If you have been in the residential rental business for any significant amount of time, eventually you’ll discover that one tenant whose life mission appears to be to send you to an early grave. We’ve all been there, and it is frustrating, believe us. They can do this in ways big and small — and usually in a lot of different ways at once!
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16 Reasons Your Tenant’s Driving You Crazy
Here are a few examples of ways your tenant might be driving you nuts.
- Paying their rent late.
- Paying their rent late with an incredible, sad story as to why it’s late. (Tenant: “You see, my great uncle Jimmy passed away, and I had to fly unexpectedly to North Dakota for the funeral. But then when I got there, a massive tornado blew in and took out the whole town. Then my car broke down on my way home.” Landlord: “Didn’t you fly?” Tenant: “Oh, that’s what I meant. After I flew home, my car broke down, and I couldn’t get to work, so I was out of work for three weeks!” Landlord: “Is that the box to a new 60” big screen TV out by your garbage can?” Tenant: “What box? Oh that. That? That’s… not… mine.”)
- Or on the flip side, playing ostrich and burying their head when the rent is due.
- Smoking in a non-smoking unit.
- Smoking out the window in a non-smoking unit. (It’s not “technically” smoking in the unit if their hand is out the window.)
- Getting a pit bull in a no-pet unit.
- Getting a pet of any kind in a no-pet unit. (But it’s so cute!)
- Not taking care of or cleaning up after animals in a pet-friendly unit.
- Noise complaints from the neighbors.
- Turning the backyard into a vehicle cemetery.
- Not mowing the lawn.
- Letting their sister and Joe Blow move in.
- Changing the oil in the living room. (Yes, this has happened.)
- Not reporting maintenance issues that turn into major problems.
- Using their decks as a catch-all.
- Using Mickey Mouse sheets as curtains (after they broke the blinds).
How the Pareto Principle Applies to Landlording
You get the idea. There is a popular business principle often discussed called “The Pareto Principle,” also known as “The 80/20 Rule” that has been attributed to Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. Wikipedia explains it well by saying, “The Pareto Principle… states that for many events, roughly 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes.” In the world of landlording, this can be applied to mean that 80 percent of your problems (or stress) comes from 20 percent of your tenants. The percentages don’t have to be exact, but it comes down to simply eliminating those problem tenants from your portfolio.
By firing the tenants in your irritating 20 percent, you will be a happier landlord, your other tenants will be happier, and your business will run much more smoothly. There are a lot of qualified people out there who are great tenants, so why put yourself through the hassle of trying the deal with someone who simply doesn’t care? Life’s too short to rent to people who will shorten your life even further. So, let’s get rid of them, shall we?
[This article is an excerpt from Brandon Turner’s The Book on Managing Rental Property. Check out the full read here!]
What (crazy) things have your worst tenants done?
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