10 Things even Donald Trumps Does.

This is list is in no particular order, kind of.

1 Run your apartments like a business.
Your unit(s) either being 1 or 10 is a business. Have business card, a separate number for your tenants to have. Have all or most  the forms you need to communicate with your tenants.

2 Screen your tenants

After they fill out your Application form and you Authorization to Release information form. Tell them that you will be calling their work, current and former landlords. Pull a credit report if you’re allowed to. You don’t have to do this yourself you can use a tenant screening company. Do I need to tell you to be sure you follow the law when it come you getting personal information.

3 Sign a lease.

A verbal agreement is not enough. The lease is a contract and spells out who is responsible for what and how it will be taken care of. Without this you are doomed. Do not use a free one you find on the internet or buy one from a big box store. Your real estate agent, lawyer, property manager, or fellow real estate investors can point or provide you with one. (Can i give you an example? In Chicago the lease is required to have the name and address of where the bank is that has the security deposit at, City ordinance. Both city and state have ordinances that require you to pay interest on the security deposit every year. Question on that or yours check for local and state ordinances.

4 Follow what the lease says.


After you signed a lease DO what it says. If you don’t take a late fee it’s hard to start later and you already set a precedence that you don’t take it. No pets means NO pet. Yes I know some of us don’t like to be confrontational if they don’t follow the rules you have the most to lose. There are negotiation books out there check my recommended reading for some.

5 Maintain your units.


One of the biggest reason people don’t pay their rent is due to the fact something is not to their liking. Either they broke something or the the window does not close right. Sometimes a person visit can get them to tell you. (Side note: had a tenant living in a building for many years kept it clean and no issues with him. Then one day went into his unit during the winter months a felt a draft from under his windows. It was not insulated correctly. Never complained about it but drafts inside cost me money. Addressed it ASAP) This is a reason why not i like to include inspections every quarter in the lease.


6 Communicate with your tenants.

Either by form letter or in person (best option in my opinion). It is best to keep many things in writing. Any work orders or Non Payments keep a log of what was said and performed (repairs) in the property.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t

7 Don’t be a charity.

If a tenant does not have the funds to pay off there are charities out there that help them out with rent. If you let them slide one month then it goes to two then three. That money comes out of your pocket that has to go pay for the bill and mortgage. Then is you evict them that 3 months of rent plus the eviction and more time they are there. Enforce late fees don’t make up what ever you want. Check local or state ordinances. Also be careful of using reduced rent if paid by X day. Could be in the ordinance, it is in Chicago.

8 Check for local or state ordinances or laws.

Be familiar with your local law or ordinances. “I didn’t know” will not cut it in court. It is your job to know. In Illinois and Chicago and some suburbs have their own ordinances. Lack of following them can cost you a lot of money. Would you like another example? If you don’t do how the ordinance say in Chicago can cost you 2-3 months rent as well as their attorneys fees. How is that for “I didn’t know”?

9 Have a plans.

If this tenant does not pay what do i do? If this tenant is not allowing other to live peacefully what do I do? If this breaks down who do i call? I get that you can’t have a plan for every issue. But do go to real estate investor meeting. Check online for blogs like mine.  As long as you have a community of others like you, you can call and ask for advice.

10 Be familiar with Fair Housing.

You need to know what this says, who is a protected class and how you can write or place ads. Click on the link below for the Federal version. Some states have amendments to this so check in your state.


Some issues will arise that will make you need to amend the rules. Either with Fair Housing or Local Ordinances. So keep up with the laws and its a good idea to have an ear of your elected officials.

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  1. Hulya

    Policies don’t matter at all. What materts is how much they want to keep you as a tenant and how much you want to stay. Your bargaining power is that at renewal time you have the right to walk away if they charge too much for you. Their bargaining power is that they can let it to someone else if they will pay more than you will.So you haggle.

    1. David Piotrowski

      Your right but if you leave as a tenant can the next place charge the same and the rented can be out moving cost and inconvenienced? You have to balance moving cost agiant paying higher rent. All rents are going up.

  2. David Piotrowski

    Thanks for you comment Travers what do you like about investing?

  3. Vhie

    I only do this on Non Owner Occ. properties, in CO we have some new laws that make fiipplng even the LLC or Trust beneficial interest a No-NO .Even if you get an acceptance letter with no resale for 60 days, you just sell the entity. This works for properties your selling to cash or hard money buyers. Flipping to owner occupants getting traditional financing, not going to fly because of the entity they need to close in their own name to get that kind of loan.

  4. Vagner

    I have tried to find ways to bring organic and suabsinatle food into some universities and in most cases, there were long term agreements in place with business as usual food operators that banned any possible initiative that we were able to find. In many cases these agreements were resisted by the own beneficiaries of the food (the students ) who often claim for better and smarter foods it looks like authorities in those universities have made those agreements long time ago when food knowledge was not great . the problem seems to be that business development should be never accepted if that somehow deteriorates health and sustainability. This is the challenge when food and business are mixed; in this cases INTEGRITY must be the name of the game.

  5. David Piotrowski

    FHA financing is 90 days so 60 is not bad

  6. David Piotrowski

    What does food have to do with the post?

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