5 Things Tenants Should Not Expect Their Landlord to Do for Them

5 Things Tenants Should Not Expect Their Landlord to Do for Them

3 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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Tenants come with all sorts of expectations. Some are reasonable, some are not.

On the reasonable side, tenants should expect their landlord to make repairs and maintain a property. They should expect to be left in peace to enjoy their residence so long as they pay rent on time.

Sometimes, however, tenants have larger expectations—expectations that we landlords should not and often cannot meet.

Here are five things tenants should not expect their landlord to do for them.

Tenants Should Not Expect Landlords to:

1. Be Their Parent

Living on your own can be difficult. There is no one around to pick up after you, clean up your mess, or nag you to get things done. But your landlord should not have to step into this role and take your mom or dad’s place.

Do not expect your landlord to remind you that your rent is due. Don’t look at us when your lights are turned off because you did not pay the utility bill.  Do not expect us to overlook late rent, and do not expect us to remind you to take your trash out.

We may do these things once or twice, but after that we will consider you a problem and ask you to move on.

man at desk with hand covering face taking a break from work with glasses and open laptop on desk symbolizing stress, frustration

Related: Building a Good Landlord/Tenant Relationship

2. Move Time and Space

At my company, we like to tell our new tenants that we do not have magic wands and therefore cannot move time and space. We simply cannot magically accomplish things.

I know and understand that your air conditioning going out on a hot August day is less than ideal. I truly wish I had a magic wand to wave and get it back in working order—right now!

But I do not. I have done what I can and called our trusted repair people. They will arrive and fix the AC as soon as they can.

Unfortunately, there is nothing more I can do. I cannot move time and space to make things go any faster—no matter how many times you stomp your feet or yell at my property manager.

3. Function as a Bank

Rent is due when rent is due. I am not in the business of short-term loans.

Understand that your rent payment does not go under my mattress. It instead goes to pay the mortgage and other bills. It goes toward helping provide you with a decent place to live.

Imagine if everyone let everyone else slide on what was owed. How would anything ever get done?

Costco, for example, will not let you take food now but pay them later. Why should you expect anything different from me?

You should not. Pay your rent on time.


Related: 4 Practical Ways to Increase Tenant Happiness (& Quality)

4. Settle Disputes

You are an adult and should behave like one. You should not expect me to enter into and solve disputes with your roommates or neighbors. Those are your problems; I have plenty of my own.

I do not care what your roommate has done. Rent is still due. (Please refer back to No. 1.)  Be an adult and work it out.

5. Provide Special Treatment

You are not special and should not expect me to treat you as such. In fact, I can get into a lot of trouble if I choose to treat certain people or tenants differently.

It is also bad business on my part to allow some tenants to do one thing and others to do something else. Treating people differently just creates resentment and sets me up for further problems down the road. Do not expect special treatment.


As tenants, you should expect a decent place and fair treatment from your landlord. In return, your landlord expects you to be a functioning and reasonable person.

Please remember that the landlord/tenant relationship is a business relationship—nothing more. Landlords are not magicians or substitute parents.  Expecting them to be is just setting yourself up for disappointment or problems.

Have you, as a tenant, learned any of these things the hard way? Or if you’re a landlord, are these issues you’ve encountered? 

Tell your story in the comments!