Q: I own a couple of rental properties in Georgia, and live about 45 miles from them.
Here’s my problem: My tenants do not pay the rent on time – ever. When I evict one of them I seem to replace a bad tenant with another bad tenant. And I lose the money by having to pay to get rid of the first tenant and then because it takes me so long to find a new tenant.
How can I fix this problem? I’ve looked into Section 8, but one of the inspectors said my homes won’t qualify because of lead based paint. I put paneling on the walls, sheetrock in some rooms, and then painted the entire house but now he said I need new doors and windows.
A: You can check out the rules for Section 8 housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) website (www.hud.gov).
I’m not sure Section 8 is the way to go however. You may just need help better screening your tenants. Sometimes elderly individuals are better tenants because they pay on time, and usually stay for longer periods. Check your tenant’s credit. You might also offer to rent your property for a little less than the going rate, so that you have a wider tenant population from which to choose a good tenant. You should also talk to prospective tenant’s past landlords for on time payments.
There are some good books that can help you. Go to the library and see if you can find any of Robert Irwin’s books on renting property. You might also try looking for Robert Shemin’s “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor.”