why do people hate landlords?

82 Replies

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :

You're the devil himself Hinrichs!!

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


LOL. I still say little a this, little a that when people ask me.  When I used to say I do rentals nobody gave a rip anyway.  

I think a lot of the bad rep comes from large corporate slumlords that make the news.  Think Invitation Homes and Kirshner.  Not repairing and chasing single moms for back rent not owed years after mutual termination.

Check out season 2 of Dirty Money.


@Cameron H. Forbis

Many reasons. Almost everyone has had a terrible one. Media often presents us as rich fat retired on a beach white guys (real estate publications don’t help this nor do blogs like BP with headlines like “Retire in 12 months with $1,000,000!” Or similar). Lot’s of snow he PM companies we use are absolute trash, so tenant experience is crap. And then lots of landlords self manage and are awful at it so tenant experience is crap. You can put an A+ tenant in an A+ property and if your customer service sucks ... the exit survey will say “my landlord sucks”... not rocket science.

@Joe Splitrock

Very well put. I think most of the lack of people striving for wealth is tied to laziness. Although there are stigmas associated with being a landlord, most people get a glimpse of how hard it is and say “no thanks”.

People would rather dream of something big, dip their toes in it, and later have regret then go big and capture what they ultimately want.

Whenever I have someone tell me what they want to do... I look at what they are currently doing. If they are doing nothing now, more than likely, they will do nothing in the future. If they are a hustler with some drive, I would take that, over someone who came from money/has money.

Originally posted by @Cameron H. Forbis :

in your opinion and it's gotten worse these days...

The notion of providing a tenant with a place to live is unappreciated. People move in with an immediate sense of entitlement and the landlord is to blame for every issue that may arise. There is an immediate distrust established when the landlord requires their money beforehand for the damages they may or may not incur. They do not have complete free reign of the place they spend the majority of their time in. Many factors.. 

It's relevant to how the landlord treats the tenant. If the landlord nickle and dimes the tenant for every little charge or is slow or ignores repair issues then the tenant is going to have a negative impression of the landlord. If the landlord treats the tenant with respect and has some compassion when a tenant is a few days late in rent then generally the landlord will get the same respect in return. 

Just like any field, it has the good and bad. With the eviction memorandums happening, its setting a divide along with the pandemic. Tensions are high right now. Its all good though. 

Sorry guys, I think the main driving factors are the gurus pushing people who aren't suited into landlording and the magic spreadsheets that have to add up every month and the hands-off let's scale-scale-scale mentality. Tenants are tenants. Nothing has changed from my Papou's days. There has not been some massive generational attitude shift.

Too many people are landlording who have absolutely no business doing it, with sky-high expectations and no real understanding of what's involved. Long-distance investors remote-managing C-class, a dependence on big data to paper over real ignorance, a misplaced belief that landlording is investing in much the same way that mutual funds are.

Nobody wants to submit to the learning curve. Nobody embraces the grind. There has to be a better way in the Age of Information Miracles. And when there isn't, it's the tenant's fault.

Originally posted by @Cameron H. Forbis :

in your opinion and it's gotten worse these days...

 They don’t.  That would depend on who the tenants are, type of properties you are renting, and the type of landlord you are.  If you’re an experienced landlord, take your job seriously and fix issues when they occur, treat your tenants fairly, provide clean housing, screen applications thoroughly and properly, it’s unlikely you’ll have any tenants that “hating” you.  (1) because you’ll have good tenants who take their responsibility under the lease seriously, (2) because you’re fair and provide quality housing at a fair price.

Just as there are crappy tenants there are crappy landlords.  There are plenty of stories about landlords refusing to make repairs, just like there are plenty of stories about tenants who abuse the system.  

I have had plenty of different realtors who also have their own property management company talk up about how you just can do the bare minimum and the property will be great cash flow...  Yes but I have a soul 

The reasoning is individual and the number of reasons is as large as the number of people that hate their landlords.

A lot of it is likely landlord=PM; they don't distinguish and they don't care.  Bad management, bad owners, bad systems lead to bad experiences and then to salty tenants.  It's just life - on both ends.  You choose to take their money for 'nothing' as I'm sure they'll tell you and they choose to give it over.  It's a weird thing that's way too intimate to understand someone else's feelings about.

I do love reading the responses though!

For the same reason many people hate their boss.  Because many landlords under value/under appreciate their tenants.  I've met some who's actions have implied that running their units into the ground and/or treating their tenants like trash equates to cash flow.  To anyone who operates this way, this isn't the business to be in if you feel you're above the people you rent to.  You provide a service and they are your customers.  Treat them as such and you'll be OK.

Awww, darn, I tried to post a link of that classic video from SNL of Eddie Murphy as convict Tyrone Greene reading his original poem, "Cill My Landlord".  You can look it up on youtube, "Kill My Landlord".

We have an excellent relationship with our tenants, and it's shown - all of them are up to date, despite the eviction moratorium.  But the fact is, we still wind up having to evict now and then, for non-payment of rent.  The fact is that people seem to feel that they have a right to free housing, and that we're just in it for they joy of it.  How dare we expect to be paid for letting them live in our property!

I have a very good relationship with my landlord, he answers the apartment issues in a quick manner, and I pay my rent on time every month, so I guess if both parties do their part they don’t have to hate each other.

History has never been kind of landlords.  Think Snidely Whiplash.  And Lord knows there are some bad people in this business.  For example, a few years back my wife and I went to several open houses for rentals to better gauge our market.  In one house, there was what looked like a large bloodstain on the filthy carpet - a murder? suicide?  The guy showing the place explained that he was not going to change out the carpet.  "You could put your couch over here," he explained.

What may also contribute to this image is that the meaning of a leasehold interest in property has also drifted over the last 50 or so years.  Historically, a lease was understood to be a contract for the hiring of property for a specified term subject to certain agreed upon conditions between the landlord and the tenant.  Those of us in the business still tend to think of it this way. However, the general erosion of property rights over the years has led to the perception - widely shared by academics, government officials and large portions of the public - that a leasehold grants greater rights to the tenant - rights that start to resemble outright ownership.  This perception is embodied in the sentiment that housing is a human right.  If housing is a human right, then the landlord is really performing a public service.  Under this paradigm, evicting a non-paying or obnoxious tenant who refuses to leave is often equated in the press and elsewhere with the denial of this fundamental right.  Landlords serve as convenient foils for all of those in the business of suppressing rights.  Hence, rent control and even more villification.                       

@Cameron H. Forbis

I firmly believe slumlords are a huge reason why people hate landlords.

I went to buy a mobile home from a woman who wanted to sell from inside a park. It’s owned by two “very wealthy” investors who own several parks in the area. When I asked about her terms she explained they’re charging her the maximum amount of interest, on top of a 15% of the full payment as a one time title fee for transfer of title. I ended up not being able to purchase the home because in the lease it states they’re not allowed to sell to anyone else other than the park if sold.

People take advantage of others who lack the knowledge, or find themselves in hard times in order to make money. It’s a very sad reality.

@Darius Ogloza sure, but there are absolutely LLs that suck as much money out of each property as possible - even going as far as evicting one set of tenants so they can raise the rent to maximum.... this type of behavior, over time, is what brings tenant favored laws and  rent control.   And while I think rent control is the wrong way to correct housing issues, I understand why people think its a good idea. 

Historically LLs have treated tenants badly. It took a long time for tenants rights to actually have enough umph to    protect tenants....

This board is a good example of how many LLs think - just read some of the posts re tenant issues and see how most respond.  This board is like a smorgasbord for sound bites for anyone looking to paint LLs in a bad light! 

My tenants don't hate me, but then again I have made it a point to build a professional relationship with them. They know I am no nonsense when it comes to rent being paid on time, however they also know the property will not have nagging repairs needed.

@Joe S.

Yeah @Cameron H. Forbis must be pulling up in his Bentley to collect rent lol just kidding 😊.

I think tenants hate LL’s because of slumlords and the tenants lack of knowledge and understanding that it takes to run the business.

@Cameron H. Forbis

I think slum-lords ruin it. I met a guy selling his rental off market and he was proud of the fact that he made a tenant use pots and pans when the roof had a leak, vs fixing it up. He was only getting $400 mo. I think his mindset was broken had he took care of the place he would’ve gotten more, both in rent and his sale.

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

Welll, here's what I tell owners:

1) You don't know what you're doing, especially with law, HIRE A PROFESSIONAL

2) As a LL, you do not get ONE mistake whereas tenants can screw-up all day and still get judgments in their favor.

No matter how professional, most courts are skewed in tenant's favor.