Author Topic: My observation today about landlording  (Read 5510 times)

Us2bCool

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My observation today about landlording
« on: March 07, 2016, 05:53:00 PM »
Hi, all,

I own a couple of rental properties, but yesterday I had a conversation that got me thinking about two very distinct types of landlords.

The house next door is a rental. I'm good friends with the tenant (she's a peach). I've never met her landlord even though he lives a couple of blocks away. He lived there originally, then moved to a larger house and kept this one as a rental.

Yesterday I had to call him to let him know that the fence between our houses is falling down and needs to be replaced. I told him I would arrange to have a couple of estimates and make all the arrangements, and would let him know what the cost would be for each of us.*

His response:
"Well, you know, I have a kid at (private college), and frankly that fence isn't exactly my highest priority".

I'll skip the rest of the conversation (I just thanked him and got off, then called a couple of fencing companies) but it got me thinking about what appear to be two different types of landlords: those who think of the house as their home that they're allowing someone the privilege of using, and those who think of the house as an investment.

If you think it's your own home, you decide what needs maintenance and what doesn't, and guess what...if it doesn't affect you, it clearly isn't important. Broken dishwasher? Falling down fence? Water leak? Doesn't affect me, you can just live with it. I don't have the money or the time to deal with this right now.

If you view the house as an investment, basic maintenance isn't optional. There's a fund set aside for maintenance fees, and in many cases, the owner doesn't even know about the work until it's done...the tenant goes through the property manager.

I don't mean to say that if you are renting out a house with which you have an emotional connection (maybe your childhood home, your grandparents' house, the house you hope to live in one day) you automatically won't be a good landlord, but I've observed this with others as well. We're going to be buying our dream home soon and renting it out for a few years, so I'm going to try very hard not to make this mistake.


*Let me clarify that the rules of our draconian HOA are very clear on upkeep of fences and the responsibility of each neighbor to pay their share, so there's no ambiguity on whether I was being a big fat meanie expecting him pay half.

CCEddy54

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 08:51:20 AM »
Hi, I have lived in many different rentals and see what you are saying. When I lived in a big building they would get right to any fixes that are needed. The up-keep was done when it was needed (new paint when tenant left, hall ways cleaned weekly)and so on. When I lived in an apartment with-in a home it was kept up well by the landlord because she took pride in her home.
But when looking in the adds for a new place many in-home apartments where in need of some very basic up-grades and repairs that the land lords didn't seem to care about. Was it a money thing or the (their going to ruin it anyways why bother) thing I am not sure of.
Now we own a house with a rental attached, we are doing repairs as we go along. But have prioritized them as - safety first (new baby proof plugs and roof replacement) second - porch painting and landscaping and such.
We care about our rental and home but need to do these things as money comes available. Sorry for going on so much too much coffee.

felizcortez

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2016, 10:46:52 AM »
I think your observations are pretty accurate.  Having lived in a few different rentals with different landlords, the ones that viewed the tenants as customers and their properties as investments were the most on top of their game.  My wife and I have had this exact same conversation about our last landlord.  The landlord would be really lax on fixing some major items that we brought to them, but if it was something they cared about (obsessive about the brand of hardwood floor cleaner used when we were moving out by the cleaning company we were paying) they would be all over it.  It just seemed like they felt we were living in their house and were guests vs this was the home that we were renting and they were providing a service.  I view it as the individuals wants the upside (the rent checks), but don't want to treat it like a business.  Quite frankly, the landlord should take care of things in timely and professional manner.  Anything less is bad business.

iris lily

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2016, 08:51:19 PM »
Isnt the fence either yours or his? Ive not heard of "the fence belongs to both of us."

monarda

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2016, 09:32:15 AM »
Why does the fence need to be replaced? Do either of you have pets you want to keep in? Take it down and go without a fence. In our neighborhood, there are almost no fences.

bobechs

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2016, 12:11:23 PM »
Isnt the fence either yours or his? Ive not heard of "the fence belongs to both of us."

Oh, don't be so narrow.

 The world is a huge, wonderful place chock-full of things you have never heard of.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/common+wall

Bigsacks

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2016, 01:35:20 PM »
Sounds like you are being a cry baby about this.....

its his rental, let him handle it how he sees fit......

iris lily

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2016, 02:03:55 PM »
Isnt the fence either yours or his? Ive not heard of "the fence belongs to both of us."

Oh, don't be so narrow.

 The world is a huge, wonderful place chock-full of things you have never heard of.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/common+wall

Haha, ok. So maybe the OPDoes have a "party wall," I justbknow,thatbif my neighbor told me that
I owed miney for replacement of a fence, I,would,be checking iut the legalitynof who,owns the fence.

randymarsh

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2016, 12:57:28 AM »
Sounds like you are being a cry baby about this.....

its his rental, let him handle it how he sees fit......

*Let me clarify that the rules of our draconian HOA are very clear on upkeep of fences and the responsibility of each neighbor to pay their share, so there's no ambiguity on whether I was being a big fat meanie expecting him pay half.

MsPeacock

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2016, 02:27:28 PM »
I'm not sure if the good landlord (attentive to repairs) vs. bad landlord (inattentive to repairs) is due to seeing it as an investment vs. seeing it as 'their home." To me, if you own a property, of any sort, it is on you to maintain it. I have certainly seen in my neighborhood, however, that people renting out 'their house" let the maintenance go for shockingly long periods of time (honestly, the houses eventually  just become tear downs at some point). On the other hand, I inherited my childhood home and used it as rental property for 20 years and took great care of it. My feeling was that I had responsibilities to my tenants and good sense means you take care of expensive things that you own (car, house, etc.).

With This Herring

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2016, 12:42:20 AM »
This makes me wonder if it's more an issue of some entities being good landlords and some being poor landlords, regardless of how they see the property.

Currently, my landlord lives in the bottom unit of the house, while we and another couple live in the top two units.  The landlord is super-prompt about getting stuff fixed, and I would guess that he sees it as his home.

Our previous apartment was in a large complex, probably over 100 units there, and the landlord LLC owned multiple complexes in the area.  There is no way it could be seen as anything other than an investment.  Service requests took forever to get a response, and sometimes requests had to be put in multiple times to get a response.

jinga nation

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2016, 03:02:10 PM »
I know of two types of landlords.
The first are absolute assholes, because their landlord was an asshole a long time ago.
The second are gems, because they don't want to be THAT asshole landlord.
I try to be the second one, as much as I can. I know what it is to be a tenant and deal with asshole landlords.
/2cents

Us2bCool

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2016, 05:43:17 PM »
OP here...with apologies for the late reply.

Yep, it's a "party fence" in that it belongs to both of us per the HOA.  Having no fence, or a fence that's not properly maintained, is a no-no in this neighborhood. That said, if it was up to us we'd be happy to take it down. Our neighbor is a sweetie; she does have a dog but we don't mind if she comes in our yard (actually with as many missing slats as we have, she is over here quite a bit).

In case you're wondering why we live in HOA hell, we moved to this town with a very tight real estate market; this was the only house we could get. Our plan is to live here until the kid is out of high school, then move to my moustachian home town, buy a little farm, paint my house whatever color I want, and have no fences...except the one around the chicken coop. But we still have three years to go.

Why does the fence need to be replaced? Do either of you have pets you want to keep in? Take it down and go without a fence. In our neighborhood, there are almost no fences.

clarkfan1979

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2016, 02:11:41 AM »
I call them lazy landlords. The place looks like shit and then they complain about their shitty tenants. They don't seem to see the connection between the quality of their rental and the quality of their tenants. I have learned that if I put in a little more effort than my competition I get to collect a lot more rent.

arebelspy

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2016, 04:38:47 PM »
That said, if it was up to us we'd be happy to take it down. Our neighbor is a sweetie; she does have a dog but we don't mind if she comes in our yard (actually with as many missing slats as we have, she is over here quite a bit).

If there's no issue at the moment, I'd let it lie until it's affecting you (i.e. the HOA sends you a warning letter, or you want the curb appeal higher because you're moving out and renting or selling your place, you think it's becoming a safety liability, or whatever other reason).

At that point, I'd contact him again, with the reason why it needs to be fixed, and let him know three quotes that you have gotten--let him know he's also free to check with any other companies.

If he refuses to cooperate at that point, get the HOA involved where necessary, if you think it'll help and is the best route.  It's not a great situation, so hopefully you can resolve it amicably before that.

But until there's a reason to fix it, probably best to let it sit, now that you've mentioned it to him.
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Jon Bon

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2016, 12:44:09 PM »
That said, if it was up to us we'd be happy to take it down. Our neighbor is a sweetie; she does have a dog but we don't mind if she comes in our yard (actually with as many missing slats as we have, she is over here quite a bit).

If there's no issue at the moment, I'd let it lie until it's affecting you (i.e. the HOA sends you a warning letter, or you want the curb appeal higher because you're moving out and renting or selling your place, you think it's becoming a safety liability, or whatever other reason).

At that point, I'd contact him again, with the reason why it needs to be fixed, and let him know three quotes that you have gotten--let him know he's also free to check with any other companies.

If he refuses to cooperate at that point, get the HOA involved where necessary, if you think it'll help and is the best route.  It's not a great situation, so hopefully you can resolve it amicably before that.

But until there's a reason to fix it, probably best to let it sit, now that you've mentioned it to him.

Nothing wrong with letting it be, but at the same time why should the OP  have to look at and deal with a broken down POS fence?

I guess just chaulk if up to one more reason why HOAs are terrible!


arebelspy

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Re: My observation today about landlording
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2016, 12:49:55 PM »
Nothing wrong with letting it be, but at the same time why should the OP  have to look at and deal with a broken down POS fence?

I guess just chaulk if up to one more reason why HOAs are terrible!

Huh?  This is an example of the opposite; the HOA might be what makes the neighbor pay his half (under threat of fines).  No HOA = the neighbor could just refuse, and your only remedy would be a civil lawsuit.

There's plenty of reasons not to like HOAs, but this doesn't seem to be one, IMO.
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