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The Holiday Effect: How Memorial Day Can Mean UTTER Tenant Chaos (And How To Avoid It Like The Plague)

by Kevin Perk on May 26, 2014 · 12 comments

  
Holidays Affect Landlords

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, the traditional start of summer.

I hope all of you are getting a chance to relax, hang with some friends, enjoy a cookout or get away for a while.

I like to enjoy these long weekends as much as the next person, but as a landlord I have also grown to dread them a bit.

Why?

Because I know that come Tuesday the inbox will be stuffed with work orders and other requests. These long holiday weekends, and I’m not just talking about Memorial Day, seem to just bring them on.  I call it the “holiday effect.”

What Causes The Holiday Effect?

Some of it is caused by the fact that my tenants are now home for an extended period of time. This extra time allows them to notice things that need to be fixed. Funny part is they may have known about these repairs for sometime but now that they are home for an extended period of time, they “need” it fixed right away.

Related: 13 Red Flags for Troublesome Tenants (+ 9 Totally Insane True-Life Tenant Stories)

Another cause is that systems will likely be used more than normal. Again the tenants will be home more, they will also have people over, they may be cooking a big meal, they will want to catch up on the laundry, so the AC, the stove, the toilet, the shower, etc will all get heavier use or just plain abused. This will cause things to break.

Plus, many are trying to get out of town. Instead of relaxing folks trying to get out of town tends to stress them out. Everyone waits until the last minute to get everything done.

This includes not only your tenants, but also your contractors. So in the rush, they drop things, they break things, they lock themselves out, they forget that haste makes waste.

Finally, there will be drinking and partying. Sometimes there will be a lot of drinking. Drunks break things and they sometimes break each other. Either way it may end up in your inbox on Tuesday.

How To Plan For The Holiday Effect

It is not easy to plan for the holiday effect. In fact I am not even sure you can. There are however some things that I think you can do to try to minimize the holiday effect and make the holidays enjoyable for you as well.

Related: Tenant Screening: The Ultimate Guide

  • Tenant screening is key (It always seems to come back to screening). Do your best to weed the bad ones out. Be very selective who you rent to if you can. On the other hand, don’t be surprised at the toga party if you rent to a bunch of college freshman.
  • Be sure you explain the difference between a repair and an emergency to your tenants.   Emergencies will be handled immediately. Repairs of course will be taken care of during normal business hours. On that note……
  • Set up normal business hours and stick to them. If you answer your phone anytime a tenant calls they will call at anytime, all the time.
  • Have a firm set of house rules. Go over these carefully at move in with your most serious tone of voice.
  • If a tenant breaks the rules, make sure there are consequences. If you do not follow up in this regard your tenants will end up ignoring your rules.
  • Respond promptly to tenant complaints about other tenants. Yes, you may just have a busybody tenant but then again you may have a serious problem. Either way, follow up just to be safe and demonstrate that you are involved.
  • Keep your property nice, clean and repaired. Follow up promptly on repair requests. After all, if you do not take care of your property why should your tenants?
  • Don’t start any major repairs before a holiday week-end. Remember your contractors want to get away too. They may rush the job or leave it unfinished. Let it wait until after the holiday if you can.

So landlords, have a happy Memorial Day. Enjoy your cookouts and even have a drink or two. Just get ready for the deluge on Tuesday!

Landlords, do any of you experience this holiday effect? 

Let me know in the comment section below!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Dennis May 26, 2014 at 6:05 am

Low income or moderate income, everyday is a holiday on the taxpayer. Good thing most of what’s wrong with a unit is part of the nesting in of these same tenants. One put up a stripper pole, she complained the pole she bought was 10 foot long and the ceilings of this unit are 10 foot, six inches. Screw a block of wood to the ceiling and through the new laminate floor and all is well. The question at move out “Will I be getting all of my security deposit back?”

Reply

Eric May 26, 2014 at 1:53 pm

can I get that address?

Reply

Kevin Perk May 26, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Dennis,

Nice story!

Thanks for reading and commenting,

Kevin

Reply

Alex Craig May 26, 2014 at 6:12 am

I can’t say I have experienced this, but one other reason to add to your list of why this may happen is a long holiday weekend gives tenants one additional drinking day at home.

Reply

Kevin Perk May 26, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Alex,

Yep!

That one additional day once led to broken windows, police, assault charges and jail between a couple of tenants. Of course we got dragged into all that drama on Tuesday. They very quickly learned they need to find a new place to live, and soon!

Thanks for reading and commenting,

Kevin

Reply

Hibe Kredi May 26, 2014 at 6:43 am

Thanks

Reply

Kevin Perk May 26, 2014 at 11:57 pm

Hibe,

You are welcome.

Thank you for reading,

Kevin

Reply

stephen May 26, 2014 at 8:54 am

I also think that holidays often involve visitors. And visitors can force people to see their environment through ‘stranger’s eye’s’. Suddenly that stained carpet or dirty paint or loose trim or whatever, which had previously just been ‘the way it is’ becomes obvious and embarrassing. Who doesn’t rush around before guests arrive cleaning, and clearing, and straightening, and rearranging their house in ways which apparently don’t bother them when it’s ‘just them’ there in the house?

And some visitors (in-laws come to mind) ‘find’ things to point out in their friendly ‘just trying to help’ way.

And then, all of a sudden . . . Your Monday-Inbox is full.

stephen
————

Reply

Kevin Perk May 26, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Stephen,

Very good point. I bet the influx of visitors does have something to do with it.

Thanks for reading and adding to the discussion,

Kevin

Reply

Eric May 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm

“Tenant screening is key (It always seems to come back to screening). Do your best to weed the bad ones out. Be very selective who you rent to if you can. ”

100% correct. 95% of all issues are because landlords are greedy, and take the first tenant that applies. Or they do not know what a good tenant looks like on paper.

Reply

Kevin Perk May 26, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Eric,

We have learned that tenant screening is the key over the years. Sometimes you just gotta learn the hard way :)

Thanks for reading and commenting,

Kevin

Reply

Sara Cunningham May 28, 2014 at 1:52 am

Kevin, not just the holiday weekend. Once the temps starting warming up and the AC needs to be used continually what do you know they have issues. I have replaced 2 AC units, put one in a new property purchase and had to get one serviced, all in the last 2 months. Talk about major expense. That’s when being prepared for major Capex comes into play. Now I just hope that none of things you are talking about too happen. Lol

Reply

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