How to Be a Successful Landlord Using the KLOP Method

When you own rental property, it can be a great investment but it means you have to be a landlord. It means you have to deal with tenants! I currently have some great tenants, but you wouldn’t believe the tenants I have had over the years. I have had drug addicts, criminals and wife-beaters. I had a tenant that I kicked out because he had an affair with my girlfriend.

A few years ago I evicted a 60-year old woman because her house got raided by the police because they were dealing drugs and they lost all of their money in the raid. She took me to court to try to get the eviction thrown out and she showed up in a walker and a neck brace and she told the judge that she had a broken back. The judge was very sympathetic because it turned out that he had back surgery recently. Luckily I won that case because I had the right legal help.

When I was a young guy I would look over the Pomona Valley and see all of the buildings and wonder “who owns all of this? Why can’t that be me?” I have always had a strong interest in owning property. I bought my first house when I was 21 years old. It was a 4-bedroom single family home in Montclair. I rented the rooms out to different people and they paid my mortgage and I lived there for free. Sounds pretty cool right?

Thankfully most of my rental investments have worked out over the years but I have lost a lot of money learning how not to manage properties.

In this article, I would like to share what I have learned for anyone that might want to be a landlord. I have a few tips that can help make you successful.

Tip Number 1 – Be a Keeper with Cash (KC)

What I mean by the “keeper with cash” is that you have to treat your rental property like a business. You aren’t doing it for fun… First you have to know your expenses and make sure you are making enough money to make it all worth it. You have to consider your mortgage, taxes, insurance AND property management, repairs AND vacancies. A vacancy means you will lose rent for about two months and you will have to make some repairs. It could cost as much as $5,000 and you don’t want that to wipe you out every time it happens. Once you figure out all of your expenses, be sure that you will make a small profit, not dig yourself into a hole.

Tip Number 2 – Be a likeable but not too likeable landlord (LL)

You want to be likeable but not too likable – you want to treat your tenants as though they are your customers – because that’s what they are. You have to be prepared to make things right when things break, like an air conditioner or a roof leak. The reason is, if you have done a good job getting a great tenant into your property, you want to keep them there. Remember I explained before how a vacancy can cost a lot of money.

At the same time, what do you do if the tenant asks if they can be late on the rent because their wife is in the hospital and they lost their job and the dog died… and their uncle was abducted by aliens? When that happens, you have to do what it takes and you go back to tip #1. Your bank really doesn’t care about your problems or your tenants problems because they are running a business. That’s the attitude you must have.

Tip number 3 – Be an organized owner (OO)

Use a lease. Set up your rules and follow them. For example, I have a rule that a tenant has to make at least 2.5 or 3 times the rent and have a credit score of 550 to 650 or higher (depending on the area). Charge late fees of the rent is late. Document everything – don’t agree to things verbally – put them on paper. If the rent is late, I start the eviction process the following day after it’s late. You can’t wait around and you have to be ready to do an eviction. Make sure you have the resources and know how to initiate an eviction.

Tip Number 4 – Be a picky proprietor (PP)

What I mean by that, is that you must weed out the bad apples. This is the most important tip. You have to interview prospective tenants, pull their credit, check their criminal record, call their employer to verify employment, and talk to their previous landlord. You can really prevent bad people from getting into your property and avoid headaches, evictions, and property damage by taking this step.


I have done evictions and cash-for-keys, and I’ve been to court several times and obtained judgments that never get paid. I have lost thousands of dollars and what all of that taught me is that you must KLOP your way to success. Treat you property like a business, take care of your good tenants, be organized and professional, and most important of all… screen out bad tenants before they become your problem.


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