As you know I make my living leasing out properties for smaller landlords. I get the properties I get and I have to rent them. In many cases, this can be a difficult job. This situation happened just yesterday and it was the landlord that completely blew the deal in about 37 seconds.
The Property In Question
The property is wonderful, in a fantastic area. I’ve been having problems renting it out because at $1950 per month, it’s at the high end of what most people can afford. It’s also a duplex with a basement apartment. Three bedrooms upstairs with separate everything and 6 appliances. Most tenants, when given a choice, will choose a townhouse with no basement apartment tenant.
It’s also no smoking and no pets. This alone reduces your tenant pool by about 50% especially the no pets. This property appeals to the following tenant profiles, roommates and families. Families often have pets. They also make noise and this is a concern with a shared property.
You can also expect in a property like this, that you won’t need a ton of showings, it is beautiful.
How The Owner Totally Blew It
So I’m showing the place and the potential tenants are interested. It’s a family. The lady asks “How much are the utilities?” I don’t know so I go to ask the owner…and that’s when the deal blew up in my face.
Instead of answering the simple question he starts going off the deep end. Here’s a summary of what he said in about one minute.
- His first tenants, a couple, used about $155 per month. They stayed there for 15 years.
- He applied this usage to the next tenants, a family of six, who were waiting to have a custom home built, they used “way too much”
- They kept the house “way too hot” at 79 degrees
- They didn’t pay him and owe him $400 for extra utilities.
- He’s suing the previous tenants in Small Claims Court
- He starts talking about the HST and how it makes utilities more expensive.
- He starts talking about the downstairs tenants and how he absolutely does not want them disturbed. They are very quiet.
- Then he asks if they have kids (illegal according to Human Rights)
- He gets a look like he just bit into a lemon when the tenants say that they do.
- He then repeats that the downstairs tenants have been there for 8 years and must not be disturbed.
- He’s a big shot landlord and has 25 properties and has been in the business for 43 years.
There’s a lesson here.
Don’t Take Your Emotional Baggage From One Tenant to The Next
Have you ever been on a first date where all the person does is talk about how men/women are crap and how horrible their ex was?
Did you like it? Is this pleasant?
Approach New Tenants With A Clean Slate
There is no reason to assume that your new prospective tenants will be anything like the last ones. They may be better or worse and only time will tell. But as a landlord if you start talking about your last tenants, especially if they were bad, to your new prospective tenants you’re going to scare any decent tenants away.
You’re not focusing on evaluating your new tenants, you’re busy flapping your lips about the last ones. You want to find out as much information as possible about your new applicants rather than talking about yourself and your bad experiences, HST and things that have nothing to do with the person in front of you.
Good Tenants Are In Demand
They don’t have to put up with your unresolved anger with your previous tenants, the current landlord & tenant law or any other issues you may have. They don’t have to rent from someone who acts like a hostile lunatic.