April 27, 2017
Emotional Separation from your tenant
Being a landlord takes thick skin. Confrontation will eventually happen. Its critically important that as a landlord you do not have an emotional connection with your tenant. Do not rent to friends or family and make it very clear to your tenant that this is a business. One of the hardest lessons in becoming a landlord is being stern yet polite with tenants. It needs to be very clear that you are polite and understanding but that rent is due and must be paid on time. I have heard every excuse you can imagine (lost jobs, sickness, sick pets, lost money orders, relocation, jail, neighborhood violence, etc). You must remember that this is a business and not charity and that even though those are legitimate excuses, they are still excuses. If you tenant has short term financial setback, recommend they reach out to community programs for assistance. Most cities have some assistance available to help pay rent if there has been a major setback for a good person. If you are going to have a successful rental you must have a zero tolerance for unpaid rent. Don’t feel bad, you are running a business and will be taken advantage of if you open yourself to it.
This is one of the most important reasons to have a property manager. Are you prepared to tell a sickly or aggressive tenant to vacate? Are you prepared to tell someone who just lost their job that they need to vacate? Are prepared to send them to the attorney and meet the sheriff to evict them? It’s unlikely, but is a reality of real estate investment. It will eventually happen, even if you only own and manage one property.