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Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad… Landlord?! Do These Six Negative Traits Define You?

Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad… Landlord?! Do These Six Negative Traits Define You?


As a landlord, one of your primary concerns, if not THE primary concern that you have, is finding good tenants, right? But, income property owners, have you considered what your tenants think of you? Would they consider you a good or bad landlord? Does it even matter?

If you answered “no” to that question, the chances may be good that your tenants may not have the highest opinion of you as a landlord. Sure, they may think that you’re a lovely person, but that your property management skills are lacking.

While you may not think that one tenant’s opinion of you is too important, remember how quickly word of mouth can travel… from friend to friend, through social media or during tours with a potential new tenant. In most every case, renting is temporary, which means that all landlords will probably have to find new tenants at some point. For an easier time in finding “good” new tenants, all opinions matter; so, it can pay to be a conscientious landlord.

Here are a few “bad landlord” traits to avoid:

Ignoring calls, requests and concerns. From the time a landlord schedules an appointment with a possible new tenant to the many times that they may deal with a decade-long tenant, it is important for the landlord to be promptly available to answer any questions or issues. If you can’t either answer or return a tenant’s call, email or text promptly, it may appear that you don’t care about any troubles that they may have with your property.

Not following through. So, you answer your tenants’ calls or promptly return them, even ensuring that you’ll address whatever need they have this time. Then, what happens? Do you get so caught up in your other day-to-day responsibilities that you forget to take care of their needs or do you put a plan into place to immediately help ease their issues? With tenants… and with just about everyone you meet in life… doing what you say you’ll do is an absolute must.

Keeping property in poor condition. OK, landlords; your income property may not be your primary residence, but keeping it in similar condition should be a primary concern. If you take pride in your property, you’re likely to attract good tenants who will want to do the same. If a landlord doesn’t care enough to keep his or her property maintained, why should a tenant bother to do it for them?

Burying secret clauses within your lease. Are you a landlord who has tried to word their lease in a way that ensures they are able to keep each and every security deposit they receive? Have you written in outrageous fees for late rent payments? Though you may feel more than justified in pocketing a security deposit for a tenant that leaves nail holes in the walls or does even worse, the fact of the matter is that tenants, whether good or bad, may have the upper hand when it comes to recouping any fees paid.

Being rude. We get it. Being a landlord can be very demanding; but, being rude or talking down to tenants is not the way to vent frustrations or stress over the role you’ve taken on. While you don’t have to kill them with kindness, every tenant, whether you deem them good or bad, should be treated fairly with respect and dignity. Again, remember that word of mouth goes a long way; so, despite any potential issues that you may have with a tenant, you’ve got to remain fair, even-tempered and, yes, polite.

Blatantly disrespecting privacy. Whether you’re responding to routine maintenance requests or showing a tenant’s space to a prospective tenant, do you give adequate notice that you’ll be coming through? Or, do you simply walk into your rental property at any time of the day or night to take care of what you need to? Yes, your income property may be yours and some tenants may not even mind their landlord popping by unannounced, but common courtesy requires a phone call, email or text message with fair warning before you take care of business at one of your rented properties.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these “bad landlord” traits? If seeing these traits written down is painting a less-than-desirable picture of you, imagine what your tenants may think. Remembering the few basic principles of being kind, conscientious and attentive can ensure that your name does not end up on any “bad landlord” lists that may be circulating among your tenants or future tenants!

If you’re worried that you may fall into the less-than-desirable-landlord category or if managing your rental property is simply becoming too much to handle, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Property Management Company for some professional help today!