The Essential Qualities Of A Good Landlord In New York

Interviewer: What would you say are some of the most important things about being a landlord?

Glen Malia: Being a landlord is actually a business and it should be treated like a business and that you know in order to make money, you have to do it as a business and that the building should not -- and basically, it’s all part of the business that the property should begin a business entity so that the landlord has no personal liability for things that happen in the building in terms of personal legal liability. That’s probably no. 1. And because treating like a business encompasses all those things about getting rid of a bad tenant, doing the proper background checks, it’s good you’ve tenants and things of that nature. Thing no. 2 is that the real asset, the real money making for a landlord is not in that monthly rent that comes in. I mean the monthly rent that comes in is garbing of the cover, the quest of the building, the mortgage of the property taxes and the upkeep and things of that nature.

The Real Worth of a Property Does Not Lie in the Rent Rather in the Equity of a Building

But the real value for a landlord is that the equity of building in the building usually tenants rent and your appreciation and value of the building, so that’s real -- it’s very, very important to keep the building in good repair. By keeping the building the repair, you’re going to have better tenants, number 1, and then number 2 is the building will retain -- it retains its value and appreciates quicker. And that’s where the real money is made by landlord not necessarily the rent that comes in. the rent that comes in, it’s got to be a positive cash flow but you know the big, big bucks are made when you either sell the building or because the equity has increased and you mortgaged and paid down, you can refinance the building, get out a tax free cash from the building that you can use for other things and stuff like that. And those are the real two big things that I have to sort of remind the landlords about, those two big areas. And as I said, treating the buildings like a business is the important because that encompasses so much of what I find the landlords don’t do.

Landlords are Often Too Soft Hearted and Not Business Oriented

Interviewer: Do you think that landlords in a certain way differ from the general public? Do you think that sometimes that people can take advantage of a landlord’s position?

Glen Malia: Well, there’s two points in that question. The answer is yes, most landlords are basically I don’t want to say too soft but landlords -- because you’re dealing with someone and where someone lives -- I mean you don’t, that’s why, want to throw the person out on a street, by evicting them and something like that. So, yes, landlords are sometime -- many landlords are sometimes too easy going, not business oriented enough and too willing to accept the tenant’s explanation/excuse for not paying the rent on time and things of that nature.

Landlords are sometimes, too easy going and, you know, willing to look the other way when the tenants, until they’re bad, now willing to admit their mistake of letting a bad tenant in, you know, accepting a bad tenant and not requiring that the tenant follow the rules or regulations you’ve laid down and things of that nature.

The Laws Are Written in Many Jurisdictions to Benefit the Tenant Rather than the Landlord

Yes, I see as a part of human nature. You’re dealing with people, okay. You’re not selling cars or something like that where you know every -- you want to maximize every dollar and you’re dealing with people and you don’t want to kick people out. Then, the second part of the question is do tenant have the upper hand? And the answer is absolutely yes in many, many reasons but what laws are written in many jurisdictions to benefit the tenants more than the landlords, okay. As I said, in New York state the eviction law called the real property actions are proceedings law and the type of case is called the summer proceeding, those laws are written in a very specific and smallest little mistake will cause the landlord to have the case dismissed, and tenants who give him the ability to obviously always -- I mean as if one has to defend the case but even you, as the landlord, if you win a case and the judge says “The tenant’s going to be evicted”, the tenant can still come back into court you know in order to stop the eviction by filing what’s called a Notary Show Cause ask the judge “You know, I need more time before I can, you know, get to my new place” and the courts will always sign that.

Tenants Have the Upper Hand as Far as New York State is Concerned

There’s no other laws kind of written in favor of the tenants but judges once again partially because they’re dealing with human beings and they’re dealing with maybe throwing a family with little kids down the street or into a homeless shelter, the judges will bend over backwards to no. 1 to make sure every little element of the statutes comply with the number 2 that the tenants are not thrown out on a street if there’s any way it could be avoided. So, tenants do absolutely have the upper hand.

Malia Law, LLC located in Cortlandt Manor, NY represents Landlords/Tenants throughout Westchester County, Putnam County and Southern Dutchess County, NY.

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