Property management is built on relationships, but emotions have no business in Rentals. This is tough! This property is your home. Maybe your family grew up here, or the memories are pulling at your heart strings. Once you make the choice to turn your home into a rental, your mindset needs to shift to all business. It is no longer the yard you planted with the kids, that the new resident can’t touch. Or the cool mural you had done that you think everyone will love- sorry to say -probably not. Your home is now some one else’s and you have to let them hopefully love it just as much as you did.
In some unfortunate cases, residents may not take care of your home. This could happen and is a risk of owning rental property. If you let every carpet tear or damaged wall emotionally effect you, it will not seem like a rewarding business. Don’t run off yet! Most residents will treat your home respectfully, but you need to be prepared for the few bad actors. While there are still leases with rules and regulations, controlling and enforcing are always much harder than you think.
Let’s talk about contracts…
Property managers live and die by contracts. Two in particular. The property management agreement with the owner. This says exactly what we can and cant do. What we can and can’t spend. Then the rental agreement with the resident. This spells out their responsibilities as well as ours and the owners. 20 years ago, Owners could base decisions off the relationship with a resident. Oh, they have been so nice…don’t raise the rent or charge them for that. Now, the laws are so strict, we must stay in line with the contract. If there is ever a disagreement, what does the contract say?
Independent owners can really feel the guilt if they allow their emotions to play a role in decision making. Knowing to much about your residents can lead to you not following the lease which can lead to fair housing and discrimination lawsuits. Something as harmless as giving residents two different holiday gifts, could be seen as discrimination. Unintended consequences of well meaning laws have lead to no wiggle room or common courtesy.
Homeowners need to mentally prepare to hand their home over, it is now just a house. A property managers job is to do everything by the book. Whether you or the residents like it. The law does not allow for special exceptions because you feel bad for someone. Everyone must be treated the same way. This saves everyone from potential heartache. Should there be some room for emotion, maybe? Unfortunately, the law says otherwise. So enter the rental housing business with your emotions in check. You will find being a housing provider can be very rewarding in the long run.