Landlord. The word conjures the image of a Feudal Lord towering over peasants toiling in the field. Or, if you are a product of the 70's like me, Mr. Roper from the sitcom Three's Company. The sour, tired, anti-everything landlord. If you are to thrive in today's world, you need to understand that you are a housing provider and the residents in your properties are your clients; your customers. People who are deserving of your time and attention.
Our economy has suffered over two years of COVID, eviction moratoriums and runaway inflation from stimulus money and the Russia-Ukraine war. While most housing providers are enjoying rising rents and low vacancies so far, about one-third of Ohio renters are struggling to pay their rent according to the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio. And things are getting worse.
We only have two choices: remain housing providers and cope with these looming problems or sell our rentals and invest elsewhere. Either way, it's a tough decision. Experts predict the economy will keep declining for years to come due to endless government stimulus, supply chain problems, war, etc. Stimulus funds helped but inflation is crushing lower-income residents. Government stimulus money assisted unemployed residents when businesses shut down, but out-of-control inflation has thrown our economy into a tailspin. All of us feel the pain of steeper prices when buying groceries and gas, but these high bills are crippling many residents - especially in affordable housing neighborhoods. Many residents already live paycheck-to-paycheck and recent increases in the cost of necessities have stretched their budgets to the brink. This is not sustainable and experts predict many won't be able to cover their basic living expenses in the near future as gas and food prices continue to rise in 2022.
Today, housing providers everywhere are facing new and even greater problems due to the fall out from over two years of COVID restrictions and out-of-control inflation. While looking for answers to the issues I faced in my own business, I began writing From Landlord to Housing Provider: How to Thrive in a Post-COVID World to help other struggling housing providers. To expand on my own research and 20 years of experience, I consulted with real estate attorneys, housing agencies, government officials and housing providers across the US to find solutions. My book is a brutally honest wake-up call that exposes current and future threats to the rental property industry and serves as a valuable reference guide jam-packed with ideas, strategies and resources to help you navigate these unpredictable times, assist your residents, protect your bottom line and prepare for what’s coming next.
Most evictions boil down to one thing - no money to pay the rent. But funds are available for rent and utility payments to day due to the pandemic. The problem is that most residents (and housing providers) don't know where to look or how to access this money. The best way to ensure your residents can pay their rent is to educate them about these resources BEFORE they run into economic problems.
I addition to rent, residents experiencing financial hardship also need money for food and utilities. Before thinking, "It's not my job to babysit my residents", remember that many are under extreme economic pressure today. It IS our job to let them know we can help them get the funds they need to avoid eviction and stay in their homes. My upcoming book lists Columbus-area rent/utility payment assistance agencies, food pantries, job placement services and more. Contact me ASAP if you have a resident struggling financially or being evicted and I'll email you my free tenant aid guide. Rentful614 (www.rentful614.com) also has great resources.
Frankly, I suggest that you don't sell unless you know the secret IRS loopholes to completely avoid capital gains taxes AND you have a good place in which to reinvest your money. But, if you need cash or you're ready to retire (or if you're just burned-out from tenants, toilets and trash), answer these questions to verify that you are maximizing your profit and avoiding taxes:
If you answered "yes" to both 1 and 3, you're ready to call a Realtor to list your property.
If you replied "no" to 1 or 3, contact me for free information on how to boost your profit and possibly reduce your taxes to zero* using new and little-known IRS loopholes.
* I am not a lawyer, accountant or tax advisor and I don't play one on TV! So I can't give legal, accounting or tax advice. But I'm happy to offer suggestions of what I might do in your situation. Share these ideas with your attorney or tax advisor for their professional opinion.