If you are a potential real estate investor or even a tenant, how do you check on the owner of a rental property? Each week veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi answers questions from other landlords and property managers around the country about their rentals. Here is this week’s question:
Dear Landlord Hank,
How can I check on an owner of a property?
Let me tell you how I check on owners.
As a property manager, I want to make sure the owner of the rental property that I am being asked to rent, is in good standing with homeowners association (HOA if there is one) and also is not in pre-foreclosure or foreclosure with the lender, again, if there is one.
I start off by asking the owner these questions and telling them I need to be able to verify these things. If HOA won’t tell me this information even with permission from owner, then I ask owner to provide letter of good standing with HOA.
You don’t want to rent a property that is in foreclosure without being aware of the situation.
Look for signs of deferred maintenance on the rental property
I also look critically at the property for signs of deferred maintenance. If the rental property is not being kept up lack of money is often the root cause.
As a Realtor, one of the first things I check is the tax record of the property. I want to make sure the owner of the property in the tax records is really the person claiming to be the owner.
You can see when property was bought by this owner. So, I often interject that into the conversation with the question, “How long have you owned the property?” Of course I already know the answer.
Not sure why you are asking but I hope this helps.
About the author Landlord Hank:
“I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc , in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta. “ Visit Hank’s website here.