Tenant Problems: How To Stop Spending Money When They Think You’re Santa Claus

Your tenant wants to argue about the water bill. Here’s the solution that worked for us.

A serious tenant problem is the spending of  too much money on a property because a tenant is demanding you fix things.  These tenant types think of you as Santa Claus and they can come to you with their long lists of things they want.

Case in Point:  I have an old house with several tenants.  One tenant  has been very quick to ask for things he really doesn’t need.  In fact, at times he has demanded we fix things we don’t have the budget for.  How to handle a tenant like this without him moving?

Here’s what we did and so far the psychology  is working. 

He has a little garden that has costs much higher water bills.  Unfortunately, all the tenants share the same water meter.  We can’t change that, and that is a different subject for a different post.

We explained the water bill to him and told him we had checked the entire property for any leaks.  We think the extra $150 jump in the bill was coming from his garden.

“What?  I don’t water that much.”

To summarize we had all our facts and figures to present to him.  We know exactly what the averages are for the water per unit per month.  Math is math and really isn’t easy to dispute, no matter how hard people sometimes try.

He tried to blame it on some of the other tenants, but we were ready for that argument also.  In other words, we had done our homework.  We know what they use too.  We were ready to go to “court”. 

In the end, he saw it our way, but it took some patient convincing.    He had tried to “ask” for a new kitchen floor.  We explained to him he was not in a position to negotiate anything.  Times are hard, we told him.   Besides, we reminded him, he is paying $50 less rent per month than he should be paying. 

“We may need to do up on the rents,” we said.

He is getting rid of the garden.  Case closed. 

Take Away:

1. Do your homework.  Make sure you have all your facts and figures before you approach a tenant about anything.  You will be a force to reckon with when you are armed with knowledge.  Knowledge really is power, and even your dumbest tenants will know that.

2. Be nice.  You don’t have to get rough with them.   Keep the dialogue open but let them know you won’t be bullied.  Adult bullying is no different from kid bullying.  Don’t let them take the first punch.

3. Be confident.  Let your tenants know you are running a business.  

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Landlord Is Allegedly Almost Killed By Tenant with Horns

Tenant with horns almost runs over landlord. Bad tenants are out there and here are ways we can protect ourselves.

A Tulsa landlord was in danger of being almost allegedly killed by a tenant.  This tenant is easy to spot because he has cosmetically altered devil horns on his head, according to the news source The Smoking Gun.

Note: I’m not making this up. 

This has been a difficult year for all of us and I don’t have to remind us to be careful when renting out our properties.  Needless to say this is one of the strangest cases I have come across.  The lesson here is not to get someone like this tenant with horns mad at you. 

Read Smoking Gun Tenant with Horns

 In recent days, I have emphasized proper due diligence.  Your prospective tenants need to be truthful while filling out your applications.  Also, you want to make sure the person has enough take home income to pay the rent.  Translation: That is the income they actually pocket.  Robert Shemin is very big on that point in his excellent book Secrets of a Millionarie Landlord.

It absolutely amazes me concerning some of the stories I have had to listen to while interviewing prospective tenants this summer.  Some credit summaries are so bad they’re almost unbelievable. 

We have also had people who have tried to sneak in without filling out our paperwork.  The economy is not good  right now and some people are getting desperate, but that doesn’t mean you have to take in anything the cat drags in.  You still need to conduct your business like a business.

You need to stay on top of what is going on with your properties.  This almost Tulsa tragedy is a good example.

Note: I debated about showing you the picture of the tenant featured on Smoking Gun and decided not to.  Just go to Smoking Gun and see it.

3 Tips for Finding Good Tenants

Can you find good tenants without wasting a lot of precious time? What every landlord should know; quick and dirty

Here are 3 tips for finding good tenants

Renting units is hotting up for me because this is our busiest time of year.

Dealing with tenants, prospective tenants, looky lous and just plain crazies is getting to be second nature.  You don’t think you can handle it, but guess what, you can.  You get better at it with practice.

I have always hated putting signs out, but I understand signs bring in the calls.  One of the problems we have come across is that looky lous will call you wanting to see the unit immediately.  They also get miffed because you “won’t come to the door.”

Excuse me? 

They often think the unit for rent is the one where the sign is.  I had one lady call last weekend mad because I wouldn’t come to the door and let her look at the unit right then.

“But I’m not even there,” I tried to tell her. “I’m in another part of town.”

“You show it to me now,” she demanded.

I had already rented  two units off the sign and the next one wasn’t coming up for about three weeks.  My plan was to just let people know about the next unit.

Nope.  There was no way I could convince this woman.  Besides, I didn’t want the tenant who was living in the unit to move because people were ringing his doorbell constantly.

Solution: I took the sign down.  I’ll put it back up later.

Here are 3 tips for getting good tenants Continue reading “3 Tips for Finding Good Tenants”

How To Get a Good Tenant Who Will Pay the Rent On Time

Here is one simple tip to keep the deadbeats out. Why more landlords don’t do this, is beyond me.

How can you find a good tenant who will pay the rent on time?

Richard Blake of Real Estate Investing Tips has a video with a very important point.

Don’t miss this point!  You need to run a credit check on any potential renter!

Why do so many landlords miss this simple, but massive tip?

They think the renter looks okay and is making a good first impression.  They don’t think that person would be a bad tenant.  Always check and verify.

Find Good Tenants For Your Rental Properties

As a landlord for over the last 10 years I can tell you I had my share of good tenants and share of some bad tenants, as do all landlords. Today I want to share with you some ideas …

Publish Date: 06/01/2010 20:27



Real Estate Jack – Eddie’s Solution

Rich broke in at this time and asked, “Eddie, where do you find Tenant/Buyers with $5000?” Eddie responded, “All over the place. Over the past year when I offered a Lease/Option deal, I had many responses – people with cash and good

Publish Date: 06/11/2010 9:19


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Census Workers Can Enter Your Properties?

Did I hear that right? A census worker can enter your property with or without permission?

Can census workers enter your properties, with or without the tenant’s permission?

Yes, according to Bob  Barr or the Barr Code.

Here’s  the quote…

“What many Americans don’t realize, is that census workers — from the head of the Bureau and the Secretary of Commerce (its parent agency) down to the lowliest and newest Census employee — are empowered under federal law to actually demand access to any apartment or any other type of home or room that is rented out, in order to count persons in the abode and for “the collection of statistics.”

He goes on to say we landlords could be fined $500 if we don’t cooperate.

This is wild, and I think all landlords need to be aware of it.

However, I have been dealing with one of the nicest, most considerate census takers.  She called several times politely during the Nashville flood and we became phone friends.  If most census takers are like her, this will not be a problem.

Read Census workers can enter your apartment

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More Than 100 Census Takers Have Been Assaulted Or Attacked This Month

More than 113 census takers have been the victims of assaults or attacks this month, the US Census Bureau said late Wednesday. In response to inquiries by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.), Census Director Robert Groves said the bureau’s …

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