Okay, guess how I spent this morning?
Taking care of tenants’ complaints. Two of them by 9 AM.
The first was the stopped up drain call. The second was a little more unusual with a tenant who was awakened at 4 AM by “this strange loud noise that sounded like a drill coming from the condo above.”
Of course we’ve all guessed it was the smoke alarm. It was coming from an empty unit above her that we don’t own.
You don’t want to get tenants upset, but honestly if it were a fire, someone besides us should have been called a long time ago. But that’s the way it goes with condos. Small problems can get to be major ones by the time you finally get the call. Fortunately this one was a false fire.
But the stopped up drain call was another matter. Yes, it was grease poured down the sink which is what it will be 90 percent of the time when it’s in the kitchen.
Of course our tenants denied it. No, they had not poured grease down that sink. Evidence? Well, it came out after we had taken the trap apart and snaked it a few inches beyond that. Yeah, it was black gunk. But by doing it ourselves, we saved $80.
Should we have fussed at those tenants?
Here’s the way I look at it. Yes, they deserve it. Throw the lease at them. Would that have really solved the problem?
But what if they do it again?
They will. They always do. But we have safeguards built in. We know tenants are going to do stupid things to our properties. That’s part of the game. We have already made allowances for that by charging a little extra rent. We give each unit three “free” calls per year. That’s on the average. (Of course we don’t share that with the tenants.)
These tenants have never called about anything since they moved in six months ago.
Here’s my point.
You can’t expect everything to run perfectly all the time. Stuff does happen. The difference between a landlord who is more laid back and one who lets everything raise his blood pressure is perspective.
You can’t let it get to you. Spend your time investing in more real estate because there are going to be some fantastic deals out there during 2008.