Archive for the ‘Terry Sprouse’ Category

Funniest Tenant Screening Stories

Monday, June 4th, 2012

This guest post is from Endre Rex-Kiss, an online marketing, social media and human resource enthusiast. He currently represents FidelisAM, a US based agency providing employment and resident screening services. Follow his occasional guest blogging activities on Twitter.

Tenant screenings is the way to go if you want quality tenants and most landlords come across potential tenants who are either not what they claim to be or have serious behavioral problems. This article takes a look at the funniest screening stories landlords have had and their aftermaths. So sit down, relax or better still grab a cold bottle of beer to nurse while you go through the experiences below.

The Estranged Wife

A couple with no kids moved into a 4 bedroom duplex in the suburbs, the house and environment provided the perfect scenery for the couple but there was only one problem and it was that of meeting up with their mortgage payments. So they decided to put a room up for rent. The necessary adverts were created and finally a prospective client came knocking, he was the perfect tenant for he claimed to be single, had no pets, did not smoke, drink, do drugs and had a well-paying job. This obviously was too good to be true so the couple decided to hire an agent to conduct a little screening on him. After two days, the agent returned to tell the couple that they had been invited to have dinner with the previous landlord of their prospective tenant. On getting there, they were told that the tenant usually preys on sympathetic landlords and if you fall into his trap by renting a room to him, he would move in, behave for some days but a week later a woman who would claim to be his estranged wife would come visiting for some time and then finally move in with a cat. They would then proceed to co-habit like pigs, steal your property and when rent is due, disappear like thieves in the middle of the night.

Ghost Tenants

A couple responded to a landlord’s accommodation advert, they came to see the Landlord and professed that they loved the apartment and would be willing to rent it for the long term. The landlord was convinced that they were the perfect tenants so when the wife came calling the next day without her husband (due to the supposed fact that he works late) to ask for the keys to the apartment so she could look through it, the landlord duly obliged. A day passed, the lady did not return, two passed and she was still missing. The landlord quickly called his agent who conducted a quick search only to find out that the woman and her husband had already moved into the apartment. The police was called and the couple quickly evicted.

Dead beat Prospective Tenant

An agent once recommended a tenant who had the best recommendations ever; he had a good job, perfect credit and good relationships with his previous landlords. A meeting day was fixed and the prospective client shows up with a dead beat car and the attitude of someone who was one step ahead of the law. The landlord who needed to rent his facility out as soon as possible, overlooked this tell-tale signs and had agreed to lease the apartment to the tenant. The recommended signatures had already been traded and an upfront deposit had been made but as luck would have it, a police officer who was driving randomly through the neighborhood spotted the prospective tenant, felt his face was familiar and got down to trade some questions. Suddenly, the tenant bolted and a foot race began. The tenant was finally apprehended and the landlord discovered that the name, details and personal information given by his perfect tenant had nothing in common with the tenant.

The Thief

A couple came with an agent to view a landlords property, after going through it, they decided it was perfect and would be signing the necessary papers the following day but there was just one issue, they needed the house repainted. The landlord obliged, carried the necessary equipment to the house and started painting. He painted into the night and decided to spend the night there instead of returning home late. In the middle of the night, he began to hear strange noises at the side of the house, quickly he got up to investigate and on getting there, he found his prospective tenant trying to detach an A/C unit.

These stories show that conducting an in-depth screening which should include: former landlord credit checks, recommendations and past criminal activities are highly recommended.

Upcoming Speaking Engagement – Terry Sprouse (author of Fix em Up Rent em Out)

I will be making a presentation to the Arizona Network of Real Estate Investors. Mark your calendars.

Where:
Fidelity National Title, 6760 N. Oracle Road, Suite 100, Tucson, AZ

When:
June 7th, 2012

Time:
Meeting begins at 5:30 pm, presentation at 6:00 pm

Title: The 5 Rules on How to Lose Money & Get Your Rental Property Trashed by Tenants

Now is the Time to Start Meandering into Fixer Upper Houses

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Yep, that's me painting a fixer-upper house

If your circumstances are such that it is impossible for you to start investing in real estate today, you can start by just meandering in that direction. You can program your mind to pay attention to anything related to real estate. Cut articles out of the newspaper, buy books at book sales, ask friends and co-workers how they purchased their house, watch for free classes or seminars.

If you don’t start following your dream now, you may never do it. There’s a lot more to life than just making a living by working at an uninspiring job.

Start to Prepare Yourself

You can be constantly learning and preparing for the day you will purchase your first fix-up property. Virtually anything you need to know is available to you through books, audio recordings, workshops, seminars, public education programs, consultants and training programs.

I meandered for approximately 11 years before purchasing my first investment property. Now I wish I had started sooner, but you can’t begin until you have the desire and the knowledge. Sometimes, desire and knowledge can be acquired simply by observing someone else operating a successful business.

Reason to Not Invest and Reasons to Invest

There are always reasons not to invest in real estate. The most common reason used to be that people thought house prices were too high. Now, the situation has reversed itself and housing prices are at historic lows.

The time is ripe to start meandering in the direction of Fixer Upper Houses.

See What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood

You might want to check out how low houses are selling for in your neighborhood. You might be surprised.

You can find housing prices at Zillow.com or on the multiple listing service (MLS).

New Fixer Upper Course Now Available

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009


My new audio course entitled “Fixer Upper and Rental House Start Up Kit” is now available!

It’s specifically designed for the beginning investor who wants to learn through the convenience of listening to audio recordings. I start from the beginning and guide you through all you need to know to get started.

Audio #1 is Start Your Own Fix Up and Rental Business
This recording takes you though the steps you need to know to get going including identifying target neighborhoods, doing due diligence, paying for rental properties, how to do taxes.

Audio #2 is How to Manage Tenants and Enjoy It
Tenant issues are what detour many people from this business, but follow the time tested techniques that I use and you will find that managing tenants is a lot easier than you thought.

Audio #3 is How to Learn to Make Repairs
I did not start this business with many repair skills. But I learned as I went along, and you can too.

#4 Documents and Contracts
This includes the nuts and bolts you will need to run your business. You receive a form to screen tenants, application forms for tenants, eviction notices, sample letters to tenants, tables that allow you to calculate how much your monthly payments will be when purchasing a house, and much more. These are the forms that I use in my own business.

The Start Up Course includes a 14-page workbook that I have written to further guide you along the way to starting your business.

And for a limited time, I am offering a bonus download with an electronic copy of my award-winning book “Fix em Up, Rent em Out.”

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How to Learn the Skills to Repair Houses, part 1

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I recently received a question asking, “My background is not in the building trades. How do I learn the required skills to start a business in repairing houses and renting them out?”

In terms of how to learn to repair houses, I will answer that question in two parts. The first part today, and the second half of my answer will be in a subsequent blog article.

How to learn the appropriate skills:

1. Learn by doing. When Orson Wells directed his first movie, “Citizen Kane,” he said that he felt “like a kid with a giant train set.” One nice thing about buying a fix-up house is that it’s like having giant practice house, where you can practice learning to do repairs. Since the house is already pretty well beat up, its OK if you make a few mistakes along the way. You can always go back and correct them later.

My philosophy is that the best way to learn is by doing. Granted, you have to gradually work your way up, if your are beginning near the bottom. At first you will have to hire out for most of the moderate or difficult repairs. Make sure you watch, or assist in doing, the repair when you pay someone to do it. That way you can do it, or at least do part of it, the next time you encounter the same situation.

Just last week, I had to hire someone to repair my air conditioner in a house that I am living in and fixing up at the same time. I took time off my 9-5:00 job to be on the roof with the repairman and observe what he was doing. I saw all of the tests that he performed with the multi-tester to identify what was wrong. The problem turned out to be two capacitors that were blown. If a similar problem arises in the future, I will know how to check and replace the capacitors myself.

If you have to pay someone to make a repair for you, make sure that you get your money’s worth by watching the repairman, and learning how to do it yourself.

2. Take community college classes. Most community colleges offer courses in the building trades – plumbing, electrical wiring, air conditioning and furnace repair, and woodworking. For a fairly low price, you can learn how to make repairs like a pro by taking these classes. I have taken several classes and they have been well worth the investment of time and money. Besides leaning the skills in a supervised environment, you also learn how to use the correct tools in the proper manner. As part of the program, students are required to take an 8-hour OSHA course in how to be aware of work site dangers, to do work in a safe way, and to avoid accidents. I highly recommend that anyone who does repair work take the OSHA class.

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