Last words on Property Management
This is either your former home or your wisely acquired investment we’re talking about here. At the same time, do understand that we get it, we live in this world every single day. We understand the value you place on your property.
A friend of mine, we’ll call him Willie, lived in a house in San Diego County. Willie admits that he and his family were not the ideal renters, they were frequently late on their rent, and the owners, a couple who self-manage, would let it slide. What’s $25 here, $50 there? Just make it up later,” they would say.
As I told Willie, that would not fly in our business, the rent is the rent, it is based on a legal document and agreement between the landlord and the renter. The renter has their obligations, the owner theirs.
Years ago, the plumbing went bad. The owner’s solution? “Here’s a large Folgers can. This is now your toilet until I can raise enough money (we’re talking weeks here) to fix the plumbing.”
A few years later the 30-year-old water heater began leaking. Willie paid over a $1000, to replace it, which happened to be the monthly rent. The owner
debited this amount from the rent, yet, as I understand it, came back on him later for this cost.
Occasionally, and unannounced, the owner would show up to “inspect” the property. What they would do is ask to be invited in, as it is illegal for a landlord to enter a renter’s dwelling except in very proscribed circumstances in California.
On one such visit, the wife walks into the bathroom and sees a bucket in the bathtub. She begins shrieking, “What! What! That is a bucket! What is a BUCKET doing in the tub?!?
Willie and his wife are baffled but not surprised, she would often make snarky comments and moves furniture when she shows up.
Willie’s wife explains they that, at present, they cannot afford the laundromat up the road, so they are hand washing their clothes.
The wife owner shrieks again while walking out of the house to leave, “I can’t believe what you horrible people are doing to our house!” All of this transpires in front of the children.
Clearly, these owners do not have the temperament to self-manage.
No matter what, always stay cool. Hold your renters accountable, get your rental amount, don’t permit damage, but do so in such a way that they can keep that which is really the only thing that anyone truly owns, their dignity.