My Landlord Diary

This Page for Real Esate Investors highlights some of my Landlord/Project Manager Experiences

This is for informal informational purposes only based on my experiences.  I made this page to share some of my experiences being that my family has been Houston real estate investors since the 1940s.  Again this page is just for fun and information, please speak to an attorney if you need legal advise.

Experience #1 Maintaining the old Papas Properties as a kid

I remember as a kid cutting the grass on the south side of Houston off of Scott and Reed Road.  It was my Great Grandfather's properties.  I remember having to be careful not to step on needles left in the lots off the side of the road by people struggling; now it is one of the hottest real estate markets in the U.S. in my opinion.

Experience #2 Judge the Tenant by their ways and history not just profession. 2nd chances? Maybe.

I remember an attorney on the North side of Houston that used to rent a house from my Mom.  He was an arrogant man, always being late on his rent; until finally he was evicted.  I learned as a real estate investor in Houston; in some situations, if you let a tenant push their luck without paying rent, some tenants will try to take advantage of it if you allow.  On the flip side, sometimes it's good to give good tenants a second chance, many times it turns out to be a great business decision.  Just look at each situation on a case by case bases.  Remember, don't be soft, but good landlords, in my opinion will be judged by how many people they helped be comfortable and have a roof over their head and peace wherever they may rent.

Experience #3 A number of combinations can make your life easier when you have 1 or Multiple Props.

Set your own Combination locks can protect your property and save time by you not having to worry about loosing your key.  I've been using combination locks for 10 years now and I love them as they make my life as a landlord / project manager much easier.  I noticed a few years back that the City of Houston also uses these locks you can find at Home Depot or Lowes.  Sometimes on my Gates, I'll put a solar light to help me see the numbers at night.

Experience #4 He said She said Evictions

I remember years ago at one of my Mom's properties in 3rd ward Houston Texas (a hot real estate investor market), there was an unruly tenant that was accused of doing bad things at a rent house.  On top of this, after so many chances they were very behind on the rent.  During the eviction process I just stuck to the non-rent payment issue so not to drag things out.  They tried to say the project manager/ landlord had no right to collect rent owed from them and was just bugging them.  The judge told them a landlord coming to reasonably leave notice to collect rent is not a form of harassment.  Of course we won the case and got back possession of the property.  When evicting someone, try to give them a chance first, then if you must evict go to court and try to stick to the primary breach with every other issue in the periphery.  This is just my strategy; but remember, if reasonable, always try to give a second chance, but not unlimited chances.  You will find many more good tenants than bad in my experience; sometimes the ones you learn the most from are the ones you tried to help the most.

Experience #5 OMG is this guy trying to attack me Part 1

I remember one time on Houston's South side near University of Houston and TSU, this guy was on my property trespassing, loudly arguing with someone on the phone and blocking the driveway.  This was before I had a gate in front of the property.  He was agitated for a reason that I had nothing to do with and I had no idea of.  I asked him to please not block the parking lot.  He became violent immediately, yelling, what did you say to me boy, I'll whip your a$$ (summarizing the confrontation).  Perhaps because this was many years ago and I looked very young to be a boss he tried to intimidate me.  Notice to all young Real Estate Investors, people will try to test you because of your age; be strong, and kind, and forgiving, but stern when needed.  I said to the man,  sir please don't make this a big deal, I don't want any problems, he then grab a near by rock and said he would bust my head open.  I politely backed up and got my big  100 lbs all black German Shepherd Dog named Chief from behind the wall.  The dog had protection training and was ready to go at the guy.  I told the guy leave now or my dog will attack.  The man left and never returned.  The next day I added a gate to restrict public access to the property later I added security cameras outside.