Have you ever needed to touch up a wall or door and not knowit what color to buy? it is rare to buy a building that has records that will lead you directly to the right color chart, but you can at least make sure that anytime a building you own gets painted the location of the painted surface is Identified in your records along with the type. brand. and color name of the paint used. it is also a good idea to keep the color chart or at least cut the color sample out of one. When selling a properly, records like this demonstrate that you are over the top In maintaining your property. The efficiency of this kind of record could also extend to tiles and other types of flooring.

Personal Property That Remains

If you are a landlord, there will be times when a tenant moves out but leaves behind a ton of personal property. Worse is a fully stocked refrigerator (that belongs to you), and worse still is the fact that he or she moved out two weeks ago because the electric company shut off the power due to nonpayment of the electric bill. You may never get the smell out of that apartment. just as you will never find out how all those cockroaches were able to get inside the refrigerator. You can have all the provisions in your lease that you want, and none of them will ensure you that this will not happen. When the decision to leave comes, tenants will leave in the middle of the night. sometimes taking the refrigerator, stove. AC units, and more with them. The junk they leave behind is yours to deal with. So. what can you do? First of all, make sure you have a sufficient security deposit to cover part of your cost to return the unit to full rental capacity. Second, be on the lookout the moment a tenant is late in the rent. Tenants sometimes take the position that the security deposit can he used as the last month’s rent. Even though the lease says this is not the case, they will take that position. Either you or your property management team should pay a visit to the property. make an inspection of the property, and continue vigilance. This may stop the theft, but likely ‘lot the junk left behind.  

Pest Control

The most prudent pest control is to keep trash from building up in or around a building. Periodic spraying for insects can be effective, but it is rarely foolproof. In residential buildings, a combination of yard and interior control is the best when tied to tenant observance of certain rules. One good rule is to make sure that garbage inside the apartment is in a container that has a top to keep the insects from having access to their food source. Another way to cut down on cockroaches is to purchase a box of roach tablets and put one in the drip pan under the refrigerator w remove their source of drinkable water. Prior to buying a property, you should question the current tenants to ascertain if there any problems-one of the problems might turn out to be a pest infestation. Call this to the seller’s attention and seek remedy prior to closing.


Plumbing. like electrical service, Is often out of sight. Original drain lines might be made of inferior products that might not even be allowed in your area today. it might be necessary to find a set of the original building plans to ascertain how the building was constructed, what path the drain line takes, what material was used, and whether a building permit was issued and later inspection made for all the plumbing work.

Pool Service

A commercial pool must have the right kind of filtration and sanitation equipment to meet most local codes. Have a professional pool contractor check it out, and seek remedy prior to closing if It does not. Other pool problems can be costly to repaîr even for smaller single-family pools. Pools in small multifamily properties should have strict rules as to use to ensure that 3 AM. skinny-dip parties do not occur (at least you should be invited).


This is the single item in this list that can save you from making a tragic mistake. Simply asking questions, and of course listening to the answers. Most answers will prompt another question until you finally have exhausted the knowledge of the person or persons you are asking. Basically there are no wrong questions, and never too many questions. To educate yourself w be able to make a judgment about the property and the area, continue to ask questions. You must be careful of asking too few questions   because you believe you have all the information available or all that you need. If the element is a critical one, be sure to verify the answers you get by asking another source, and if there is conflict then seek a third or even fourth source. Most people who go to a government department tend to be intimidated to a certain degree. li might not be the fault of the individual who works there: it is just natural to assume that because a person stands behind the counter he or she is an expert in the subject at hand. I always prompt my question sessions like this: “I am looking at certain properties in this county and need to make sure I do not make any mistakes. I have been directed to this emergency response department (or whatever) to find out what natural forces may affect this county over a reasonable period of years, such as fires, floods, storms, and the like. Can you direct me to someone who has been in this department for a number of years who would be able to talk to me about this?” What you never want do is to embarrass people by directly asking them your main question without finding out if they have any knowledge on the subject. Give [hem a reasonable out by simply asking for them to refer you to the more experienced person without saying that they may not be experienced.

Recreation Leases

Some properties, such as residential subdivisions, condominium complexes, trailers. mobile homes, manufactured home subdivisions, and rental projects may have a separate recreation area for which there is a use fee or lease for users. For ownership properties, there may be a provision in the lease that will allow the owners of the properties given access to the area to purchase the property. thereby ending the lease. This sounds good, but what are the mechanics of this purchase, and who will look after the maintenance, repair. and management of the recreation area? These are all potential problems. Ask questions until you are satisfied with the answers.


Fvery state wants to claim you as a resident. Where this becomes a problem is the fact that as a resident of one state you cannot legally be a resident of another. You can be a resident of New York and spend much of your time, even most of your time, away from New York. But as a resident of New York you cannot, for example. claim homestead exemption in the state of Florida. You should learn the rules of your state, and if you own or rent a residence in more than one state you should ask your lawyer what options you have to change your residency from one state to another. You could possibly save a lot of money that way. By the way. if you are unsure about your actual residency. it will be the state where you vote in local and other elections.  


We live in a world of restrictions, arid they can control use, occupancy, pets, common areas, rental potential. workers, movers, parking, security force, utilities, and more. Prior to purchase or rental of any property you should ascertain what restrictions are imposed. They will be imposed by local codes, subdivision deed restrictions or rules, homeowner rules, condo documents, rental agreements, and rules and restrictions of the building or complex.

Log in to comment