No. of Recommendations: 1
Cash flow is what kills small businesses, which is what you are as a landlord, so that's a permanent front burner item. Looking at doing something about the furnace is a good step at this time. Do things like that before winter converts inconvenience into emergency. Look closely at any other biggies as well, especially at the water heater, the roof and the major appliances, if you supply those. Look for anything that might pose a liability risk like broken or heaved sidewalks, damaged/rotted porches and decks, re-key locks between tenants and check that doors and windows are in good repair and secure. Make a phone list of your preferred repairmen and service companies and keep it handy. Vet them before adding them to the list. If you go out of town you may want to give that list to the tenant. I have.

Get familiar with landlord/tenant law in your area. There are some surprises in there for those who haven't been on the owner side before. Browse back through this board for some unhappy tales with good lessons. Happily, with rare exceptions, nearly all those tales could have been avoided with due diligence. There are standard lease forms that you should use. Stationery stores, if any are left, are where I used to get them.

Above all, do not plan for 100% occupancy. Be prepared for some vacancy between tenants for any number of reasons, some predictable and some not. I plan for 75% and consider everything above that to be gravy.

Good luck and I hope it goes as well for you as it has for me.
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