It’s easy to get a bad rap if you’re landlord. Unfortunately, it’s very common for landlords to be seen as the bad guy. There are a lot of reasons for this, and while some of them are true, most of them are not. And if you’re a landlord, you know how frustrating this can be. Especially if you do everything in your power to make your tenants as comfortable as you can. However, sometimes matter how hard you try you just can’t win.
In some ways this seems to make sense, cause after all a person’s home is where they do the most private and intimate parts of their life. And when you as a landlord have to come in and tell your tenants that you have to make changes, you are unable to accommodate them in a certain way, or worse yet you have to evict them. It’s easy to see why you as a landlord aren’t always liked. But, what are the real reasons behind why landlords are so disliked? Well, in this article we’ll highlight the main reasons landlords get a bad rap and what you as a landlord can do about it.
Aside from the actual bad landlords out there that act more like slumlords, the biggest reason as to why landlords are most commonly disliked is the media. And the reason for this is because negative news sells. I mean how often have you read a headline that says “Tenants evicted on Thanksgiving.” Or, “Tenant looses their job and their house.” In fact, have you ever seen an article that states “Landlord helps out there tenets by giving them a comfortable place to live at a reduced cost.” Or, “Landlord mows tenants lawn for free.” The media loves to grab on to any underdog type the story. So, this just further helps to solidify the image of landlords being the bad guy.
The second reason why landlords are often seen in a negative light is because more often than not, our society has a general disdain about money. Somehow they have perceived money is evil or bad. That it is something that should looked down upon, as should the people who work hard to make it. This falls in line with the lack of economic understanding. This is becoming blatantly obvious in the media today. How often do you see articles or blogs about how people in our society are demanding things be paid for them? Such as healthcare, housing, college educations, etc. However, what people don’t tend to realize is there is no such thing as a free lunch. And no matter how much they want something for free, the money to pay for it has to come from somewhere. This brings us to run next point. Envy.
Somehow, we have gone to a place in society where there are those who feel that it is simply okay to take another’s property, especially if they’re stealing from the “rich” and giving it to the “poor”. And of course landlords are by definition rich, so therefore it’s okay to steal from them, tax them, and generally hinder their ability to do business. And with envy also comes resentment. People become resentful of their landlords simply because they are successful. And of course oftentimes envy turns to hate. It’s easier for them to resent the idea that someone is perhaps more successful than they are. And instead of looking inwards at themselves, or putting in the work to make themselves successful, it’s easier and far more convenient to blame others. So, what can you as a landlord do about all of this?
The first thing you can do is lead by example. As tempting as it is to sometimes want to just say “screw you” to your tenants, don’t. Don’t be a slumlord. Don’t do a job halfway. Instead, be honest and upright in your dealings with your tenants. Treat them fairly, and keep the homes well maintained. This is honestly the best thing you is a landlord can do. But, with that being said, you also need to be able to defend yourself. If someone starts calling you out as a slumlord or someone else that you know, speak up. Explain to them how hard you work to provide them with a decent place to live. Let them know how difficult it is to be a business owner, and how much work you actually have to put in on their behalf. You can tell them about your successes and your failures. And how hard you had to work to get to where you are.
Also, do your best to educate people in every opportunity even if you would need Real Estate Virtual Tours of your other properties. Talk to those other landlords, like you, about how they too can be successful. Share with them your tips for success and how to avoid failure. Become a mentor to those who are just getting started in the business. So they can someday mentor someone else. But, if you do nothing else, never give up and always treat your tenants and those around you with respect. That is truly the key to success.