What are Your House Rules?

2 min read
Kevin Perk

Kevin Perk is a full-time buy and hold and fix and flip real estate investor with over 15 years of experience. He and his wife Terron operate Kevron Properties, LLC, a boutique real estate investing company in Memphis, Tenn.

Kevin was a past president and is a current board member of the Memphis Investors Group. He’s also a blogger and writer who has authored hundreds of real estate investing articles on BiggerPockets and his own blog, SmarterLandlording.com, some of which have been featured on The Motley Fool and MONEY: Personal Finance News & Advice.

Kevin is also host of the SmarterLandlording podcast.

Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Kevin moved to Memphis to attend graduate school at The University of Memphis. After receiving his master’s degree in City and Regional Planning, Kevin climbed the planning career ladder to eventually become planning director of a county in the Memphis metro area. He “retired” from planning in 2003 to pursue real estate investing full-time.

Since “retiring,” Kevin’s main real estate investment strategy has been to buy and hold, otherwise known as landlording. Generally working in historic Midtown Memphis, Kevin is also known to fix and flip grand, historic homes when the right opportunity presents itself. He and his wife Terron (who is the principal broker at Perk Realty) have participated in dozens of real estate transactions in the Memphis metro area.

Kevin has the heart of a teacher and believes in helping others through education. An instructor of college-level geography for over 25 years, Kevin also regularly participates in seminars and panel discussions at such forums as the Memphis Investor’s Group and the Single-Family Rental Summit.

In addition, Kevin has been interviewed in publications such as the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Memphis Daily News, and the Foreclosure News Report.

Kevin earned a master’s in City and Regional Planning from The University of Memphis.

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As landlords, we have a set of house rules that go with our rental properties.  They are an addendum to our lease and we sit with every new and approved applicant and read them word for word.

I like to keep the rules separate from the lease.  It just seems a bit easier to administer that way.  But there is no reason the rules could not be an actual part of your lease.  Either way, if you do not have a set of house rules for your rental properties, you should develop some today.

What are Your House Rules?

Some of our rules are pretty standard stuff.  No loud music.  Keep your place clean and free of garbage.  No candles or waterbeds.  No grilling within 10 feet of the building along with several other standard rules.

It seems, however, that every year we have to add more rules because tenants just keep coming up with “interesting” ways to live their lives.  Some things are truly unique.  Other things which I thought were common sense actually have to be spelled out.

Related: By Request, Here are my Tenant Rules!

For Example:

  • Lock your doors.
  • If you are burglarized, call the police first.
  • No inside furniture outside.
  • I do not negotiate between tenants.  I am not your mom.
  • You are an adult, act like one and treat other tenants as you would like to be treated.
  • Do not disconnect or disable the smoke detector.
  • Don’t flush objects down the toilet.
  • Don’t pour grease down the drain.
  • No couch surfing.  (look up couchsurfing.com)
  • Don’t attach satellite dishes to my buildings.
  • Bad things will happen to you, your rent will still be due on the 1st of every month.
  • Pay your rent first, then pay your other bills.

Related: Your Tenant Left You High and Dry (the Horror!) Here Are Your Next Steps…


As I said, we read our house rules to our new tenants word for word.  Almost every time they snicker and say “Did someone really do that?”  Yes, someone really did that.  That is why that is in the rules.  And every year, one of our tenants will do something that will make us add another rule to the list.

I wonder what it will be this year?

So what have your tenants done?  What have you had to add to your house rules?  Please share with your comments.