There are a variety of characteristics that make a leader great, or a manager great, or even a husband or a wife great. We thought we’d look at the important job of being a landlord through that same lens. Here’s a few items to chew on…
- Great landlords are responsive. They respect the fact that someone is calling one of their units home, and take the job of addressing issues, concerns, and questions in a timely way, treating their tenants like customers.
- Great landlords aren’t doormats. While treating their tenants like customers, they also stand firm with their expectations with respect to fundamental things – like paying the rent, being respectful of other tenants (if there are other tenants), following the rules, and taking care of a unit that a tenant is renting. When this doesn’t happen, they react appropriately and decisively and aren’t afraid of an awkward exchange or confrontation.
- Great landlords know the law in their province or state with respect to residential tenancy. Knowing the law doesn’t only include being aware of rent increases. It also includes being familiar with legal dispute resolution, knowing how to do things like serve notices, and being aware of the rules for things like sublets, interest rates on security deposits or last month’s rent, and what you can and can’t do for things like pets. Know the whole law.
- Great landlords are diplomatic. Resolving disputes with tenants shouldn’t be an emotionally charged exchange. They listen as much as they talk, and they know that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.
- Great landlords know that rent increases are important, when applicable. Not increasing the rent for years has an adverse affect on the property you’re managing. Expenses increase often at more than the rate of inflation. On the other side of that note – there are provinces and states that have an absence of rent control. Being a great landlord also includes not being a jerk and increasing someone’s rent by 400%, even if you technically can.
- Great landlords understand the importance of always doing a good job. Even with a low vacancy rate, it’s important.
- Great landlords take pride in the property they have. Being a slumlord is so 80s.
- Great landlords are fair and flexible and expect the same of their tenants.
- Great landlords don’t subscribe to doing things in the cheapest possible way. They approach everything from repairs and renovations to snow removal in a practical but correct and accountable way.
- Great landlords aren’t evil. They manage to be effective at managing and operating an income property, while applying common sense to situations. They respect people’s privacy and rights even though they have the ability to enter into a tenant’s unit. They don’t dangle the ole’ “I own this place” statement above people’s heads. They even act politely and ethically when things go south.
Thoughts? Comments? Share what you think makes a good landlord great with us!