New Landlords - Are you prepared for the hate?

77 Replies

Being a landlord or real estate investor is tough. Not everyone is going to see things the same way you do. Things like evictions or rent increases are very sensitive subjects. Many people in our society want to vilify landlords for doing their jobs.

  • Have you considered this as you begin or continue to grow your investment portfolio?

Below is a recent comment someone sent me on YouTube. Admittedly I operate in the public eye a lot more than your typical landlord or real estate investor so I'll receive a higher amount of this type of stuff then most but most if not all landlords or investors are going to face this type of stuff everyday. If they build a high profile business like I have it can get extreme like the comment you see below.

  • What are your thoughts on how society views landlords or real estate investors?
  • Have you experienced any hate like this because you choose to invest or manage real estate?

Most tenants secretly resent landlords because they feel they are "paying the landlords mortgage" when they wish they were paying their own. They are envious of those that own properties. Some, those that are terrible people by nature, can be extremely venomous. Always consider the source.

Hateful tenants are generally by nature outside the normal stream of society. They regrettably are also often of a lower class due primarily to level of intelligence. I have had more than a few hateful tenants but in every case they were all socially challenged to begin with. If you are in business for long you will run into them occasionally in operating your business. Every business does.

 The reality is that they are the bad tenants having attitude issues that no landlord would ever want. As a landlord you have to put these people in their place to protect other tenants and your business. In doing so I have been cursed at, referred to as a slumlord, physically threatened and assaulted. It is easy to brush off when you consider the source. 

The upside for me when these tenant's lose it and lash out is that I know I am in their head and I have the upper hand.  

As for how society views landlords and investors to me it is irrelevant. Does not matter who you are or what you do someone is going to resent you for it. If you take pride in what you have accomplished the opinions of other should be irrelevant. If their opinions bother you it is most likely because you either lack self confidence or do not have self pride.

We are in it for the money. If you believe you are offering a valuable service to society and should receive acknowledgement for that service you better shake your head, you are wrong.

Hi @James Wise , first, no matter how much experience you have with it, having someone wish you ill sucks. I'm sorry you got a dose of it.

I'm probably more prepared now that when I was young. One gets experience at not taking things personally, if you take it as a learning opportunity. I've been in management positions in my W2 employment, so I understand sometimes you have to give people news they don't want and enforce rules. I expect my relationship with my tenants to be warm within the bounds of professional.
At the same time, I'm doing my best to minimize the likelihood of personal attacks. Women generally get more informal social training in this. And having a low profile business is fine with me. "Famous to the family" as Seth Godin says. If my local network is strong, and I build a reputation of respect and kindness, that's what I'm aiming for.

No hate here. I rent in gentrifying areas where some of my young tenants will undoubtedly be wealthier than me someday.  I'm not "The Man" to these educated urban people, and I don't play up my "power". I play up that I'm just a guy with a business. Legacy tenants are the only issue, I've currently got only one, I don't purchase very often. 

That’s a harsh one, I’m sorry to see someone stoop to that level. My experience is in professional property management, at A+/luxury caliber apartment buildings where expectations are high. I find that it’s a pretty thankless job overall. Most tenants are good, but the critics are always the loudest. I think the view on landlords or managers can quickly shift based on the situation, particularly - as you mentioned - evictions and rent increased, or if we don’t bend the rules as much as one might like.

I’ve been called all sorts on names. If we're sharing public comments, here's a Yelp review about me. Not quite as harsh, but comes from a similar place. (Context: I wouldn't let him break his lease on his terms and then had to take him to court for holding over.)

On the other hand, the tenant in my personal duplex is as thankful and pleasant as could be. The positive engagements and compliments, as rare as they may be, are what keep me going in this business.

@James Wise I don’t give it much thought really ,i just assume my tenants view me as a greedy evil slumlord that steals their PrecIous alcohol , CIgarette, and lottery money each month. Frankly I could care less as long as Im paid . Btw James I enjoy your YouTube videos and have gotten several good ideas so thank you ! The lion doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of the sheep !
Originally posted by @Dennis M. :
@James Wise

I don’t give it much thought really ,i just assume my tenants view me as a greedy evil slumlord that steals their PrecIous alcohol , CIgarette, and lottery money each month. Frankly I could care less as long as Im paid . Btw James I enjoy your YouTube videos and have gotten several good ideas so thank you ! The lion doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of the sheep !

 Hahaha. So much of their disposable income is wasted on alcohol, cigarettes & lottery. Only a fellow landlord would find this observation as you & I. And thanks for the love on the YouTube videos. I am glad what we're doing has provided you with some value.

social media is a garbage dump for nameless cowards

I admittedly was not prepared for the hate and was, initially, surprised by it.  I've never been called names or had vicious things said to me, but I've been yelled at and had anger projected at me.  Like any new endeavor, I learned from it.  I adjusted the assumptions I had.

Probably the worst, at least for her view on me, was an inherited tenant.  I don't know if she'd had bad experiences in the past with LLs.  Or something else negative in her past.  She did seem like a person who lived in anger and misery all the time.  But, in our communications, she seemed to always assume I meant the worst.  Like accusing me of being patronizing and sarcastic (though in text conversations), when I was never anything of the sort.  No matter what I said or how nicely and carefully I said it.   

I do find it interesting that the more someone is in the wrong, the angrier they will be at me.  For people with a weak character, it is much easier to be angry at me for no reason than it is to face their own shortcomings.

But, thankfully, those are the exceptions.  Just like I think the majority of the human race are good people, most of my tenants are normal, reasonable, good people.

In general, I don't think society thinks poorly of landlords and other REIs. Sure, some people do. And even that I think more comes from being clueless about the facts. Or saying something "off the cuff" without really thinking about it. In my personal experience, I've only had positive responses when I've told people about my REI business.

I was a renter myself for most of my adult life. I never thought poorly of my LLs or PMs, unless I made numerous repair complaints that were never addressed. I only had an issue like that at one place. In fact, it was the last landlady I had who inspired me to get into REI.

I think it is impressive you managed to anger Donald Trump and got him to write a comment about you. But in all seriousness I am with @Dennis M. on this. I don't particularly care. It is one thing to have tenants screaming in your face while getting evicted but a comment online? I try not to sweat the small stuff.

Originally posted by @Peter M. :

I think it is impressive you managed to anger Donald Trump and got him to write a comment about you. But in all seriousness I am with @Dennis M. on this. I don't particularly care. It is one thing to have tenants screaming in your face while getting evicted but a comment online? I try not to sweat the small stuff.

 I too was surprised you rent to Mr Trump when he could just buy you out and not even notice the missing money LOL

Seriously though that could be considered a threat and you may want to notify your local PD and if legal in your state you should consider CCW

This post has been removed.

Originally posted by @John Ravas :

That’s a harsh one, I’m sorry to see someone stoop to that level. My experience is in professional property management, at A+/luxury caliber apartment buildings where expectations are high. I find that it’s a pretty thankless job overall. Most tenants are good, but the critics are always the loudest. I think the view on landlords or managers can quickly shift based on the situation, particularly - as you mentioned - evictions and rent increased, or if we don’t bend the rules as much as one might like.

I’ve been called all sorts on names. If we're sharing public comments, here's a Yelp review about me. Not quite as harsh, but comes from a similar place. (Context: I wouldn't let him break his lease on his terms and then had to take him to court for holding over.)

On the other hand, the tenant in my personal duplex is as thankful and pleasant as could be. The positive engagements and compliments, as rare as they may be, are what keep me going in this business.

 Lol that dudes comment is pretty hilarious. He must really hate you. Hahaha. I'll screen grab some more screenshots later I am sure I've got several similar to that one out there.

As for the compliments or lack thereof you don't need compliments to keep you going. This is definitely not a feel good industry so they will he few and far between. Focus on your goals. Building something worthwhile is much more rewarding than compliments.

What I do is offfer my angry tennants the opportunity to get into real estate investing, offer them work in maintaining properties, collecting rents, and offer guidance on them being able to buy their first place of their own.

Don't you think they would love to have at minimum two jobs to be able to save up the money , work their ends off to build up their credit, hunt down deals, and negotiate a purchase, invest their money knowing there is no guarantee of ever getting your money out of it or of profiting, have to spend thousands of dollars or 10's of thousands of dollars, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to be a ble to provide others with housing?

I am sure they would love that on top of everything they have to pay property tax and also pay additional income tax just to keep a property that has already been paid for. Most renters will not pay renter's insurance and that is a choice but how would they like not to have a choice about carrying insurance because of the potential liabilities and expense should you come up against someone like them ? 

Who would not love to have to clean up a place and do repairs time after time because of what a tennent might do in damages?

Most of my tennents that complain or show me anger usally change their attitudes after they realize just how much it all really costs and that they are getting a place relatively cheap, and that they also get the convenience to pay as they go, not have to come up with as much money as an owener would. Those that are worth saving anyway . The rest will be difficult and undersirable no matter what, and I offer to let them free and off their lease agreement on the spot as long as they clean up my property and take all of their belongings with them but most cannot afford to move in such short notice. I even offer them their security deposit back if there is any repair work to be done because of them if they are willing to do the work themselves and pay for any needed expenses. To date no one has taken me up on my offer. 

Of course I am also not so nice all of the time and sometimes give people a glimps of how the. "God Father", would handle the situation", most people will choose my nice guy approach. However, there is also be the one or two...................................................................................................................................................................................................

but buiness is business after all. We would all love to completely avoid the courts but that is what it takes sometimes and there really is no way to make sure we will not need the courts 100% of the time.

@James Wise was this 'review' as a result of the Eviction Video or another one. The moniker " Donald Trump" is hilarous in it's own right! Keep up the good work!

@James Wise Does this mean you own and rent out the White House? Let me know when you have a vacancy.

It comes down to understanding how money works. If you are what some call the "We are the 99%" like the T- shirts and bumper stickers. Or the "Feel the Burn" stickers you see proudly displayed on many Portland bumpers, you resent people who buy rentals instead of Red Bulls. Not only do you resent them, you want others to know you are a victim of such investors. 

If you have more than a few doors you have heard this one before, "I can't work, I am retired on disability. but if you guys ever need anyone to help out with painting, cleaning or anything like that let me know."

once you drive off, they curse your existence. 

If you want to befriend them you have to become one of them. drink red bulls, rent a big screen from Arron's, buy a new glass pipe from the corner store and suck hard. 

Shawn Coverdell

Homes in the Hood

@James Wise this may be a silly comparison, but being a landlord is like being a parent. You absolutely want a good relationship with your kids, but it is also your responsibility to lay down the law in order to protect everyone involved. Think difficult teenager and tough love. Most teenagers "hate" their parent at some point, but ultimately the parent's got to parent and the landlord's got to landlord.
Originally posted by @Shawn Coverdell :

If you have more than a few doors you have heard this one before, "I can't work, I am retired on disability. but if you guys ever need anyone to help out with painting, cleaning or anything like that let me know."

Hahaha! Know that one well with my current legacy.  I was sad to lose a longtime tenant who liked to moonlight painting for me.

Here's one of 50+ that I received across the inter-webs from a single tenant. She tried suing me and it was dismissed without any testimony from me. I evicted her through the court and she was escorted from the home 48 hours later. I still have a judgment against her. On her way out of the state, she filed a 100-page ethics violation complaint with 34 specific allegations. Every one of them was dismissed. She then sent another couple dozen "reviews" across the internet. Most of them were removed but a few are still visible on Yelp and Google just for fun.

It shouldn’t matter what an internet troll says. They are just keyboard warriors.

James Wise

Good gravy -- that tenant's a bad apple. He/she needs FAR more than "a sandwich." I second what Jim Chesmore said.  It's one thing to rant about dissatisfaction with terms of a contract (after you've willfully signed it), it's quite another to suggest egregious violence because of it. Bordering a personal threat for sure. 

@Nathan G.
Rott.  Weilers.  I'm dying to know what they consider "high-end custom furnishings."  Please tell me it was an indoor hydrant and stairs for the dogs to climb onto the bed.

It's definitely crazy to think that people can say these things to others. I wouldn't wish those words upon my worst enemy, much less a person who I don't know on Youtube. That's how people are nowadays. Once social media became popular, people became more ruthless through the web. 

As a landlord, you have to take the good with the bad. It really is about the money, but it's also about providing a "home" to the tenants you put into your properties. This is why the process of screening tenants is super important. If you want less hassle as a landlord, then don't allow the first person who shows interest in your property to rent from you. Find tenants that are educated, responsible, and meet your requirements. You have to remember that this is a BUSINESS but you also have to remember that it takes relationship building to run a successful one. 

Most tenants do not hate their landlords.  Most don't think about them and that's ok.  It means the property is safe, sound and they are happy.  The 10% that tend to take up most of the landlords energy and efforts are the 10% that test people's stomachs to see if they are cut out for this business.  I always suggest knowing before you buy if you can handle being a landlord and if not find a really really good property management company.  - Speaking from the experience of managing over 2000 properties.  

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