Have you ever taken a moment to consider what your reputation is as a landlord? How would your tenant’s describe you? Sure, we can all assume our tenants may bad mouth us. But have you ever considered that they say you are “easy” or a “pushover”. A reputation as an easy landlord to manipulate can be as awful for your business as one that is lazy or doesn’t do anything.
Allowing a tenant to be consistently late on rent or choosing to look the other way when they bring a pet you don’t permit, can set a precedent. You may not have meant to set the precedent. Life gets busy. You saw the pet at Halloween but next thing you know it is Christmas. Or maybe you did strategically avoid the confrontation. If you prefer to avoid confrontation you may be better served by hiring a property manager, someone who can do the “dirty work” for you. The problem allowing these instances is people talk.
If it’s a duplex, they may talk to their neighbor. Worse yet, they tell their friend they know a place they can rent and bend the rules without much consequence. Next thing you know, you may not have a vacancy problem but you have other problems. Constantly late rent, rules broken, etc. This epidemic is just as debilitating as a reputation as a bad landlord.
Be polite but firm. Sure you can give a tenant a small break on rent if you chose once, but it is not advised to make an admissible occurrence. “Sally, I understand you lost your job and I feel awful about that. I can give you till 10th. But we need a plan in place with definite steps and written out.” Enforce the rules as they are written in the lease. If you don’t allow pets, give the tenant notice about the pet. Let them know there are real consequences for breaking the rules. Even if the complaint might not stand up in court, you need to let tenants know you are watching.
Assuming you haven’t hired a property manager, if you aren’t minding your investment, then who is?
WAA Director of Records
Owner Brio Properties & CRC Investments