As a landlord I learned a lot of things through trial and error. The trial part was okay as long as the results were what I was expecting. The error part was costly. It was years later that I discovered the National Apartment Association. Even though I have been through the school of hard knocks when it comes to being a landlord, I still learn new things by being a member of this organization. I started out with one house I rented to a friend. That was my first mistake.
I bought a home that was up for a tax sale. It had been cleared of all liens to be sold for just the tax amount due on it. I got a home that was worth six times the price I paid for it. I put a few thousand dollars into it to make it nicer and to pass inspection. I did the work myself. The previous owner’s relatives took the furnace, so that was the biggest expense. The supplies to renovate the bathroom were not that expensive, and I did the work myself. It passed inspection from the local authorities, and I decided to accept Section 8 housing vouchers for rent because I was renting to a friend who did not have much.
Well, my friend took advantage of me in not taking care of the place. I ended up having to evict him, and that ended our friendship. The damage cost me about six grand to repair. That was doing most of the work myself! I had to remove all the carpets and then hire a company to deodorize the house. Then I repainted, recarpeted and replaced three broken windows. I am not saying I would never rent to someone I supposedly know again, but I will certainly make sure to have all the legal aspects covered. My main mistake was not having my friend sign a lease contract. Our agreement was verbal, and it was not worth the paper it was printed on!