How Absentee Landlords can Save Thousands of Dollars with One Simple Change

March 24, 2007

Managing a rental property from a distance can be a challenge for an absentee landlord. An important tip is to make sure the company that holds the mortgage for the rental property has your home mailing address on record as point of contact. If that’s not the case, make the change and avoid the unfortunate tale that follows.

Policy Changes
Some relatives of mine own a rental property in another state. Due to a policy change, their mortgage holder stopped withholding property tax as part of their escrow and no longer paid the property taxes. The company sent notification of the change to the rental address but my relatives never received the letter.

Unpaid Taxes
When the taxes hadn’t been paid, a certified letter was sent to the rental property address notifying the property owners the taxes were due but once again my relatives did not receive the letter.

Foreclosure
After a period of time the government foreclosed on the home and sold it to a real estate investor. When the current tenants received notice they had to move out they notified my relatives something was amiss. This is a property that they had owned for about 20 years and had appreciated tremendously in that time so they did everything they could to get the property back.

Expensive Lesson
After spending thousands of dollars in legal costs and a great deal of time, the buyer finally agreed to sell the property back to my relatives, plus fees, due to the circumstance of the original sale. The morale of the story is that keeping your home address as the point of contact for your mortgage company can save absentee landlords a lot of time and a lot of money.

Ben

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Ben

Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn’t like the other kids… His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he’s helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.


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Comments

5 Responses to How Absentee Landlords can Save Thousands of Dollars with One Simple Change

  • limeade

    Definitely a must to have your home address listed for all correspondence. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to run through a quick checklist either to make sure that everything has been paid. Taxes are the one payment that’ll never go away. Even if you have a management company take care of things, here’s a rule of thumb:

    Inspect what you expect.

    -limeade
    http://fiscalmusings.blogspot.com

  • bluntmoney

    I agree. Making sure your own mailing address is the only point of contact for EVERYTHING related to your rental property is very important. And it’s worth while to double-check that the change was actually made. It seems like people frequently think that it is a mistake, and want to “help out” by “fixing” your address.

    As a side note, did you know that your comment form doesn’t show up in Firefox? The name, mail, website portions do, but not the actual form.

  • efipo.com

    Good call. As of right now I still pick up the mail that randomly comes to my rental house. When I do have a permanent address again, I will be forwarding all my mail to either my new address or PO box.

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