Tired of being a landlord

13 Replies

So I'm going to need to rant for a second.

I have a few properties that are a buy and hold investment and I'm landlord. Most of them are run by a property management company which I could go on and on about the pitfalls of dealing with a PM. Because you never know, a PM that's been good for one quarter might be MIA the next.

Plus the tenant issues can sometimes be ridiculous.

I've been divesting in these units for awhile. But I'm probably going to unload the rest in 2014.

Does anyone think I should keep them or am I being too hasty to get rid of them especially since they are making a good profit.

hv u tried owner financing them to continue ur cashflow but just be passive with the nore? Or maybe lease optioning them.. how about section 8, they do direct deposit in our town, so there's no problem ever getting paid...

@Kris Haskins

Yeah I've been owner financing them. I'm losing the appreciation but it's still a nice return and less of a headache.

Aly NA

Haha yeah that's what I used to say until I got a call at 1 AM telling me a tenant in Iowa busted the water pipe and it flooded there basement.

Originally posted by @Steven Stokes :
So I'm going to need to rant for a second.

I have a few properties that are a buy and hold investment and I'm landlord. Most of them are run by a property management company which I could go on and on about the pitfalls of dealing with a PM. Because you never know, a PM that's been good for one quarter might be MIA the next.

Plus the tenant issues can sometimes be ridiculous.

I've been divesting in these units for awhile. But I'm probably going to unload the rest in 2014.

Does anyone think I should keep them or am I being too hasty to get rid of them especially since they are making a good profit.

Few questions....

What you plan on doing after you sell them?
Do you have another idea that will make you the same profits with less "issues"?
Did something big recently happen that made you consider selling? (Sounds like PM issues)

Originally posted by @Steven Stokes :
So I'm going to need to rant for a second.

I have a few properties that are a buy and hold investment and I'm landlord. Most of them are run by a property management company which I could go on and on about the pitfalls of dealing with a PM. Because you never know, a PM that's been good for one quarter might be MIA the next.

Plus the tenant issues can sometimes be ridiculous.

I've been divesting in these units for awhile. But I'm probably going to unload the rest in 2014.

Does anyone think I should keep them or am I being too hasty to get rid of them especially since they are making a good profit.

It's all up to what makes you comfortable at the end of the day.

Life is too short to worry about things -- you only have so many days on this earth to be happy, might as well make the best of them.

If you like the profit but hate the problems, then it's just all about eliminating or reducing the problems. This might mean a little less profit, but if so, would that make you happier in the end result?

@Steven Stokes , I'm actually interested in owner financing in the future as well, we have some tenants that may be open to it.

As for that broken pipe at 1AM - ouch! I turn my cell phone off at night ;) We've shown the tenants in our SFRs how to turn off the water if anything like that happens, not that they'd remember to do it in an emergency.

Let me see. 9:30AM today and I am in court (as plaintiff) with an eviction hearing. Do I really want to be there? No. but it's part of the job. At least the Plaintiff prevails. Noon. I meet with pest control company for a bedbug treatment at another property. Do I really want to be there? No. But it's part of the job. At least the former tenants vacated and left the place in good physical shape. 2:30PM. Give 30 day notice to tenant. Lots of tension, distress, etc. Do I really want to be there? No. But it's part of the job.

Everyone has a bad day, week, or month. REI is no different. Figure out how to make adjustments so the job doesn't consume you. Everyone is different, but if you focus on the 'wins' (or positives) the negatives are less imposing.

Originally posted by Aly NA:

As for that broken pipe at 1AM - ouch! I turn my cell phone off at night ;) We've shown the tenants in our SFRs how to turn off the water if anything like that happens, not that they'd remember to do it in an emergency.

I also turn my cell phone off at night, usually earlier, like 4pm.

The best thing I ever did was get a seperate cell phone for my business. Sometimes you will get a simple simon who calls at 2am to inquire about a property. I always call them back around 6 or 7am and say, "I see that you called and I missed it. How can I help you?" When they resopond that I woke them up, I ask if they were taking a nap.

This business can be annoying at times, but where else can you get paid 24/7 for such an easy job?

Originally posted by @Steven Stokes :
Haha yeah that's what I used to say until I got a call at 1 AM telling me a tenant in Iowa busted the water pipe and it flooded there basement.

Why is your PM calling you at 1 AM about a busted water pipe?

While I'm fairly certain that is above any repair limit you might have set with the PM, I'm also fairly certain that it qualifies as something the PM knows must be fixed immediately whether you authorize the dollar amount or not. I like to call those "emergencies", but that's just me :)

My point being ANY emergency I should truly be the last person called. House burning to the ground; call the Fire Dept. Vandals stealing from a vacant prop; call the Police.

Maybe you and the PM just need to have a talk about how things should be handled in the future.

Why don't more would be landlords try their hand at owner financing? Its passive income without all the "hassles" of being a landlord. You are the bank, and you don't have to take the calls. Your toilet isn't working? Why are you calling me thats your house go fix it yourself (you wont get these calls to begin with).

I manage all my properties but everyone and awhile it can be a headache, my owner finance properties are never a problem.

A simple simon, thanks for the laugh @Rob K! And I agree with @Chris Martin about all this being part of the job. I was far more aggravated and less compensated during my years in the corporate world. And whenever friends ask how my husband and I can stand to deal with bad tenants, I tell them that they're paying for all our rental properties, plus we get cash flow ever month. And most tenants are good, but there are no interesting stories about them ;)

When we take on new tenants, we show them where all the utility shut offs are and explain how to use them - we then have them initial that they have been shown them and understand how to use them. We deal with issues during normal business hours and that's when most repairs can be taken care of anyway. Check out Podcast 37 with Aaron Mazarillo - http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2013/09/26/lifestyle-investing-podcast-aaron-mazzrillo/

He touches on some topics about dealing with tenants without losing your mind. There's no reason you should receive a call in the middle of the night. Also, one book I would suggest with a lot of ideas to make things easier for you is Landlording on Autopilot, by Mike Butler.

Before selling cashflowing property, I would first check what could be done to improve property management. In the end, it would depend on you and your goals, and if the property is in an area that attracts the type of tenants you're comfortable dealing with.

As some have suggested, I would try to improve the property management situation first before selling out of frustration (for the properties where PM is applicable). Maybe the issues you are having are a function of what is being done or not being done during the screening, leasing, and move-in process. I am a firm believer in setting firm rules and expectations with tenants and PMs. I also believe that PMs require a certain level of hands on management to make sure things go as expected with tenants. For me this has lead to a very low level of frustration and satisfactory return.