It’s Memorial Day Weekend, the traditional start of summer.
I hope all of you are getting a chance to relax, hang with some friends, enjoy a cookout or get away for a while.
I like to enjoy these long weekends as much as the next person, but as a landlord I have also grown to dread them a bit.
Because I know that come Tuesday the inbox will be stuffed with work orders and other requests. These long holiday weekends, and I’m not just talking about Memorial Day, seem to just bring them on. I call it the “holiday effect.”
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What Causes The Holiday Effect?
Some of it is caused by the fact that my tenants are now home for an extended period of time. This extra time allows them to notice things that need to be fixed. Funny part is they may have known about these repairs for sometime but now that they are home for an extended period of time, they “need” it fixed right away.
Another cause is that systems will likely be used more than normal. Again the tenants will be home more, they will also have people over, they may be cooking a big meal, they will want to catch up on the laundry, so the AC, the stove, the toilet, the shower, etc will all get heavier use or just plain abused. This will cause things to break.
Plus, many are trying to get out of town. Instead of relaxing folks trying to get out of town tends to stress them out. Everyone waits until the last minute to get everything done.
This includes not only your tenants, but also your contractors. So in the rush, they drop things, they break things, they lock themselves out, they forget that haste makes waste.
Finally, there will be drinking and partying. Sometimes there will be a lot of drinking. Drunks break things and they sometimes break each other. Either way it may end up in your inbox on Tuesday.
How To Plan For The Holiday Effect
It is not easy to plan for the holiday effect. In fact I am not even sure you can. There are however some things that I think you can do to try to minimize the holiday effect and make the holidays enjoyable for you as well.
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- Tenant screening is key (It always seems to come back to screening). Do your best to weed the bad ones out. Be very selective who you rent to if you can. On the other hand, don’t be surprised at the toga party if you rent to a bunch of college freshman.
- Be sure you explain the difference between a repair and an emergency to your tenants. Emergencies will be handled immediately. Repairs of course will be taken care of during normal business hours. On that note……
- Set up normal business hours and stick to them. If you answer your phone anytime a tenant calls they will call at anytime, all the time.
- Have a firm set of house rules. Go over these carefully at move in with your most serious tone of voice.
- If a tenant breaks the rules, make sure there are consequences. If you do not follow up in this regard your tenants will end up ignoring your rules.
- Respond promptly to tenant complaints about other tenants. Yes, you may just have a busybody tenant but then again you may have a serious problem. Either way, follow up just to be safe and demonstrate that you are involved.
- Keep your property nice, clean and repaired. Follow up promptly on repair requests. After all, if you do not take care of your property why should your tenants?
- Don’t start any major repairs before a holiday week-end. Remember your contractors want to get away too. They may rush the job or leave it unfinished. Let it wait until after the holiday if you can.
So landlords, have a happy Memorial Day. Enjoy your cookouts and even have a drink or two. Just get ready for the deluge on Tuesday!
Landlords, do any of you experience this holiday effect?
Let me know in the comment section below!