Decisions as a landlord

Repair Decisions as a Landlord
We’ve all been there. The call at 3am from a disgruntled resident. “I just saw a mouse run across the floor!” “I have a leaky toilet so I tried to fix it myself and now it’s leaking all over the floor” or the infamous “Thanks for fixing the windows….Now can you “fix” this, this, and this.”
The truth of the matter is these decisions have to made fairly and objectively because when it comes down to it affects your bot-tom line as a landlord. There are things that need to be taken care of immediately: Water leaks, frozen pipes, roof leaks, major system failures (water, heat, electricity) and those that aren’t emergencies: blinds broken, stains on carpets, clogged bathroom sink, that can be taken care of at a later date.
My hardest thing as a landlord has been to tell a resident “No, I cannot do that.” I am coming more to the realization as a prop-erty manager that it is a lot easier to tell a resident “No” when it isn’t my property and I don’t have an ownership role in it. I guess it’s part of my personality of wanting to please people, but am becoming aware that while I want to maintain a great rela-tionship with my residents that this is also a business and at the end of the day you have to make a profit or you will not be in business for very long.
I guess my perception is that residents think that the landlord has just stacks and stacks of cash sitting in an account waiting to be used on the property. When in reality after mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, and any repair issues you have to take care of on any given month there is not a lot left over. I am getting better on my properties at telling residents that we cannot do things because they aren’t fiscally feasible, but I still struggle with it.
I would love to hear from both sides of the spectrum on the issue of dealing with repair issues. How do you as a landlord deal with requests from residents? Residents how do you feel when it comes to having repairs done at your residence? I have been on both sides of the equation as a renter and as an owner so I would love to hear people weigh in on the situation on both sides. I think at the end of the day you have to be able to be fair, but also let the resident know from the start that you want their place to be the best it can as it’s their home. But mindful that you have to let them know that it’s continually going to be a work-in-progress because things you want to do and things you can do fiscally as a landlord don’t always coincide.
If you would please comment and tell me what you did like, didn’t like, what you’d like to see in the future for topics it would be greatly appreciated!
Adam Gerig, President
Gerig Property Management, LLC

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