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INVESTING 101 EDUCATION

How Your Tenant Impacts Your Landlord Experience

The landlord experience varies considerably from one situation to the next. If you ask one person how they feel about being a landlord they may tell you it’s the best thing they’ve ever done. Ask another person the same question and they may say they tried it once, hated it, and wouldn’t wish it on their worst enemy. So what’s the deal? Is being a landlord a good thing or not? Everyone talks about real estate as being one of the most reliable ways to build a strong financial future, but fixing and flipping isn’t for everyone. If being a landlord is the obvious alternative, why isn’t everyone doing it? Isn’t being a landlord supposed to be a passive experience?

So many things can affect the landlord experience. However, there’s one factor that’s the common denominator across the board, and that’s the tenant. Without a doubt, the tenant exerts a heavy influence on how your landlord experience will play out.  If you delve deeper into the reasons why a person says they hated being a landlord, odds are it had to do with the tenant.

How the Tenant Factors Into the Landlord Experience

If you want to understand how dramatically the tenant factors into the landlord experience, think about your property and your responsibilities as a landlord. First, consider the asset itself. The tenant is the one who’s around and inside of your property every day or nearly every day. They operate the property’s HVAC, open and close windows and doors, move things around on the floor and hang things on the walls. When you become a landlord you’re essentially handing over your (expensive) asset to the care of a total stranger. Now consider your responsibilities as a landlord. Even though the tenant is the one occupying and using the property, you’re responsible for their safety. You’re responsible for all the repairs and maintenance of the inside and outside of the asset that the tenant is occupying.

How Tenants Damage Property

Tenants can cause a lot of damage to a property in so many different ways. They can:

  • ignore repair issues, which lead to more expensive problems
  • abuse HVAC systems, shortening their lifespan
  • cause expensive sewage blockages
  • destroy walls with improper wall hangings, violent outbursts, etc.
  • be irresponsible with fireplaces or smoking, leading to house fires
  • destroy hardwood flooring with scrapes and gashes
  • abuse kitchen appliances, forcing costly replacements
  • crack and/or break windows or window sashes
  • fail to protect pipes from freezing, leading to fissures and/or breaks

All this sounds like a nightmare, right? Who would want to put a multi-thousand dollar asset in the hands of someone who could do that? When you think of it like this, a) it actually does sound like a bad idea to be a landlord, and b) you can see how important it is to have a good tenant.

Now imagine a tenant that pesters you all the time. Maybe the tenant just likes to complain, or they’re overly vigilant. They call you up to inform you that there’s a small scratch on the refrigerator and they want you to fix it. Or they leave messages on your voice mail every single month to let you know the rent check’s in the mail. Worse, maybe you have a tenant who doesn’t send the rent check at all. They wait until the 3rd of the next month to tell you that the check is going to be late. Meanwhile, you’re stuck at the last minute covering two mortgage payments-one on your own house and one on the rental. None of this would make any sane person sign up to become a landlord. Then why does anyone do it?

How a Property Manager Transforms the Landlord Experience

The secret tool that happy landlords have in their back pocket is a property manager. Property managers are the one thing that enables a person to have a passive experience as a landlord. Without a property manager, you’ve got a second job being a landlord. With a property manager, you’ve get a passive landlord experience. From day one of hiring a property manager, you get a veritable cornucopia of services, not the least of which is finding you a quality tenant and managing that tenant during the lifetime of the lease.

First, the property manager (PM) handles advertising your property for rent, writing it so the property attracts the best kind of tenant. Next, the PM accepts tenant applications and sorts them according to qualifications. From there, the PM vets a shortlist of candidates with criminal and financial background checks. Then the PM may interview potential tenants in person or on the phone. This is a multi-layered vetting process that helps ensure you only get a quality tenant in your property. Quality tenants are much more likely to take care of your property as if it were their own and much less likely to cause the kinds of damage mentioned earlier.

The PM handles everything from there on out. Getting signatures on leases, taking rent payments each month, making sure rents are paid on time, depositing rents into your bank account every month, taking tenant phone calls, handling major and minor repairs and maintenance on the property, encouraging lease renewals, raising rent rates when appropriate, and much more. Your job as a landlord throughout all this is simply to track your rent deposits each month. If the PM needs anything from you, such as money to pay for a needed repair or replacement, they’ll contact you. Otherwise, you can assume all is good, as long as you have a quality property manager for your rental property. And remember those pesky tenant phone calls you read about earlier? With a property manager in place, your tenant doesn’t even have your phone number or email address.

Now you know why some people love being a landlord and others hate it. The ones who love it use a property manager for rental properties. When you’re ready to become a landlord, contact American Real Estate Investments. We offer turnkey rentals, plus the opportunity to out our property management services in place so you can have an enjoyable,  passive income experience as a landlord.