what makes a good landlord?

This is my first time at being a landlord, I don't think I am very good at it. Little things really stress me out. I get all worked up about it and spend the day worrying and stressing over what to do or what to say or what might or might not happen. I don't like it. I don't like the stress butterflies that feel more like monster trucks.

It is hard for me not to refer to my "neighbors" up there as my neighbors anymore, they, the renters, have asked me to stop and refer to them as friends. I am like AHHHHHHHHH but we still own the property, we still pay the property taxes, insurance and yadda yadda yadda.

J asked me what am I trying to accomplish? where do I want to go with all this...the emails that fly back and forth the fear and worry that they will bounce their rent cheque, and when today there was insufficient funds to clear their chq, an apologized oversight on their end and they said the funds are there now, I FREAK. Like barely contain the jittering bumbling nerves that are going off all through my body.

where is the peace?
where is the just relax everything will be fine?

maybe it is still lingering effects of being threatened to small claims court in the Spring for a PAC issue ( I really think that one did a major number on me. think I need some prayer ministry for that one yet)

maybe it is the fact that we ourselves are renting and although the ocean view is beautiful and I really like the living room...I don't feel the same way about the rest of the house. It has been neglected by renters for a very long time and there is a smell like an animal rotting in the walls that literally makes us all gag. It is a really old house with old house issues and it doesn't feel like home. In fact I don't even have the remotest inkling to make it so. The kids don't want to invite friends over cuz they are embarrassed by it...hmmmm think I am rubbing off on them or they can see why for themselves since they are older now?

So then the question is where do we go from here? how do I learn to live without the fear that the renters are going to cheat us? where is my peace that my Heavenly Father is working everything out for good? where is my knowing that He has a plan for me and my family, plans for good and not for evil? how do I be a good landlord and not a push over at the same time? maybe I should just let J take care of all this, I just know that when I tell him ok you have to deal with this cuz I can't handle it I end up trying to handle it....yah good old control there eh?! I need to breath a little. I think I need some more prayer ministry soon! too many unresolved issues over the last few years trying to take over and I don't want that. I want to be a good landlord, to be happy where I am, to be thankful for my family just being together, to not try to be figuring everything out all the time and just take it day by day. I want to be at peace, I want to be happy. I know that I need to pull this together because generally as I feel my girls feel and when they are acting out on how I am feeling then that is a house of chaos and turmoil. I don't want that either.

k I feel better now, not sure I resolved anything but it was sure good to get that all out.


Henri The Great said…
Hey, I just thought I'd post my opinion on renting...

As you might know, we've been renting out our house since we moved to France 3.5 years ago... so I know all about the anxiety and "issues" about whether the renters will pay, are they taking care of the house, the lawn, is there a pot farm in there now, etc.. :)

My philosophy with regard to renting is that it is a business contract. As a business owner, I've learned the hard way that there is a big difference between BUSINESS and FRIENDSHIP/PERSONAL.

A contract is a binding agreement, between two people. A friendship is just a handshake...

When you enter into a binding legal contract with your tenants, that is a business agreement. There is no issue of "should we let them be late with their rent, because I'm sure they didn't mean it, and they're nice people.. If they are late with their rent, or the cheque bounces, or whatever.. then the very next day they get a 30-day notice posted on their door to inform them that we have started eviction proceeding, as per the CONTRACT they signed with us.

It's as simple as that. If they don't want to get kicked out, then they need to pay their rent, as per their agreement.

The BC tenancy law is pretty clear about how all this works. My opinion is that it's better to start the 30 day notice asap, because you will never know if they are telling the truth about their payment issue, or whatever. Each day they don't pay and you don't serve them the 30-day notice, is one more day you could possibly go without rent.

And it doesn't matter what they think. they are not your friends. They entered into a BUSINESS contract with you. Plain and simple. If they wanted to enter into a non-binding contract, then they should not have signed it, nor should you.

Yes, I understand there is a "line" between friendship and business... but you know what? A friend does not screw another friend. If they can't afford their rent, then they can go to the bank and get a loan. You are not a bank. If they make a screwup with their payment and is causes the cheque to bounce and they're oh-so-sorry.. then great, as soon as they pay then the 30-day notice you posted on their door becomes null, since they paid.

If they are offended that you posted the 30-day notice.. then that means they are not your friend. True friends don't take advantage of each other.

Anyway.. you can tell I'm pretty "into" this issue. I've been hosed on more then one occasion with providing business services to "friends". I no longer treat them as such. If they enter into a business contract with me, then that contract is what determines how our business relationship goes. Friendship is another issue entirely.

(And yes, I have some friends, who are still friends, whom I've sent off to collections because they didn't pay their bills.)


Henri S.(Hi Jason!)
Shash said…
I agree with Henri, is there a penalty clause in your agreement too? They should pay a penalty for every day they are late and they should have paid for an NSF charge. Yes I know their bank will have changed them around $25 but you should have something in writing that they pay you a fee too. Just a thought....

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