10 Ways to Be a Great Landlord

July 5th, 2010 · 4 Comments · Property Management, Rental Property

I’m on vacation for a few days. I love my blog and I want to post. I’m on dial-up. I’m telling you that this really sucks. I feel stranded, my IPhone doesn’t work here either. This post is going to be short and sweet.

These are attitudes that will help you navigate your business. Boundaries are important both for you and the tenant.

  1. Firm But Fair – Your tenants are not your friends but the relationship should be friendly
  2. Fix Your Place – If something breaks fix it as soon as you can within reason and keep the tenants in the loop. If it can’t be fixed right away let them know why
  3. Use Email for Maintenance Requests – This way you have it in writing when you received the complaint and when you fixed it.
  4. Say No – Don’t change light bulbs or fuses. In the case of fuses show the tenant how. Unless you have a great tenant who’s been there for many years, you don’t need to upgrade either. Learn to say no to unreasonable requests.
  5. Do Serve Legal Forms for Non Payment ASAP – The economy is tight and life is tough. Don’t let your tenants slide on the rent because they may end up getting themselves into a situation that they cannot recover from. Being broke is better than being homeless.
  6. Be Professional – Your problems are not your tenants problems. No matter how much you hate your husband or how much the broken dishwasher is going to cost, it’s not your tenants business.
  7. Develop a Not My Problem Shield – If your tenant shares their problems with you, don’t make it your problem. If it’s embarrassing, never mention it again. Be discreet. Be kind. If it’s really funny email me 🙂
  8. Keep Your Side of The Street Clean – Be respectable even if the people you are dealing with are not. Follow the law. If you are going to break the law make it worth it.
  9. Acceptance – Not everyone is going to have high moral standards or be clean. Being able to let go is an asset. As long as they’re paying their rent, the longer they stay, the more time you have to save money to rent a bin.  I can assure you that no matter how hard you try, your tenant will not change their lifestyle for you. Trying to change others will drive you crazy
  10. Don’t Micromanage – If you find yourself driving by the property to see if someone left the lights on.  Stop. The lawn is a little longer than you’d like? Stop. If it’s a field that’s different.

There you have it. My list of attitudes that will help you navigate the business.

Happy Landlording From The Great White North!

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • David Dukes

    How do you balance your top 10 list with the ability to check on your unit every so often to ensure that it’s being well maintained? Sometimes a landlord has to make occasional visits and seem curious in order to protect their own asset or to even create an emotional connection with the tennant. What’s your comment?

    • Rachelle

      Of course you have to do inspections. You have to check on your house of course. Firm but fair doesn’t mean you appease your tenant. What it means is that you don’t drive by every day or week. It’s all about balance. You don’t want to be the landlord that has never been in their house in 2 years and ends up with a grow op. For instance fire alarm batteries must be changed every six months.

  • Dana

    Enjoy your vacation!

  • Romildo

    re “If you are going to break the law make it worth it.”

    Nice advice. I can’t believe you’d publish that in a public blog.

    Though I wonder, was it intentional or accidental to overlook the more common adage: “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time (or pay the LTB fine).”