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Be A Stern Landlord So That You Are Not Taken Advantage of
When you first took the step to invest in rental property, you probably imagined yourself sitting on beach chair at a holiday resort sipping a chilled cocktail. Then you receive an email notification informing you of another rental payment being deposited into your bank account. Sorry to break the news to you. But that scene which played out in your mind is just fantasy.
Being a landlord exposes your to the most ridiculous of circumstances and puts you in the crossfire of the most outrageous of problems. And the biggest problems usually fundamentally lie in the tenants you have signed up. The worst part is when you are being taken advantage of by tenants who live in a house that belongs to you.
If you’re going to be a landlord then you want to avoid a lot of the horror stories you’ve heard from other landlords right? You don’t want tenants who don’t take you seriously or believe they can treat you in any kind of abusing way. Well in order for you to be the kind of landlord that tenants will not mess with, you have to be mindful of how you treat tenants and how they see you act towards other tenants you might have.
Perception is reality. So if you can embed a certain façade for others to see, people will think about what they are taking on before even attempting to be late on rentals.
Tenants will sometimes do things to offend a landlord on purpose, such as treating their property poorly or not caring about having the rent when they should because they’ve seen the landlord will tolerate it. In a way, they are testing the waters to see how much they can get away with. The more they realize that boundaries can be moved, the further they will go. What ends up happening is the following:
• A landlord let a tenant off the hook when they were late on rent when it came to late fees or reporting it as being late on their books just to protect that person’s rental history.
• A tenant heard from another tenant that the landlord let them get away with something. Because of this the other tenant might believe they can do the same thing.
Sometimes a landlord might do something to make tenants mad as well, and this will make them want to act out in passive aggressive ways. For instance, if a landlord needs to fix something and they just aren’t doing it then tenants will begin to get upset. This is when they’ll purposely damage property or directly disrespect the landlord. You don’t want this. So what you need to do is be very stern with how you handle your business.
What does it mean to be stern? Well you have to treat tenants with respect, but they also have to see that you mean business. Take care of complaints in order to keep them happy. Besides from this you need to draw up a very good policy and stick to it.
Some people might have a problem with being stern or assertive. But it is really something you need to do if you intend to get into the real estate business. Even if it goes against your personal principles to become a bad guy, bite the bullet and do what you have to do or say what you have to say. Failing which will be akin to you conceding ground on how the landlord-tenant relationship dynamics go about throughout the term of the lease. And having a tenant who does not respect you throughout a lease can be a stressful way to go about your investment.
The reason you got into real estate in the first place is to have a less stressful life isn’t it? The irony is that someone is living in a house that belongs to you. You are offering them shelter in exchange for a monthly payment. So why should you be the one who has to give way or compromise when you are in fact, the person who is doing the other a favour?
At the same time, do not develop a close personal relationship with your tenants. Because the more you get to know each other, the higher the expectations being placed on you. And when living issues arrive, they will know exactly where your weak spots are. In extreme circumstances, they might even laugh off your demand for rental payments that are already late.
Why a good renter’s policy will help you
Being a landlord is going to be tough for you if you don’t have a good rental agreement that you follow. You would want to make sure tenants read this and understood this. When any problems came up you could always refer back to the renter’s policy. You would just need to make sure you followed it yourself. If you don’t follow it yourself then tenants will quickly see that they can get away with doing certain things. The policy should include when rent is to be paid, fees for late payment, what is and isn’t allowed in the property, etc.
Tenants will only try to offend a landlord when they think they can get away with it and when they believe they have a good reason to. Don’t focus on being tenants friends when you rent to them. You’re running a business and you must treat it as such. When you let people off the hook for certain things or when you don’t take care of problems, then you’ll have to deal with tenants that want to cause problems for you.
When you get that sorted out and establish yourself as someone your tenants should not mess with, you make your job that much more easier. Remember that you are not trying to be a jerk to the people who are generating a passive income for you. You are merely imposing yourself as a firm figure who does not mess around and does not appreciate those who tries to mess things up.