REI WEALTH MONTHLY Issue 31 - Page 35

LANDLORDS AND LAND TRUSTS RANDY HUGHES There are other distinct benefits to not being the “owner” of rental real estate. When I was a younger landlord (with two young daughters) the last thing I wanted was an irate tenant (who was being evicted by the “owner.”) to come knocking on my door where I lived to seek retribution. With the easy access to courthouse records that the internet provides looking up the owner of a property is easier than ever. Many of the benefits to holding title in a Land Trust relate to personal safety like the example above. Another personal story to drive home this point was the landlady in Florida who called me and wanted to know how quickly she could put her property into Trust (and get the title out of her name). Seems that one of her male tenants was taking an interest in her. The tenant had looked her up online and found eight properties that she owned in her own name. Armed with this information the tenant was going to each property and knocking on the door looking for her. It never occurred to me before she called that titling your property in a Land Trust could help avoid a stalker! Being a property manager and not an owner is a MUCH better position to be in when dealing with tenants. It puts you in a different light. One with less authority and less ability to change things. It is similar to actors having agents to negotiate their movie contracts. Actors are good at what they do, but not necessarily good at negotiating on their own behalf. Furthermore, it takes confrontation out of the equation and always allows the agent/manager the ability to say, “The owner will not let me do that” or “I will talk to the owner about your request and get back to you.” This lets you back off and think about the tenant’s request with a clear head and a lack of emotion.