So winters are always a resting and catching up time for me. It’s the time for Fire Inspections and being with my family and skating and just relaxing after the frenetic summertime.
Last year I decided I didn’t want to deal with legal problem tenants as much as I had. The business idea behind dealing with the bad tenants was that we would take the properties under management, deal with the tenants, rent to new and better tenants and keep the property under management. This just didn’t work out that well. What happened in real life was that I would deal with the shitty tenants, hire Jeff Shabes the paralegal, go to the Landlord & Tenant Board, the tenants would be evicted, and then the landlords ended up firing us because they got rid of their problem tenants and no longer needed our services. In some cases they sold the house, in others they just rerented the property. In other cases they resumed fighting with the tenants.
The other issue was that Landlord Rescue would be in the position of explaining to the landlords about how the Landlord & Tenant Board actually worked and they didn’t like that at all. This created a lot of friction because it’s not a secret the Landlord & Tenant Board is really pro tenant. It has to be admitted we were exhausted by the legals and conflict and we would get sick of the property as well.
I had to admit it, dealing with some of these properties kind of kept me on my toes, because renting and managing properties in my own portfolio was pretty boring. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, boring and predictable. For most of the properties, the biggest problem is getting another year’s worth of post dated checks.
Looking For A Challenge
I decided that I would change my focus to growing my business instead of dealing with these legal problem tenants. Then… a few days after my sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. My husband had two ear surgeries, my son had a terrible, terrible year at school and there was a lot of conflict. I have one of the best, most diligent, most competent managers working for me and I had to lean on her very heavily this year, and then when my situations resolved, her grandfather (her heart) became ill and broke a hip and finally passed away. So she leaned on me, as it should be in times of trouble.
Instead of being a year of growth and focus on the business, it became a year of personal challenge, situations that didn’t resolve and misery and stress and yet we still kept the company on a fairly even keel.
It is really difficult to care about growing your business when you feel like you’re drowning in personal chaos.
The good news is that I’m still standing and my relationships are stronger and tighter than ever before, and that I’m one year smarter and maybe a little more accepting of my myself and my weaknesses. I feel like I’ve reflected a lot more about the stuff that matters, and money is only worth so much in this life, once you can afford groceries and pay your bills.
Balance is so much more important than just growth. Properties we manage also have to be legal and decent. Fundamentally I don’t want to expand my business by taking on the ticking time bomb of illegal triplexes in South Oshawa, just waiting to be caught by the city with high risk of bad tenants. No thanks. I want to manage properties I’m proud of, that are clean and solid, and have good owners.
The Rental Market Is Stirring
After a slow month, I feel like spring is approaching and all my rentals that have been hanging out with me… for the last few months, are ready to go off to their new occupants and are renting. So that feels good, in the depths of December tenants are scarce and you can’t even get your own mother to call you back. I wonder if I have something stuck on my face that says don’t rent lol.
We’ve reached the other side of that mountain, and I start to plot and plan all the nice new properties I’m going to rent and manage this year.
Prices have trended up for the last year, and a lot of this is the result of a very flat market finally catching up to itself. I had condos that rented for the same price for 5 years and this year…jumped $300 in rental price per month. This was a welcome relief for the owner, who had dealt with annual maintenance fee increases, and some repainting and ongoing turnover expenses.
So I bought skates and went skating with my son. I had so much fun, I went back in 30 years to when I was a kid and I was doing really well and feeling great. So I was trying to impress my son and so I went to do one of those stops that spray snow on him. This did not end as I had envisioned in my mind, with my son coated in a fine mist of snow, but with my fat butt on the ice convinced I had broken my ankle after hearing 3 snapping sounds reverberate up my leg. One X-ray later, I learned that I had a bad sprain. I also want to mention that Scarborough General was very efficient at helping me and I was X-rayed and out the door in 2 hours. I was very surprised and very pleased at the good job they did.
I was so mad. It’s really hard to find something you enjoy doing and I really injured myself. I’m now on the sidelines but I still went and enjoyed my son learning to skate.
So basically I can’t wait to get off the crutches and get back on the ice, and next time I won’t forget that I’m old and
fat curvy. Skating is seriously a lot of fun and you can go for free which is also nice.
Looking Forward To Another Year!