Posted in Blog  
  on Dec 21, 2015

Finding Balance as a Landlord

Landlords often have a "bad guy" stigma. In most cases, landlords haven't earned this reputation but acquire it because they set the rules for tenants to follow. Many of them want to be nice to their renters but worry that opportunistic tenants might take advantage of that niceness.

Reserve “Niceness” for Loyal Tenants
The place not to be too nice is in the application process. Don’t forgo your usual screening process or make exceptions when an applicant doesn’t meet the requirements. This sets the tone for the entire relationship, and the applicant will expect you to continue to make exceptions.
You don’t owe the applicant anything except fairness in the approval process. You will often see this expectation of leniency when the applicant knows the landlord or is a friend or relative of the landlord. It’s important to keep your business separate from your personal life and not start out bending the rules, even if you were the one to make them.

Earned Niceness
In the same way, you don’t need to give in to new tenants’ requests that don’t align with your rules and procedures. While landlords may be perceived as the bad guys, it’s actually the tenants who determine their landlord's behavior. You should reserve moments of niceness — postponing a rent payment or making exceptions — for long-term residents. It’s a way to express appreciation for their loyalty, a thank-you for being good tenants.
If someone comes to you because they’re going to be a day or two late on their rent, you have to make the decision whether you will accept it or enforce the rules. In many cases, it’s better to agree to the late rent payment, especially if it’s a first-time request. Good tenants will remember your understanding when it comes time to renew their lease. After all, unplanned emergencies happen to everyone at one time or another.

Consider the Big Picture
If you’re a landlord with just a few single-family dwellings, it’s going to be a lot easier to make exceptions than if you own an apartment building or other multi-family housing. Word of mouth can carry news quickly, and all tenants will expect the same treatment.
For example, tenants may come to you and ask if they can make changes to the apartment. Perhaps they want to paint the walls or install a personalized lighting fixture. Before you respond, consider the ramifications. Are they likely to return the unit to its original shape or will their security deposit cover the amount to do so? Are other tenants in the building likely to ask for similar allowances? Use the answers to these questions to make your final decision. A small concession like allowing tenants to paint the walls can be worth it if it makes your renters happy. They will see you as the nice landlord when all of their friends are complaining about theirs.
Just remember that any decision you make about being nice has consequences beyond the current situation. For common requests, such as late rent payments, know ahead of time what you will say. When it comes to unique requests, such as painting the walls of the apartment or making other changes, don’t be pressured into giving an answer right away. Take the time to think about it and give an answer that works for you and your tenant.



The Landlord Tenant Board: What it is and When it is Needed

Many times, there are issues between a landlord and a tenant that need to be resolved but are failed to do so, because both parties have gone too far with their actions, and have retaliated in the... More

How to Create a Residential Lease Agreement

Where there is a landlord, there will also be a tenant, and it is no surprise that these two parties can only work together once there is some sort of agreement, contract or a binding deal in place.... More

The Best Sites for Rental and Lease Agreement Templates

Many landlords find it difficult to write and draft a lease agreement. Since every State has its own general template, it can also be difficult to make sure your lease agreement meets all the criteria... More

5 Landlord Forms that Every Landlord Should Have

When it comes to being a landlord, one should know that it is not for the unprepared individual. This should be clear that being a landlord does not simply mean that you will be taking the rent and... More

Landlord Obligations: The Responsibilities of a Landlord

Becoming a landlord is a major deal and no one can simply get up and think, “well, yes I think I should be a landlord and rent out my flat.” If you are thinking that you would like to be a landlord,... More

The Best Landlord Associations for Landlords to Join

If you’re a landlord and want to manage your business in a better way, you should endeavor to get in touch with those industry experts who have the experience and the skills to help you do it. This is... More

The Best Landlord Forums

Landlords and aspiring landlords, do not become as such, without guidance and advice. There is a lot that goes into being a landlord nowadays; in fact, there is so much to learn that it often confuses... More

The Biggest Landlord Problems and How to Fix Them

Renting out an apartment or a house can become a constant revenue source for landlords, but at the same time, it gives rise to several problems. It is a fact that high standards, a strict lease... More

Landlord Tenant Disputes

If you are currently thinking of becoming a landlord only because it helps you have a constant stream of income, you should think twice. It’s not that you should not consider offering your property... More

Unpaid Rent

When you talk about the most common disputes arising between landlords and tenants, nonpayment of rent has to be there in the list. People rent their properties to earn money, and when a tenant... More