why do people hate landlords?

82 Replies

Biggest bill most people pay.

Non industry people think its 100% profit and dont realize how thin margins are. They also dont realize that market demand sets rent, not us.

We are authority figures telling them they can or cant have pets, park here or there, play music loud, pay on time, etc. 

We are either shady LLCs, giant faceless corporations, or just some random mean old guy.

Experiences with slumlords who wont do maintenance.

lots of reasons to hate us. we're bill collectors who are also preventing them from having pets and telling them they need to mow their lawn... Its not a biz you go into for popularity and love, thats for sure.

Plus.... more currently, politics have gotten super divisive, and the people who are getting squeezed the most right now are lower income renters. The gig economy and other political winds have taken away safety nets. Renters are facing their own financial ruin and possible homelessness, and we are the ones who basically will be forced to eventually kick them out.

I don't think my tenants hate me.  I actually have a pretty decent relationship with them.

For what it's worth, I don't hate landlords either.  I think they're cool and fun to hang out with.  ;)

Politicians like to set landlords up as the great Satan.  They can tell people, vote for me and I'll get rid of those b******s.

Guy in 20s Germany said the same thing about an ethnic/religious group and it helped him get power.

People are not that smart if they believe politicians.

Originally posted by @Nicky Reader:

Biggest bill most people pay.

Which is why "affordable" housing will be an evergreen issue.

98% of tenants think they pay too much in rent.

 

@Cameron H. Forbis I think it is very regional. Some people hate bankers, oil companies, insurance companies, logging, mining, etc. Some landlords may indeed be running an inferior business. What's important to me is my tenants are very satisfied and I am working hard to keep them happy-but not too happy!

I think in a lot of locations the cost of living is becoming too high and certain cities are failing.  Someone has to be the bad guy and we are an easy scapegoat for politicians to deflect blame.  Forget that regulations and zoning are making it harder to make new housing for growing cities so lack of supply increases price, it's our fault for raising the price since there are so many willing to pay it.  As contributing members of society we had better pay "our fair share" as they are the modern day Robin Hoods robbing from the rich, read us, and giving to the poor, read the voters who outnumber us.  

Originally posted by @Bjorn Ahlblad :

@Cameron H. Forbis I think it is very regional. Some people hate bankers, oil companies, insurance companies, logging, mining, etc. Some landlords may indeed be running an inferior business. What's important to me is my tenants are very satisfied and I am working hard to keep them happy-but not too happy!

there was a day I was a logger ( rape the land) Developer ( worse than logger) and HML all at the same time.. LOL

 

Well.....  all you have to do is read this board and you will see responses from folks that do not give LLing a good name. 

I do view LLing as a customer service job and try to do the best I can to provide a professional,  friendly experience for my tenants. But money can bring out the worst in people... add in that we provide a home to someone it can get volatile. 

But if more LLs would be professional and more prop mgrs would do a better job, our rep would get better.

Originally posted by @Mary M. :

Well.....  all you have to do is read this board and you will see responses from folks that do not give LLing a good name. 

I do view LLing as a customer service job and try to do the best I can to provide a professional,  friendly experience for my tenants. But money can bring out the worst in people... add in that we provide a home to someone it can get volatile. 

But if more LLs would be professional and more prop mgrs would do a better job, our rep would get better.

These are fair statements as well, part of our reputation is self inflicted at least through the industry.  The reality is most renters are fine but we like to focus on horror stories or the negatives which for most of us are the exception vs. the rule but if we focused on these only no one would be in this business.  Some landlords are horrible and paint a bad picture as well and since people don't scream from the rooftops they have the #1 landlord who is the fairest, best priced, and an all around great person, these bad ones are the landlords that get highlighted.  It does go both ways and we should all strive to represent ourselves in the way we want to be highlighted.  

 

I think that there are a lot of reasons people hate landlords.

The people who are satisfied with their landlords are not the ones being heard.  Its the disgruntled folks that are heard. even if they are on a minority.

Some people are just jealous.

Many of the newer generation of renters are very uneducated in finance.  Example, a potential renter told me that my rent was too high for a property.  She could get a house in 'the projects' for half as much as my house.  And my house has rent more that it would cost for a mortgage payment.  She looked at Zillow.

So I explained to her that yes, the project houses were lower cost.  They were based on income.  The project housing she was pricing was for low and very low income people.  I explained that her income is way too high to qualify for a house in the projects.  But that the people pay 1/3 of their income for their housing, and 1/3 income or less for rent was what I required as a minimum to rent from me too.  I explained that the projects housing was subsidized by the government to help the poor.  She said, yeah, she never can get a house in the projects because she does not qualify.

I then explained that yes, renting a house NEEDS to cost more than the mortgage.  the landlord pays for the repairs, the improvements, the new roof, new appliances, the insurance and the taxes.  When someone buys a house they have to budget for all the other costs of owning a house.  You can not call the landlord to fix the heater when you are an owner.  She said she never thought of that.

She is now one of my tenants, and a good one too.  She just really did not understand.  

Some people also hate landlords because they grew up in a generation where a lot was given to them without having to earn it, just participation was needed to win the ribbon.  As adults now some are struggling to understand why some have more or better than them.  They don't understand why a landlord has many houses and they do not have any house.  With an entitlement expectation, the landlord is considered greedy and not a team player.  e.g. 'mom' house squatters in SF.  They have not figured out they can work for what they want, set goals, take steps.  Instead they want to change the system and remove the greedy landlords.

And then you have the tenants that do not understand that they are renting a house, and someone else who owns it gets to set the rules in this thing called a lease.  No pets, means the 3 support pit bulls that were snuck in.  No pink walls mean, yes, that pink wall.  Mowing the lawn means pretty much every week, over and over, boring, hate it, all Summer, wasting my life.  The rent is due on the first means every first, every single month, even if you were on time last month.  No subleasing means your newest girlfriend can not move in and only pay $100 and some utilities.  

AND then there are some really wicked landlords.  Some that should be hated.  Those who never fix anything, own slums that no creature should be subjected to.  Those that find ways to screw someone out of their security deposit every time.

My qualifications for a tenant are pretty simple. Pay the rent reliably on time, take care of the property, and no drama. It’s a plus, if you’re going to stay a while because turnover is always costly. The fact is that most people that tick those boxes are homeowners. Yet I’ve still managed to fill my properties with tenants that can tick those boxes and I think they like me, or at least the way I run my business. Unfortunately, it’s the ones that don’t tick those boxes that don’t like landlords, and the feeling is mutual,we don’t like them either. 

@Cameron H. Forbis I have two different points of view.

1. The history of “slumlords “...where people were actually taken advantage of. Expected to pay rent but house/apartment in really bad shape.

2. On the flip side, the blame game. It’s easier to blame someone for your mistakes...ie, bringing in bugs, not being clean, not paying your rent on time. People tend to blame landlords for some of the issues they cause but this happens in all industries - medical, etc.

@Cameron H. Forbis

Haha good topic! I personally don’t think most people hate landlords, you may be just constantly surrounded by them and it appears that way.

The best way to figure out the answer is to ask yourself “what am I doing wrong” or “what can I change”. Don’t see this as an insult. I ask these questions to myself all the time. It often results in me improving myself instead of going the victim mentality route.

Good luck!

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Bjorn Ahlblad:

@Cameron H. Forbis I think it is very regional. Some people hate bankers, oil companies, insurance companies, logging, mining, etc. Some landlords may indeed be running an inferior business. What's important to me is my tenants are very satisfied and I am working hard to keep them happy-but not too happy!

there was a day I was a logger ( rape the land) Developer ( worse than logger) and HML all at the same time.. LOL

 

MY GOD!    You're the devil himself Hinrichs!!

 

Originally posted by @Doug Pintarch :
Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs:
Originally posted by @Bjorn Ahlblad:

@Cameron H. Forbis I think it is very regional. Some people hate bankers, oil companies, insurance companies, logging, mining, etc. Some landlords may indeed be running an inferior business. What's important to me is my tenants are very satisfied and I am working hard to keep them happy-but not too happy!

there was a day I was a logger ( rape the land) Developer ( worse than logger) and HML all at the same time.. LOL

 

MY GOD!    You're the devil himself Hinrichs!!

 

Yes in those days anyone asked me what I did..  I sold shoes !!!

 

@Cameron H. Forbis  

The worst 20% are REALLY bad. Just like lawyers. The world (and this website) is filled with good, responsible landlords trying to provide a decent place for people to live. But the worst of the worst have given all of us a bad name.

I had a great relationship with my tenants that were in my condo for 5 years.  I took a risk and was compassionate with them when their finances got screwed up.  I carried a couple months rent for them which they got caught up on a few months later.  I realize this is a big risk and it can set a bad precedent but it wound up making a better situation for everyone.  They left my condo in good condition after 5 years where it may have needed rehab if the people abused it.

I don't think most people hate them, but those who do are more vocal about their experiences.

People will recommend a good landlord if you ask them, but if they had a bad experience they will want to tell you!

@Cameron H. Forbis I am a landlord and I hate some landlords, haha. 

From a young age we are taught negative beliefs about money and wealthy people. All landlords, business owners and corporations are viewed as wealthy. We are taught that wealthy people didn't earn their money and they got their money either through luck or by taking advantage of others. These images are enforced by the media, Hollywood and even at home. The danger is that it keeps the average person from seeking wealth. With a poor mindset, most people remain middle class or poor. 

I believe the core of this belief comes from the human need to self rationalize. Simply put, people lie to themselves. Someone who smokes cigarettes will say things like "anyone can get cancer" or "I want to enjoy my life even if I die young". The truth is smokers are much more at risk for cancer and you can enjoy your life MORE without smoking. The same happens with wealth. If someone is poor, they create a belief system to support their situations. They tell themselves "rich people are greedy, so why would I want to be rich" or "you can only be rich if your parents had money" or "the system is against me". These lies (and they are lies) are self preservation. If a poor person accepted the reality that their lack of wealth is a result of their actions, this would force the poor person to either feel bad about themselves or take action to change. To avoid the pain of feeling bad, people lie to themselves because it is easier than changing behavior. This is why mindset is so important to anything in life. 

The other factor is that politicians demonize landlords, businesses and corporations. Creating division is the number one way to control people. If we are all busy hating each other, we won't notice that the politicians are exploiting us and padding their own pockets. Around 50% of congress are millionaires compared to 1% of the general population. The median net worth of congress is over $1M. Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, don't assume this is a specific political party. 

One final factor driving perception is how landlords conduct themselves. Every profession has good and bad. There are bad actors with disregard for the law, disrespect for tenants and who use discriminatory practices. Whether it is BiggerPockets or your local meet up groups, I encourage everyone to promote a higher standard for landlords. Join professional landlord groups and attend legal and fair housing training. Use property managers, realtors, attorneys and accountants to make sure your business is being run properly.