What's Your Biggest Landlording Petpeeve...

22 Replies

Besides late paying tenants, what other issues do you dislike or don't really care to deal with as a landlord?

Lately it seems to be appliances.  Last two months have been 2 broken washers and a dishwasher.  

Two months ago, it was a tenant complaining about being too hot, but refusing to use the cooling methods available to her.  (Why you won't open the bedroom doors to let some air flow through is beyond me).

Today, it's late paying tenants and a repair person that won't call me back.

Medium cluebussol logo3inLinda Weygant CPA, Clue Business Services, Inc. | [email protected] | Podcast Guest on Show #244

The 80/20 rule when dealing with tenants. 80% of the problems come from 20% of the tenants. I don't have people not paying or paying late; I do have a few tenants that are just plain difficult to deal with. Tenants who always have problems, always want repairs, always want a HVAC guy or a plumber to come around. And of course its all free! So why not continue with mindless requests that they would never make if they were homeowners and had to pay the  bill. I have found that in general troublesome tenants tend not to be employed - retirees and others on government payments have lots of time to think stuff up. My early new year's resolution is to focus on working tenants who have stuff to do during the day. Less overhead, less trouble.

I live far away from my two investment properties. I have property management taking care of landlord issues and they are excellent. So no pet peeves, unfortunately. Hoping to hear the stories though. One day I'll live closer by and be able to do more of the day-to-day stuff.

I have a couple now that are freezing their AC unit, we have been out to fix it like 10 times. This is in a brand new energy efficient building and unit, which I know will hold low 60's on even the hottest of days....they must have it set to north pole...

I did not like when the yard was not kept up on my property. I would drive by and the grass would be about a foot tall. The property is in a nice neighborhood so it definitely stood out. Now they hired a lawn service so I haven't had that issue to worry about. I think from now on I will include lawn maintenance in the rent just to keep the property in good condition. Does anyone else recommend this idea? 

Originally posted by @Tomas Calvino :

I did not like when the yard was not kept up on my property. I would drive by and the grass would be about a foot tall. The property is in a nice neighborhood so it definitely stood out. Now they hired a lawn service so I haven't had that issue to worry about. I think from now on I will include lawn maintenance in the rent just to keep the property in good condition. Does anyone else recommend this idea? 

I added this to my latest lease:

Tenant is responsible for all lawn, landscape, and snow removal duties. Tenant must perform spring and fall ‘clean ups’, including raking landscaping beds, trimming bushes/trees, as well as mowing as needed to maintain grass length under 4”. Edging and edge trimming(weed wacking) to be performed as needed. Snow removal/salting to be done in accordance with local code/law.

Originally posted by @Shaun C. :

I added this to my latest lease:

Tenant is responsible for all lawn, landscape, and snow removal duties. Tenant must perform spring and fall ‘clean ups’, including raking landscaping beds, trimming bushes/trees, as well as mowing as needed to maintain grass length under 4”. Edging and edge trimming(weed wacking) to be performed as needed. Snow removal/salting to be done in accordance with local code/law.

This seem to be a very specific thing in the lease, wouldn't just saying with something like

"In keeping with the general maintenance standards of the neighborhood" 

or something of that nature be sufficient? Or maybe I am just too naieve. lol

One could argue that I guess but I just hate the thought of my rental being a nuisance to neighboring home owners that care about the look of their street. I see so many rentals that are just that--rentals, and it shows! I want to offer my tenants nice places to live and I expect them to treat them accordingly without me having to pay to maintain them properly or doing it myself. I take care of all fertilization and weed control and they do the simple stuff.

Is this too much to put in a lease? I don't think so but maybe others do.

@Kevin Harrison No, be specific and clear in the lease. Then there is no way they can argue that the lease does not state they had to cut the grass and keep snow clear of their walkways.

Nicole A., New Page LLC | [email protected] | 305‑537‑6252

Originally posted by @Nicole W.:

@Kevin Harrison No, be specific and clear in the lease. Then there is no way they can argue that the lease does not state they had to cut the grass and keep snow clear of their walkways.

 I agree. I have some specific things in my leases that people might think are crazy (i.e. "dog's nails are to be kept trimmed to avoid damaging hardwood floors"), but being specific is the only way to avoid problems. "General standards of the neighborhood" would mean 10 different things to 10 different people. 

Originally posted by @JD Martin :
Originally posted by @Nicole W.:

@Kevin Harrison No, be specific and clear in the lease. Then there is no way they can argue that the lease does not state they had to cut the grass and keep snow clear of their walkways.

 I agree. I have some specific things in my leases that people might think are crazy (i.e. "dog's nails are to be kept trimmed to avoid damaging hardwood floors"), but being specific is the only way to avoid problems. "General standards of the neighborhood" would mean 10 different things to 10 different people. 

That is true I guess, I have never seen anything like that in a lease before. Mine just reads

"tenant is responsible for all yard maintenance and snow removal in accordance with the HOA rules."

That phrase works. It's more specific than the first phrase you posted.

Nicole A., New Page LLC | [email protected] | 305‑537‑6252

Screen doors and window screens wrecked and missing all the time.  Is it a requirement to not know how to take a screen out or put one in to be a renter?

A few others too, of course, but this one hasn't been mentioned yet.  Thanks for posting @Shawn Dandridge !

Originally posted by @Tomas Calvino :

I did not like when the yard was not kept up on my property. I would drive by and the grass would be about a foot tall. The property is in a nice neighborhood so it definitely stood out. Now they hired a lawn service so I haven't had that issue to worry about. I think from now on I will include lawn maintenance in the rent just to keep the property in good condition. Does anyone else recommend this idea? 

 In one of the podcasts, I think Brandon or Josh had mentioned if his tenant doesn't keep the lawn in good condition, he would hire a lawn care company to cut the grass and then bill the tenants. 

Originally posted by @Luka Milicevic :
Originally posted by @Tomas Calvino:

I did not like when the yard was not kept up on my property. I would drive by and the grass would be about a foot tall. The property is in a nice neighborhood so it definitely stood out. Now they hired a lawn service so I haven't had that issue to worry about. I think from now on I will include lawn maintenance in the rent just to keep the property in good condition. Does anyone else recommend this idea? 

 In one of the podcasts, I think Brandon or Josh had mentioned if his tenant doesn't keep the lawn in good condition, he would hire a lawn care company to cut the grass and then bill the tenants. 

 I was actually thinking about just raising the rent by the amount of the lawn service and get it over with, then the tenant kind of feels like they're getting an extra with their rent payment instead of knowing they're getting billed for it. 

Re: lawncare, this is what one of my leases says:

LAWN CARE:Tenants is responsible for all lawn maintenance including, but not limited to: cutting, edging, trimming, weeding (inclusive, but not limited to flower beds), proper watering, fertilizing, and insect control to ensure that the lawn, trees, and shrubs are maintained.If Tenants neglects proper yard maintenance, the Landlord or Landlord’s Agent reserves the right to secure services of a professional lawn maintenance company, which will be hired to maintain the Premises at the Tenants’ expense.

@Steve Vaughan that screen one gets me too.  I stopped quickly at a rental and saw a screen on the front was hanging only latched on screw sticking out about 10 inches. Tell the tenant hey can you latch that screen,  a week later not done...

Tenants who can't clearly describe a problem. You know the ones who say my sink is broke and you have to drag out of them syllable by syllable what is wrong...

Tenants who ask me to fix things I can't fix. The water temperature is inconsistent... and ?

Tenants who can't help themselves .. don't tell me tell your cable company, your neighbor etc..

@Stephen E. you are right on the mark, if they have too much time on their hands they sometimes think you do too..   

mine is the dishwasher!!!! I have a house that I've had to service the dishwasher twice in the last 5 years and I replaced it twice over the same period.  I think it might be cursed! Twice it flooded the kitchen and once the Tennant never told me and it ended up causing so much damage to the floor, I had to rip all the flooring out and replace it. If I added up everything I spend on that one properties dishwasher it would be close to $8k!

Adam Anderson CFP, Jersey Home Rentals, LLC | [email protected] | 9739173904 | http://www.morrisretirementadvisors.com

Thanks everyone for all the responses. I love reading the different perspectives of landlords/property owners from different parts of the country!

I don't have a whole lot of issues with items breaking or getting calls from tenants. But, what does bother me is when a tenant doesn't treat a property correctly. IE park in the front yard or having trash outside of the trash can.

I know there was a lot of talk about yard maintenance. It baffles me why a landlord would allow a tenant to do any kind of work to a property. I chastise my tenants when they do maintainance or repairs. My rule of thumb is tenants will ruin anything they touch even when they have good intent. So, I take away their need to feel obligated to do my job

Lately mine has been tenants throwing up the alarm about repairs of things that are actually not broken. I hate sending repair people out to a property only to get the phone call that there isn't actually a problem.  

Medium logo stacked badge r web  1 Neal Collins, Latitude Realty & Property Management | [email protected] | (503) 974‑6633 | http://www.chooselatitude.com

Hi Shawn,

Good post! Luckily we solved this issue, but in the beginning the worst part of landlording was when the tenant would call us for everything. Worst story was a guy who called christmas eve because he had a toilet clogged (keep in mind it was just him in a two bathroom house) and wanted to call a plumber immediatley that night! He was making threats and demands, could have been Mr. Scrooge himself. Long story short now we have home warranty's in place and they have to call the home warranty line, not me or my dad. If they want a plumber that bad they will have to pay $65 to have the plumber come out or they can do what most people do and get a plunger and do it themselves.

-John