This series of blogs is to help my friends and clients that have taken the gamble of renting their current home and purchasing their next home. Being the accidental landlord is not easy, but with some planning and evaluation it can be a fantastic financial move for your future.
Your tenants are not your friends!! Ok, I say this losely but really do mean it. Nothing will prohibit you from being a good landlord more than being, becoming or wanting to be friends with your renters. I also understand that many times you will be tempted to lease your rental to a friend or family member, but under no circumstances can your friendship over rule your business relationship. In elementary school the staff begins teaching the kids the rules and policys of the school only because they want them to be very clear and become second neature. The same goes for your rental house. Not much is more difficult than collecting a late fee from your drinking buddy or evicting your sweet nephew, so just avoid it. At a lease signing I suggest having a list of rules and expectations to go alonng with the signed lease. For instance, who to call when something breaks or what will the actual process be if rent is late or not collected. These are not bad things to talk about up front and can get foggy when a personal friendship is involved. You need to treat landlording as an automated process. First of month-rents due, Fifth of month-eviction notice and late fee charge and after day ten your filing for a court order. This gets hard when its the same person you had dinner with last night or play darts with each Thursday. So by all means treaing this like a business relationship early and clearly will save you many times of forgiveness and compassion. A renter is a negotiated business associate and a friend iss not, so keep them seperate. There is nothing wrong with being kind and respectful, but unless your willing to let them walk all over you or break somebodys heart, avoid the personal friendship and keep things at arms length. They will be more responsive and respect you for it down the road. Happy Landlording