My husband breaks ALL the rules when it comes to property…well that’s not entirely true. But he definitely breaks the rules when it comes to property management. One of our properties we have owned for years and after a few short term leases, we now have it rented out to a lovely elderly lady who is a long term tenant.
Honestly our tenant is fantastic. She signs a yearly lease, she pays rent in advance and she keeps the property well maintained. In fact the property has never looked so good!
Hubby and our tenant get along very well. So he thinks it’s totally ok to break the cardinal landlord rules. What are these rules I hear you ask? Well, they are fairly straight forward.
1. Don’t befriend your tenant – Being friends with your tenant has the potential to become totally awkward if say they are late in paying rent, or you need to raise the rent or they are not looking after the property to the standards in which you expect. Imagine telling your friend they live like a pig… awkward!!
2. Don’t manage the property yourself – Okay, in some situations it’s possible to manage the property yourself, but generally it never works out well and I always advise paying a professional property manager to manage the property for you. Now in our situation, we have a property manager. Actually he’s an onsite property manager so he a manager/ maintenance man, but that doesn’t stop my husband or our tenant from dealing direct with each other. Even rent raises are handled between themselves and any correspondence through the property manager is merely a courtesy to keep him in the loop.
3. Avoid gifts and offerings – There should definitely be a clear boundary of what is acceptable and what is not and giving gifts and offerings should be avoided so both landlord and tenant are clear on the boundaries. Does my husband do this? NOPE! He and our tenant are both avid gardeners (that’s how they became friends) and are often sharing seedlings & clippings (along with the casual tea and bikkies).
So really they are not really ‘rules’, they are more like boundaries. My husband is definitely a boundary breaker! In this situation, it’s kinda no big deal but if you have numerous properties and you don’t have clear boundaries with your tenant and your property manager it can potentially become a big problem.
There will always be exceptions to any rule, but wherever possible, it’s always best to be as clear as you can be with your intentions and expectations and making sure everyone is all on the same page.
I would love to hear if when you or your partner have broken cardinal property investing ‘boundaries’ and it’s worked out ok. Why not join us over in the Property Social Club and join the conversation about property management.
Until next time…
Chicks and Mortar – Women in Property