimistic. Anyway, my checking account is a lot lower but my mortgage is still showing so I am not going to say it is paid off until the loan is officially closed. This is taking a lot longer than I expected. I would think with all the technology that they have now, that I could pay off my Chase mortgage with my Chase checking account a little easier, faster and cheaper than having to use the postal system.

Well, in a week or so it won't matter and I won't have to think about that mortgage any more. Next my surprise property tax bill, pay my 6 month car insurance, pay my HOA 6 month dues, and put $500 towards the Home depot card. One of these days I am actually going to get to do something fun with my money...I hope.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mortgage Progress For May

May is long gone but I might as well update my mortgage progress anyway. I didn't contribute any extra to the mortgage so only the regular payment was deducted bringing the total to $3,398. The reason that I didn't contribute any extra was because when I stopped my automatic payments it said that it wouldn't go in to effect until July so I wanted to be sure to have enough money in my account for the June automatic payment. Well, I checked my balance on the first of the month and there was no change so I thought it hadn't gone through yet. A few days later I remembered again and checked but still no change. It appears that the automatic payment stopped for June.

I'm sure glad I checked. That would be pretty sad to miss a payment when I am so close to paying it off. The regular payment is not delinquent until the 16th of the month so I want to pay off the mortgage before then. I don't need a new payoff letter either because it says to just add 55 cents per day after the estimated payoff date which was June 1st. I am going to wait until I get my next paycheck on Wednesday and then...unless I get more mystery bills in the mail...I will pay off this pesky mortgage!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen

As you know, the last email that I got from the property management company said that my partial rent payment would be paid to me with my next month's rent. Today I checked my mail and to my surprise, I got a $600 check for May. I like having a property management company but so far they seem to have too many people communicating with me and they all say different things. I sure hope my house doesn't have too many problems and I won't have to deal with the management company very often.

I didn't make a $2,000 payment today because I didn't really see the benefit of giving them $2,000 when I was sooo close to paying off the mortgage but not quite close enough. I'd rather that money stay in my account. If I had received the rent money sooner, I could have paid off the mortgage this month but now I have to deposit the check and I probably won't have time to do that until Tuesday. On the other hand, I could stop my automatic payment and just go ahead and pay the payoff amount on the payoff letter. Payments aren't late until the 16th of each month so I could wait for my next payday and then pay it off. Actually, that sounds like a good idea. That would save $170 from going in to the escrow fund and then I would have to wait 30 days to get it back.

Oops, there goes that idea. I just logged in and cancelled the automatic payment and it says changes will take effect July 2011. I cancelled it but it won't help me out for June.

That means I have to wait because I don't have enough money to pay off the mortgage AND give the bank an extra $800 just for fun. Oh well, I am going to wait until I deposit my check and the payment is made on the first and then decide how to attack it. For now I am going to enjoy my 3 day weekend.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


When I got to work this morning I checked my email and there was one from the property management company. It said that I had $600 in rent coming my way. Yay! Then I read more and it said that I would be getting the money with my NEXT MONTHS RENT. Wow...can you say disappointed? Next months rent won't be deposited until around the 12th of the month since they take a day to collect it, 10 days for the check to clear and another day to send it by direct deposit. Getting paid in cash by my last tenant was so much quicker...except she didn't always pay and I had to wait until she got her tax return to get the majority of it.

But tomorrow is just another day instead of an exciting rent money and payday. I must be a patient little bunny for another almost 3 weeks. Ugh. Once I get paid tomorrow I can pay my regular credit card bill and then figure out how much I can contribute towards the principle without depleting my reserves too much. I forgot that I still have to pay the utility bills for the house up until the tenants transfer it over. I called the trash company and they said that the water company has to tell them to change the account to the new tenant. I called the water company and they said that they sent the notice to the trash and sewer company last Saturday. The trash lady called me back and said that she found the notice and will send me a final bill. I called the sewer lady back and she was all insistent that no one could notify them on a Saturday because they don't work on Saturday. I suppose she has never heard of email. She said I had to call the water company. Crazy sewer lady. I can't believe how expensive the sewer bill is. They base it on water usage and since I filled up my water tanks at the house I had to pay $34 in sewer fees even thought none of it went down the sewer. That's even more than the water bill.

Soon I won't have to pay any more of those bills but I want to make sure I have enough in my checking account to cover them. The rest of the day crept by slowly. I picked up one of my puppies from the vet at noon. She was pretty good and slept under my desk most of the time. My coworkers really like the puppies but I have to be so vigilant about potty breaks that I don't like to bring them because I can't get my work done. It is fun every once in a while though.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It Helps To Talk To A Human

I called my bank today and asked them about the methods for paying off a mortgage. My mortgage holder and my bank are the same so you would think it would be easy to do. The special recording set up for requesting payoff quotes said that I have to send a cashier's check and the payoff quote to a certain address. I called back and pressed "0" to talk to a human. I asked the Service Rep. if I could just pay down my mortgage and then let the automatic payment that is scheduled for June 1st, pay off the rest of it and then it would be done. He said that it would take much longer that way because the computer wouldn't be able to close the loan. The computer would have to recognise that no more payments were needed (probably when it tried to do the July payment) and then it would trigger the loan closing department (located at the special address where I have to send the payoff quote) to close the loan.

The Rep. recommended that I go to a bank branch and have them transfer the funds from my bank account and then (I am assuming) fax the payoff quote. That sounds better than mailing it because I was worried that it wouldn't get there in time and the automated payment would take another $800 out of my account for June and I really don't want to loan the bank $800.

Only 6 more days until payday and rent day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Time To Request That Payoff Quote

I wanted to be sure I would have enough money to pay off the rental house mortgage this month so I went ahead and requested a payoff quote. The bank made me go through a long phone recording and finally I could pick between a faxed quote for an extra $30 charge or a quote by mail. Gee, I wonder which one to choose? The total came to $3,425 which is around $26 more than what I expected but that is not a big deal. They will mail the quote and then I will have to get a cashier's check from the bank and mail it to them with the quote.

Now I just have to wait for the quote to arrive and wait for payday and rent day to arrive on the 25th. Only one week from tomorrow and, if all goes well, I can finally finish this major step and move on to the next goal.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Monday Down

I really didn't want to go to work today. The dogs were all cuddly this morning and I just wanted to sleep in. I did sleep around a half an hour later than usual because my early rising dog got adopted. On the way to work I got a call from the dog rescue and they said that one of my newly adopted dogs was growling at his new sister dog. That is so annoying when they call the next day with problems but if they are willing to work things out, give it time, and take the dog to the classes that we offer then it usually all works out. Later on I had to go through it again with the people who adopted my big puppy. Luckily they are also willing to go to classes too so I won't get any returned dogs just yet. They are both great dogs, very willing to please but they need some direction.

Work was slow today. I didn't bring a dog because I brought my propane tank with me and looked up a place to fill it. I found a place not too far away. It was a truck stop. The propane fill up spot was over where the big trucks fill up so I got my propane and then waited with the truckers to pay. The guy behind me was a Blue Bell ice cream truck driver. I asked him if he got free ice cream and he said 'sometimes'. By the end of the conversation I got a gallon of free ice cream! The lid had been damaged so it couldn't be sold. I brought it back to work to share and my office mates were thrilled. They said I should go get propane every week.

Later on my property management company called and told me that my house was rented. The one thing that bothers me about my property management company is that I have dealt with 4 different people so far and they don't seem to talk to each other. This latest person asked me where my second garage door remote was and I said that I had left it at the house 2 weeks ago like the other guy told me to do. Besides that little miscommunication, the lady told me that the renters actually took possession of the house on the 13th so that is a few more days of rent for me. I should see my rent money on the 25th. The rent is $1,050, which is amazing, and they signed a 1 year lease. I am very happy about that.

All in all it was a pretty good Monday. I hope the rest of the week goes even better.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Skipped A Day

I usually don't skip a day without a post but when I tried to log in yesterday it said was down for maintenance. Since I was really tired and had no idea when it would be up again I decided to just go to bed.

It was a long, hard day. Work was exceptionally frustrating and I actually emailed my boss and told him I wanted to quit. He emailed back and said that I shouldn't so I stayed. While I was thinking of quitting I also looked at my budget and compared it to my incoming rent and decided that I would be around $180 a month short if I wanted to keep doing this dog fostering. Too bad. I was looking forward to having lots of free time. But free time with no money is no fun either.

I finally asked my property management company if my house was really rented. They said yes but the people aren't moving in until May 17th. That means I will only get a 1/2 month rent on the 25th which happens to be my next payday. So, I am waiting and waiting again. The 25th is only 12 days away. That isn't long at all.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Some Good News

The property management company called today and said they have a tenant for my house. I hope it is for sure this time, not like last time when it was like, oops, they didn't qualify. I won't believe it until I see the first months rent.

I went by the house after work to take the sodas out of the fridge and make one last check for bugs and weeds. If they see a live bug in the first 30 days I have to pay for an exterminator so I have tried very hard but unfortunately bugs crawl up the drains here so I'm kind of expecting to have to pay.

That also means that I can't get any more water from the house. I should have enough until the rains and after that I will have the money for a water meter so that I can haul water from the local water company. I found out today that my neighbors are moving. They are the ones that were walking my dogs for me. I am sad that they are going. I wonder if they will be selling any of their water tanks or their water hauling trailer. I'll have to ask.

When I got home today I accidentally ran over one of my wire dog crates. The sun was in my eyes and I didn't see that the wind had blown it over. I tried to straighten it but the welded spots started to break. I think it is still usable just not very pretty any more. Darn. That was my best crate.

Well, hopefully I will see some rent money soon and then I can pay off this mortgage and start on making this property a great place to live.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Another World

I was about to put my new registration sticker on my truck when I looked at the license plate and decided it was time for a new one. I happen to have one of the defective plates where the top clear layer de-laminates and peels off around the raised numbers and letters. The new plates are all flat so hopefully they won't have that problem.

I went off to the MVD at lunchtime and hoped that it wouldn't take too long(haha). I got my number and sat down, staring at the Now Serving' sign intently. Numbers came up and went away and I waited and waited. While I waited I heard an abnormal amount of bad words from the loud conversations around me. The two "ladies" next to me were discussing who they were dating, had dated and would like to date as well as who was cheating on whom and who they would like to beat up. Nice.

Another young "lady" was getting numerous phone calls from her significant other who was not saying anything nice. There was a lot of whining and crying and then bad words and then pleading and hanging up on the person. This was repeated over and over until the "ladies" sitting next to me got up and moved away from our area. The people behind me decided to play some home movies of what sounded like their children in a school play shouting out the lines in Spanish. I can only think that they were trying to drown out the whining "lady". They guy in front of my with the headphones was very smart. I hope they were the noise cancelling kind.

After an hour of staring at the Now Serving board and the advertisement/gossip screen next to it (Giselle is introducing a new line of flip-flops, oh boy!) my number finally came up and I got my new flat license plate for $5. Another chore off my list. Now I am going to go back in to my own little world and try to block out that hour.

After that I had to go pick up my dog from the vet and then it was back to the office only an hour late. My boss didn't even mention it. Then at 5 I stopped by my rental house and happened to meet some people looking at the house for rent next door. They wanted to see my house too so I gave them the tour. They really liked my house but I was trying to politely tell them that the school district is terrible compared to the one they are coming from. Oh well, maybe they will homeschool.

I'm just glad it is finally Friday.