3 Weeks Dealing With Tenants

I’m having fun.

If you are a first time reader, I closed on a four-unit investment property 3 weeks ago.  If you are unfamiliar, please feel free to catch up on what I’ve been up to – One Day; $28,000 & Investment Property: Part 1, Cosmetics.

Going through this process, before and after the closing, I have heard negative stories from numerous people telling me how it’s not worth the time and effort to deal with tenants.

My reaction was and still is – 1) It’s about relationships; everything is; & 2) You must have bought at the wrong price if it’s not worth it.

About relationships.  I’m not telling you to be a push over.  What I’m saying is; listen to them, tell them you understand, but then be firm in your decision-making.

Our rule, rent must be paid by the 7th of each month.  If not, we deliver a 5 day notice that states if we do not receive full payment in 5 days they must be out by the 13th and if they refuse to do so we will see them in court.

Simple communication.

One lady, who received a 5 day notice, gave us $200 on the 10th, but that payment came with a note.  The note talked about how she was the one that took care of the property.  She cleaned it, she shoveled snow, etc, etc.  She also said she wanted to pay the rest of her rent at the very end of the month.

I immediately called her and told her that she knew the deal because she received the five day notice.  I then told her again the exact time frame and what our actions would be if we were not paid in full by the end of the 5 day notice.

I didn’t get heated, I didn’t get mad, I didn’t butt heads.  I simply listened to her and what was going on in her life – she did most of the talking (the less you talk, the more you win) and simply said, “I understand, I am sorry for your situation, but the bank doesn’t let me pay late no matter what is going on in my life.  We need your rent paid in full or else you move out.  If not a court date will be set.”  She said, “Okay, I understand too, I will move out before the 5 days are over.”

She was not upset, she agreed with my response.  Everything comes back to the person who has power and how that person acts.  If I would have made a huge deal out of it, raved and ranted, yelled and argued with her this deal would have dragged out in a courtroom.

That’s my serious story.

A funny story.

The first week we had the property I went to mow and weed-whack since the yard looked awful!  The last time the building was weed-whacked was back in 1974 when the building was constructed

Picture this.  I’m whacking the weeds like crazy.  Going to town.  It’s hot out and I’m sweating – ready to jump in a pool.  Unknown to myself, amongst the weeds; sat a cilantro plant.  Right when I chopped that sucker I knew I hit an herb.  But c’mon man, it was in the middle of weeds, so I really didn’t think it belonged to a tenant.  WRONG!

Two hours later the phone rings.


“Hey man, I pay my rent early and you chop my wives cilantro plant.  Your lawn mowing crew came and it’s gone. That’s our cilantro man, we cook with it.  You killed it. We have to fix this.”

“Well, how much cilantro was there?”

About a 5 second silence.

“Ahhh, 20 to 25 dollars worth.”

“Okay, I’m sorry for chopping up the cilantro plant, I’m sure it will grow back but I will give you some cilantro.  And next year, lets find a different place to use as a ‘garden.’ Okay?”

I like telling the story in person better because I get to use my accent.

i abbreviated the conversation but the man was getting upset.  I could hear it in his voice as he went on but I told him we will take care of the problem and next year we will move his garden so there is no more trouble with this.

Over the last year I have really learned that everything works out better if you stay calm, listen to people, ask questions and before you respond always say, “I understand…”


One thought on “3 Weeks Dealing With Tenants

  1. Pingback: Incase You Missed It! | Greater Than > Athletes

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