December 2013

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Landlords usually have a bad rap, in general.  89% of landlords are considered slumlords in which they are typically known not to fix anything.  And when they do managed to get around to fixing something, that the job is only half fixed or at times even made worse.  Many cut corners for no real reason at all other than to ‘save money.’  I have even seen landlords who have no reason being a landlord when they could be obviously very happy doing something else, which is a sad state to be in.  It makes both sides very unhappy and disrespectful to each other.

How to undo the damage?  First, landlords need to do their due diligence when it comes to doing background checks on all new tenants.  When done properly, it keeps the potential bad tenants out.  The ones that could end up destroying your property and other tenants’ property.  The ones that have a general history of not making on time or full rent payments.  The ones that attract the ‘bad elements’ thus chasing away your better tenants.

Secondly, landlords or their managers need to be reachable.  Have good, solid and multiple ways for your tenants to reach you and that you return their calls and questions in a timely manner.  A timely manner is usually a 24 hour period and no longer.  Especially, for maintenance issues.  And timely manner extends to how you handle your maintenance issues.  As a landlord, you should be fixing the emergency issues within 24 hours, the non-emergency issues within 2-3 days, and the more cosmetic issues within a week or two.

Third, provide nice, clean and functioning places.  Your rentals may be dated, but do make sure that your places are extremely clean and all items in the rental work including all appliances that may come with the rental.  Make sure your curb appeal on your rentals are always kept up.  The least a landlord should do on a weekly basis is to make sure that trash is not strewn all over the place whether it be the tenants fault or just wind blown. 

Last, we recommend landlords recognizing their good tenants and usually at this time of year.  We recommend landlords take the time to at least visit their tenants when they are home to check in on them, do some small talk, and take interest in their lives.  Just this small show of interest can do a world of wonder for your tenants’ frame of mind.  Even ask if they would like to see anything fixed or possibly coming up for maintenance ahead of time which can save you a ton of money and misery to much larger and potential maintenance issue in the future.  Last, JJ and I will either give a small gift to our tenants, especially our really good tenants, of a food gift, gift card, and or possible ‘kickback’ on rent that month.  The $10-50 off of rent helps many with their year end bills and it encourages your tenants to make on time payments all year long next year reinforcing good deeds and responsibilities.