Perhaps one of the most common reasons real estate investors never make it past their first rental and buy their second is a bad experience being a landlord. It’s the “I never want to go through that again” syndrome that gives investors second, third and fourth thoughts about acquiring another unit. Andhappy tenants and happy landlord that’s too bad because most unpleasant experiences can be avoided.

For example, a landlord has been out to the property four times in the past two weeks to fix some problem with the rental. First it was the sink disposal then the pilot light on the hot water heater kept going out and on and on. Who wants to buy a rental that constantly has things going wrong with it? No wonder there’s a bad sense of rental remorse. But a property that requires so much maintenance right out of the gate means the owner didn’t have a very thorough property inspection or more than likely made the inspection without the assistance of a licensed property inspector. Bad properties that will need constant maintenance can be avoided with the aid of a thorough inspection.

On the other side of the rental equation are the tenants. Good tenants not only pay their rent on time but also help keep the property maintained by keeping it cleaned and taking care of minor issues on their own. The sink disposal? Try pushing the reset button, works every time. Usually anyway.

And don’t take the short route when doing background checks and employment verifications. Whatever your rent is multiply it by three. That’s the amount your future tenants should show before any deductions are taken out. And don’t just verify employment by looking at pay check stubs, contact the employer by phone and verify the employment and position. Oh, and speaking of pay check stubs, the year to date income should make sense compared with gross monthly earnings. Is it the end of July, the seventh month, and gross monthly income is $5,000? Then the year to date total should also be $35,000.