I've heard other real estate investors suggest that you not tell your tenants that you're the owner and only refer to yourself as the property manager when interacting with the tenants. I plan to househack, so this feels doubly important (to protect my privacy more). But how will this work when my name will be listed on the lease as landlord? Is my only option to create an LLC and put all leases under the name of the LLC?
Put your Big Girl pants on....be the Owner, period.
I'm with Wayne. I don't believe in running a business with lies. Be honest.
If you don't feel you can be honest and still run the business properly, then find a way to be anonymous.
- Set up LLC that is under a registered agent's name;
- Sign everything electronically rather than in person;
- Get a business phone through Google Voice, MagicJack, etc.
- Use a P.O. Box
Even this isn't perfect. How will you remain anonymous while showing the home and answering questions. It seems you would have to lie at some point.
Just be honest. If you need a buffer because you have a hard time being firm with people, tell them you can't negotiate anything without speaking to your spouse first, then let them be the bad guy when you deny a request.
Wear a Property Manager shirt.
@Wayne Brooks I’m not looking for an easy way out or trying to be deceptive. I’m getting this advice directly from podcasts and articles by the founders of BiggerPockets. I’ve heard them recommend this several times.
I do the same thing, always introduce myself as the property manager. Just gives an extra layer of protection. Then any questions they ask that you would like to think about, you can always fall back to saying you will have to check with the owner and will have to get back with them. Just started doing this and have been happy that I did.
Maybe you can tell them you are the owner and use “your partner as a bad guy” your partner could be the lease, the bank, how ever creative you want to be. I actually have a partner that I blame every tough decision on and I live in the property with my tenants. It makes it easier to enforce my lease, because I just let them know that my partner and I have a separate agreement that forces me to follow all our policies. Just an idea from a rookie house hacker.
@Sarah R Pullen I have never agreed with this advice, and I always wonder what people are trying to hide. You will be living at the property and most likely will be doing a lot of work at the property. The tenants will figure out that you are the owner, and it definitely isn't worth the expense to legally try to hide who you are by setting up an LLC, etc. Just be the owner and get great tenants. Set expectations that you will respond to emergencies, but that other maintenance issues will be dealt with during business hours, etc.