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How Landlords Get a Bad Rap

Thumbs DownYou’re a good landlord. You’re out there working your tail off trying to provide a nice product to your great tenants.

Then wham! Along comes some tenants that have been trained how to be bad tenants by bad landlords. They’ve been taught that it’s okay to pay the rent late. It’s okay to party and disregard the quiet enjoyment of their neighbors, etc. Heck, that bad landlord might even have paid the bad tenants cash to get out of the last apartment instead of doing an eviction. The bad tenant has been rewarded for his bad behavior by bad landlords, and thinks bad behavior is the way to get ahead. [You always get what you reward!]

Here’s an example: I recently got some great new tenants that moved to one of my apartments because their last landlord would not take action to stop the all-night-long heavy traffic and partying going on in the apartment upstairs from them. Their last landlord just let my new tenants out of their lease instead. Now that former landlord has bad tenants upstairs from a vacant apartment he’s trying to rent! Where’s the logic in that?

I don’t have any of that kind of crap going on in my units. All of my tenants know that I have an evil twin…and none of them want to meet her. 😉 There’s a sort of “ethics presence” in knowing that I have the will to confront bad tenants if I have to, and that I intend to protect the quiet enjoyment of my good tenants. Consequently, I rarely have to bring out my evil twin. [Perish the thought!]

Couple that “ethics presence” with the fact that I genuinely LIKE my tenants and want them to be happy and have good neighbors, plus I handle their concerns and service requests instantly and I don’t allow any deferred maintenance to accrue. That formula makes life as a good landlord, good.

Here’s another example [this is me venting]: we had to build a “hate fence” this week to protect the quiet enjoyment of our tenants in a house we rent to an awesome couple in a popular area, from the creepy tenants and their ghetto junk in the neighboring 4-plex.  Where’s that landlord?  Nobody in charge.  Neighborhood be damned.

More and more laws are written to protect tenants from bad landlords that don’t keep their properties in good repair. Likewise, insurance companies have to protect themselves from bad landlords to lower their risks, so they send their inspectors out to micro-manage. Banks have to protect themselves from bad landlords so the financial-oscopy required now to get a loan is incredibly difficult. As a result, good landlords have government bureaucrats, insurance bureaucrats, banking bureaucrats, etc. sniffing into our business and trying to micro-manage us and our properties. It’s always annoying and sometimes maddening.

Fair housing laws are written to protect tenants against bad landlords who discriminate against protected classes. Result? More bureaucrats. More micro-management.

Fit premises laws are written to protect tenants and communities from the disrepair and property devaluation that comes from being badly managed by bad landlords. Result? More bureaucrats. More micro-management.

Bad landlords don’t just give heartburn to their tenants, they give heartburn to other landlords who have to endure stricter laws, more bureaucrats, higher taxes to pay the salaries of more bureaucrats, more police, higher insurance premiums, higher interest rates, badly trained tenants, plus bad landlords give heartburn to the neighborhoods and communities where their properties are located.

Bad landlords give good landlords a bad rap!

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