Property Mgmt Archives

Earlier today, a Realtor was found dead in a shallow grave after an intensive 3 or 4 day search for her upon finding her car with purse and cell phone, sitting in the driveway of a house for sale. The Realtor had told her husband she was going to show a house to a buyer and was never seen again.

Mike Butler shared his law enforcement background tips for not only your personal safety and security, but also for all of your contractors and especially your loved ones.

News article below.

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  Beverly Carter  Realtor

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A parolee accused of abducting and killing a top-selling Arkansas real estate agent had contacted her to set up an appointment to view a vacant house, authorities said Tuesday, hours after discovering the woman’s body in a shallow grave at a concrete company.

Police found Beverly Carter’s body early Tuesday, five days after she went to show the house in a rural area near Little Rock and never returned. Authorities arrested Arron Michael Lewis, 33, on Monday on suspicion of kidnapping, and preliminary charges of capital murder and robbery were added after Carter’s body was found buried at a business where Lewis previously worked.

Lewis, who was on parole for theft convictions, pleaded not guilty to the preliminary charges and remained in the Pulaski County jail Tuesday without bond. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney, though Lewis told reporters Tuesday while he was being taken to be questioned by authorities that he did not kill Carter.

When asked why Carter was targeted, Lewis responded: “Because she was just a woman that worked alone — a rich broker.”

Pulaski County Sheriff’s Capt. Simon Haynes wouldn’t say how the 49-year-old Carter was killed or why, but described her as “a target of opportunity” for Lewis. He said Lewis scheduled the appointment to see the home in Scott, about 15 miles east of Little Rock, but wouldn’t say how Lewis learned that Carter was a real estate agent.

Haynes and Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay also wouldn’t say what linked Lewis to the crime.

Prosecutor Larry Jegley said his office is still reviewing the case and that it’s too soon to say whether he would seek the death penalty against Lewis.

“Events like this stain the soul of our community,” Jegley said. “They leave scars, and we know that. And we also know that many of y’all are wanting answers that simply can’t be given at this time.”

Friends, family members and fellow real estate agents joined the search for Carter throughout the weekend. On Tuesday, many of them attended a news conference, wearing red shirts to honor the mother and grandmother.

“If you had a sweet scale, it was Beverly, and then there was sugar, and then there was other sweeteners. That’s how sweet she was,” said David Goldstein, a real estate broker who worked with Carter for more than 10 years. “Now, she was pretty feisty too. In her professional life, if you were being protected by her as a Realtor, if you were her client, that sweet had some teeth.”



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Fair Housing Do’s and Don’ts
19 min Training Video
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WDRB 41 Louisville News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Police have arrested 54-year-old Anthony Jecker for shooting and killing another man at an apartment complex on Fegenbush Lane.

According to police, around 3 p.m. Jecker and his landlord got into an argument outside an apartment. 

They say the altercation then led to the suspect pulling out a gun and shooting the other man.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Neighbors and police both tell us that the apartment complex here on Norbrook drive and Fegenbush Lane is in a family friendly neighborhood, and this is very out of the ordinary.

“Someone decided to do something that, obviously, killed someone else and could have put a lot of people in danger.” LMPD spokesperson Dwight Mitchell said, “thankfully that was not the case, but unfortunately there was one person who did die from this.”

Neighbors say Jecker does live in the apartment complex with his wife and a dog.

They say his wife left in a police car. 

Jecker is charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence

link to full article


Short from Mike Butler

My prayers go out to this landlord and his family. Although at this time, the media has not released the name of the landllord who was killed by his own tenant, this is real life about how dangerous people are in today’s world. Even Mayberry, USA is not safe.

This should be a huge wake-up call to all rental property owners in how you communicate and treat your tenants. Odds are, this landlord was working his butt off to build for true financial freedom with his wife and family.

Please remember this landlord’s family in your thoughts and prayers.




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Odds are, if you are in the residential rental property world, you have heard or know an investor who has been scammed by one of the internet dirt-bags.

This is nothing new. Remember the online scam where the victim is sent an email from who knows where, reporting they have won or inherited a billion dollars? But in order to claim it, the victim must pay for the processing fees and government stamps, etc.

You and I both say “there’s no way anyone with any sense would fall for this.” But Guess What? It is still happening every day with normal folks. These scammers would NOT be doing this if it did not work.

Here is how I know it is still happening and the scammers are still getting money from victims. My banker told me just a few weeks ago, he gets one or two customers a week who want to wire money to these scammers. Unbelievable. The scams continue.

Even as a retired Louisville Police detective, I have been scammed on several of my rentals. Let me share with you how it works.

The scammer surfs the internet for houses for rent. They find an unlimited supply of homes for rent on various websites from,,,, and many more.

They find your rental house to target. The address is 123 Main St., Louisville, Ky 40207. It’s a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with finished basement and 2 car attached garage. The rent for this home is $1200.

Here is what usually happens in this rental property scam.

STEP 1: After finding your target property, they download your all of your photos and details about this property from the online source they viewed. Think about this for a moment. The scammer has everything you have entered on the internet for the public to view. PLUS, most of the time they can use Google Maps to drive down the street, see what is on the corner (Walgreen’s, McD’s, etc) and the scammer can describe your rental and the neighborhood in great detail.

STEP 2: The scammer enters ALL of the information on your rental by “Stealing and Pasting” into a Ad or any other website allowing investors to enter rental properties for free. The scammer lists the rent for your home at $899 which is a bargain for your rental home.

STEP 3: The Scammer’s ad will always have some kind of B.S. story about them being an “Out of Town Owner.” Some times they request a deposit up front and they will give them the key to see the home after receiving their money. They also inform the interested potential tenant that they have hired a local company to help get it rented and you might see their sign in the yard. Scammer tells them he is not satisfied with their service and he just decided to rent it himself or herself.

STEP 4: Unfortunately, many times the applicants actually send  money to the scammers and wait for the key to the house. After receiving no response, these folks then call the number on the yard sign and complain to the real owner (YOU) they want their money back. Don’t laugh, this is true.

You are totally blind-sided when you get this call. You are furious, ticked off, and want to find out exactly what is going on with your rental. Your jaw drops and you want to do something, take action now to stop it now.

What Can You Really Do? Think about it. Can you call the police? OK, what will the police do after hearing your story. First of all, you are NOT the victim. Your potential applicants are the victim. Who is going to pay for this? Who will get locked up and go to jail? Good Luck!

So what is a poor investor to do?

Here is your Best Tool To Prevent Your Leads from Being Scammed. It is simple and easy.

Your solution is shown below. Get some bright neon yellow paper and print.

Print 2 or 3 copies and place several on the inside of the front windows of your vacant rental and I promise, this will definitely get the attention of your prospective applicants.

To Your Continued $uccess,

Mike Butler


Attention Landlords and Property Managers

In my neck of the woods, we are having record setting extreme cold temperature that seem to keep lingering on and on. In the past, we are use to having a spike for a day or two and then warm weather returns.

This year, right now, Alaska is warmer than my hometown here in Louisville, Kentucky.

Frozen pipes can be a devastating blow to your wallet and bank account, especially when it seems to never leave.

Keep in mind, in my “Landlording On AutoPilot” system, we send a Resident Newsletter with each monthly billing of rent to our residents. Plenty of winter cold weather tips are always in each newsletter before the season hits us.

This year is different. It feels like we are living in the arctic or Siberia. In an effort to try to keep plumbing cost down, I created this email to send to all of our current residents.

Please note, I understand not every resident will follow these instructions, but if one resident does follow these instructions you have save money, time, and grief.


Here is the email. Feel free to steal and paste (copy and paste) to send to your residents (tenants).

Subject: “WARNING! How to Prevent Frozen Pipes and Headaches!


EXTREME COLD is happening and TONITE!


TIP: How to keep your pipes from freezing Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

Please Share Your Thoughts Below

Did You Know Giving Your Tenant A Project Can Be BOTH Your Time Saver and Money Saver?

“Project.” Is it a good word or a bad word in our world of real estate investing? Your mental knee jerk reaction is probably BAD.

Take a chill pill, settle down for a moment and you will learn how you can benefit with BOTH your time and MONEY by creating projects.

How many times has this happened to you?

One of your great long term tenants contacts you with a request for new carpet for their living room. (not the whole house, but just one room).

Do you have thoughts like…

  • Think about how good they have been by not being a pain?
  • Son of a #$#@, why now, I don’t have time for this problem and spending more money.
  • Perhaps a fear of not “giving in” to new carpet may cause them to move creating another vacancy?
  • How can I play ostrich, buy some time, postpone this expense for another year?
  • The carpet was new when they moved in, they don’t need new carpet if they would take care of it properly.
  • Thoughts switch to greed or “business”…hmm, upgrade with new carpet = higher rent?

Well, sit down and get ready to knock yourself in the noggin with a big stick.

Good Tenants are a rare breed today. They are on the endangered species list. I think I saw it on the Discovery Channel.



YOUR LIFE: Do you have a busy schedule EVERY DAY. Putting out fires, “riding the bull”, doing deals, paperwork, insurance, taxes, phone calls, messages, bills, payments, evictions, late charges, late notices, work orders, Family, plus a job?… sound familiar? I found myself in this rat race above for many years. If this is not you, you are a rare exception. Stick to it.

TENANT LIFE: (perhaps as we view it), let’s switch gears and step into their shoes. Watch late night TV. Sleep late. Coffee in the morning, Jerry Springer, soap operas, gossip tv, gossip phone calls, pizza delivery is a meal, getting ready to wait for the mailman to arrive, 2 hours spent preparing a grocery list,… WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS.

Now let’s go back to the carpet story.

Your knee jerk reaction is another problem.

WRONG, You should view this as an OPPORTUNITY.

Especially with a good tenant, YOUR HOUSE is THEIR HOME. Do NOT forget this. It is a powerful tool for you.

When your good tenant contacts you with the carpet story, the absolute most dangerous act on your part is to go “check it out”. This “good business” practice on your part simply puts a bullet right between your eyes on the part of your tenant. Your “good business” behavior is actually calling your tenant a liar. Your actions are saying I am not sure I believe you, let me come over and check it out. Even with good intentions on your part, you just went 2 steps forward and 7 steps BACKWARD.

Hold On – there is more… So, you go “check it out” and you agree with your tenant. YUP, it is worn and could be replaced. Mentally, your tenant has their arms folded across their chest saying “I TOLD YOU THAT EARLIER STUPID.”

With good intentions on your part and a concern of SAVING MONEY…. You might tell your tenant something like…. “yes, I see you could use some new carpet. I will call my carpet guy and he will contact you to schedule putting in the new carpet.”

You work your butt off trying to run an efficient rental business by using the same CHEAP carpet with all of your rentals, the same installer, etc. This really is a good business thing by putting systems into place.

Your KIND act and pride of showing your tenant you have a system in place to take care of their problem is a total disregard to the concerns of your great tenant and you just SMACKED them square in the face with a 2×4 by reminding them they are a TENANT who is RENTING MY HOUSE. All of their thoughts about their HOME just evaporated with you bumping your gums about your system.

But wait a minute. You are trying to be a nice guy, a good landlord, etc. Yes, this is true BY YOUR STANDARDS. You are taking time out of your busy day, spending your money, to do something for your tenant in YOUR HOUSE. So when you get viewed as a greedy landlord, you remind your self of your good intentions, good actions, spending money, etc. all for not even one simple thank you. You are guilty of promoting the US and THEM attitude as much as anyone else.

SWITCH GEARS and try this next time. When your good tenant contacts you with a request for new carpet in one room, turn it into a WIN – WIN situation for both the Tenant and yourself.

If on the phone, let the tenant bump their gums for a while. Use their NAME when talking to them. It makes them feel good. After they make some noise for a while, here is how to make them want to stay forever. Refer to your rental house as “THEIR HOME”.

Give them a project. Tell your tenant you can help them out if they want the new carpet. Tell them you will buy the carpet if they get it installed.

Instruct your tenant to go “carpet shopping”. Give them some places to go. There are carpet remnant stores and outlets in almost every town. Tell the tenant to be reasonable and give them good instructions… no gold laced carpet allowed. The tenant goes carpet shopping and gets a bill from the carpet store. Have the tenant mail or fax the bill to you. You create a check payable to the carpet store.

Even though you are a tightwad, you should not have to replace the pad. Your tenant is going to round up their own installer. Do not worry about the installer. Odds are, your tenant will choose better quality carpet than what you normally install. By the time they move out, it really doesn’t matter how it was installed because you will probably remove it and replace it again.

Now think about this in the big picture. Tenant contacted you with a request. You are a good landlord. You acknowledge their concern, and you give your tenant a PROJECT. In their mind, they are going shopping on your dollar to buy carpet they choose for THEIR HOME. No more phone calls on your part and I bet the purchase of the carpet is CHEAPER than your system in the long run. I doubt if the cost of the carpet in this manner will be more than the expense of your installer and the carpet.

Using YOUR system, your tenant is reminded they are a tenant living in your house. They will be sitting at home waiting for your system to do their thing. Your tenant has time to waste on projects to make them feel good. Give them TIME EATING PROJECTS. Your Tenant will win and you will win.

This is a great program. Think about it from your Tenant’s perspective.

  • You did not challenge their request.
  • Carpet Shopping Time has just become a priority and will be placed at the top of their list of things to do.
  • Maybe they need transportation to go carpet shopping. Call family, friends, church people, to take them carpet shopping because their landlord is going to buy them new carpet… Wow, good free advertising as well.
  • Spend hours at the carpet store listening to all of the BS stories from the salesperson. We hate it. They love it along with all of the attention.
  • Maybe they need to think about it and return for a 2nd trip or opinion or maybe go to 3,4, or 5 carpet stores to help find the best deal. Yes, it sounds stupid, but this is a major project to them and they may really truly try to find the best of both price and quality. (Haven’t you seen co-workers who spend 60 hours of their time comparison shopping researching prices on car tires only to discover their best deal is $12.25 a tire cheaper at XYZ tire store? Sound like they worked 60 hours to save $49.00. They worked for about  $0.81 an hour)
  • You are instilling pride in their HOME by allowing your tenant to choose the carpet for their home. You will also become a hero and the best landlord in the world.
  • Now they must consider a lot of stuff. Color, texture, quality, fiber, cost… wow, a lot of stuff they never dreamed of… is all an important part of the project to install carpet in their living room. They had no idea how much stuff their landlord had to go through for carpet.
  • Moving on, they finally make a decision on a piece of carpet. Now they make the salesperson write up some kind of bill and I recommend to have your tenant hand deliver the bill to your office. (this is another mini-project). If you do not have an office, have them fax it or mail it.
  • Once received, if you have an office, make the tenant return to your office to “pick up the check” made payable to the carpet store. (again, another mini-project).
  • With no office, simply mail the check to the tenant or drop it off at their home if your office is on wheels. Nothing better than giving them a check in person for their carpet purchase. Wow, what a landlord!
  • Now the Tenant needs to make arrangements to get back out to the carpet store to purchase the carpet….another project.
  • Don’t forget about the installer…another project and a cost for the tenant. Now they have another project to research and will spend their time shopping for the best deal for a carpet installer.
  • Still yet another mini project involves making arrangements to schedule the installation, moving furniture, and on and on.
  • They do not mind all of these projects and time eaters that benefit them. We despise time eating projects. They love it and will probably seek an atta-boy from you for the results of their efforts while thanking you for ALL OF YOUR HELP.
  • You have really turned your house into THEIR HOME. They will be proud of their new carpet they picked out and all of the experiences of their project.
  • QUESTION – if you delegate this project to them, how long will this carpet be labeled or referred to as “NEW”?. I’ll bet it will be called “NEW” for a lot longer than your carpet would be called new. If you used your system and installed your generic run of the mill cheap carpet, it will not last a year as being called NEW. Next year it will be called “OLD CARPET” because it is over a year old.
  • Now your tenant loves their home with THEIR NEW CARPET and their landlord is the best.

Yes, I drug this out and made it painful. We do not have patience for s-l-o-w  m-o-v-I-n-g stuff. This is my point. We are in so much of a hurry and have no patience, we assume we are normal and everyone should be like us. WRONG. We are the 1%ers. We are the weird ones and proud of it. It is what makes us successful.

Use the same method described above on almost any improvement request by a tenant. Do NOT use it on skilled or licensed trades such as furnaces, plumbing or electric.

It works great for requests for such things as painting, landscaping, or window air conditioners.

So slow down, be patient, and the next time you receive a request for something, use your creative abilities and TURN IT INTO A TIME EATING FUN AND CHALLENGING PROJECT to benefit you.

It reminds me of the Tom Sawyer story of whitewashing the fence and he was getting helpers to PAY HIM for the privilege of using his brush to have fun slopping the whitewash on the fence. Try it, you might surprise yourself and they will THANK YOU.

To really nail it down good, drop them a note about how good a job they did or simply stop by with a positive attitude to see the results of their efforts

DO NOT ACT LIKE AN INSPECTOR. Let them bump their gums again and tell them they did great on colors and all. They are decorating their HOME. Help them feel proud and they will take care of it better and stay forever.

Please Share Your Thoughts of Giving Your Tenant A Project Below

This is an example of how you must be very careful in what you say and how you say it when dealing with prospective applicants for your rental properties.

Please note, if you have someone doing this for you, showing rentals, etc. “Whatever they say or do, it is the same as if YOU are saying it.”

What are you comments on this?


A Property Management Company based in Virginia Beach, VA, Will Pay $82,500
to settle allegations it refused to allow a Hispanic woman to apply for an apartment because she did not speak fluent English.

The company allegedly had a policy of not renting to persons with limited English proficiency.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the rental of housing on the basis of national origin. “Denying housing because a person does not speak English well violates the Fair Housing Act,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

The case came to HUD’s attention when a Hispanic woman filed a complaint alleging that the property management company, which manages over 500 rental units throughout Virginia Beach and Norfolk, refused to provide her a rental application because she could not speak English well.

The complaint further alleges that the leasing agent refused the translation assistance of the bilingual person the applicant brought with her.

HUD launched an investigation to determine whether the alleged discrimination was systemic. In the course of the investigation, HUD discovered that the company had a written policy expressly requiring all prospective tenants to be able to communicate with management staff in English without assistance from others, and to complete rental applications only while they were in the management office.

By agreement, the company will pay the prospective tenant $7,500, and will donate $25,000 each to local housing advocates. In addition, the company agreed to adopt a non-discrimination policy, which it will distribute to current residents and prospective tenants; adopt a plan to more effectively serve residents and prospective tenants with limited English proficiency by providing translation and interpretation services; and require its employees to undergo fair housing training.

Landlords Better Watch This Closely and Take Action Now!

Kentucky led the nation on new law making Landlords the “Legal Owner” of their Tenant(s) Dogs. Now Pennsylvania follows in a close second.

Protect Yourself Now – Brand New Animal Application Forms Package

Will Your State Be Next?

ATTENTION LANDLORDS! Do NOT act like an ostrich. If you have tenants or if you are expecting tenants, you MUST take action on this now to “NIP IT IN THE BUD” as old Barney Fife screams. This will be coming to your town and your insurance company soon.

What are Your Comments about this new law and this article?


Pennsylvania attorney Thomas J. Newell, who specializes in personal injury claims, announced that his firm has just obtained a $508,613.84 settlement from a landlord’s insurance carrier after a tenant’s pit bulls attacked a young boy.

The landlord allowed the tenant to keep the dogs.

According to Newell, the dogs jumped a three and a half foot fence into a homeowner’s yard and mauled the boy. He sustained serious injuries which required 17 surgeries.

His mother was also injured when she tried to help her son fend off the dogs. The family’s bills exceeded $500,000.

The landlord’s insurance company filed lawsuits in both federal and state courts arguing that, due to language in the policy, it could deny financial responsibility for the attack. However, Newell says he was successful in fighting those claims, and the insurance company ultimately conceded, agreeing to pay the victims the liability policy limits.

In July, an appellate court in Kentucky overruled a lower court’s decision that a landlord was not liable for injuries when a tenant’s dog bit someone across the street from a rental property.  Now, landlords in Kentucky may be viewed as “statutory owners” of tenants’ dogs simply by approving a pet request.

Protect Yourself Now – Brand New Animal Application Forms Package

Conversely, a Wisconsin court decided in March, 2011 that a landlord could not be held liable when a tenant’s pit bull attacked a neighbor, enforcing a longstanding policy in the state that landlords are only liable if the animal belongs to the landlord or is specifically under their control.  Judges found that being in control of the rental property is not enough to show control over the dog.

A number of cities and counties across the country, including some in Pennsylvania, have considered breed-specific legislation banning pit bulls and other breeds thought to have vicious propensities. Those laws have come under heavy opposition by animal rights advocates who say the individual dog, not the breed, determines whether the animal is a risk.

Newell  says he has recently represented a number of dog attack victims throughout Pennsylvania


Protect Yourself Now – Brand New Animal Application Forms Package

Now you have seen this happen in Kentucky, Wisconsin, Ohio and this new law WILL SPREAD across America. Think about it. If you owned an insurance company, would this be a money saver for insurance companies.

Take action now.

Share this article, Email and forward to fellow investors and REIA Groups!

What are your thoughts?

When the landlords of a Georgia rental house found drugs inside, they did what most landlords would do — they called the authorities.  Now, the landlords say they will be forever hesitant to take that step.

According to a news report, the couple had stopped by the property, with their child in tow, to secure it after their tenants had been busted for drugs during a traffic stop.

Earlier in the month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security had arrested the three tenants when drugs were discovered in their vehicle.

The landlords were asked to provide federal agents with information from the rental applications. According to the report, the landlords say that federal officials had released the house back to them to secure and restore.

But when the couple went into the property, they discovered bags of drugs still hidden inside a hole in one of the walls. The next thing they knew, they were in jail.
 When the landlords discovered the hidden cache, they called the same ICE agent they had been working with.  That agent, according to one landlord’s statement, told them to call 911 to dispatch local police to retrieve the drugs. The landlords then waited outside.  Their child remained in the car.

Local police arrived first, and then appeared disgruntled that the ICE agent was involved, according to the landlords.  They say that once the ICE agent left the scene, local police separated the couple and began to interrogate them.

Detectives accused the couple of complicity and tampering with evidence.  Both were arrested at the house,  while the panicked child was left behind with a bystander who promised to contact relatives.

The landlords remained in jail for two days before being arraigned, and are now out on bond, facing the state tampering charges, according to the report.

Both federal and state authorities have denied responsibility, according to the report.  Federal officials say the couple was not arrested under federal law; state officials said the case is being investigated by federal authorities.

The couple says their cellphone contains a message from the federal agent apologizing for the confusion, according to the report.


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