Talking about landlord fears and horror stories is always a fun topic. One thing you should know is that it really gets overblown by the media and by some of the people you know. Everyone has heard that one horrible story about a rental property that was destroyed by a huge dog that also ate the kid next door.
These things typically don’t happen. And, you can make a lot of intentional choices to avoid problems like bad dogs and bad tenants.
The real risks when it comes to being a landlord are a bit more subtle, and today we’re talking about one of the best ways to avoid a horror story of your own.
Avoid Renting to Friends and Family
We always take calls from rental property owners who ask about whether it’s a good idea to rent to a friend, a family member, a co-worker, or a neighbor. We always give the same answer: no.
No, it is never a good idea.
Unless you want to be in a situation where you have to evict a friend or your Uncle Joe and your relationship means nothing, you should never rent your home to someone you know. The result will be that your relationship is damaged and you’re spending a lot of money to fix the property. You’re tied to these people in your life emotionally, and you don’t want to be in a position where you are their landlord.
It’s important to maintain a business relationship with your tenants. Everyone says they can separate their emotions, but usually they cannot. It’s difficult to separate the emotional connection you have with people in your life, and that’s why we recommend against renting to someone you know.
Working with Professional Property Managers
One way to really eliminate the risk of horror stories and terrible situations is by hiring a professional San Carlos property management company. This is especially important if you decide to ignore our advice and rent your home to someone you know.
When you have a management company working with your property and with your tenants, you have inserted someone into the process who can be a neutral third party. And, we’re not exactly neutral. When you hire us, we’re looking out for your best interests. We work for property owners, and as agents of the owner, we take actions and put in protections that are best for you.
Sometimes, this can create enough of a separation and buffer so the relationship continues to thrive and benefit when you’re renting to someone you know. When they move out, your property manager will ensure everything goes according to plan. It’s tricky, but we can often make it happen.
In an ideal world, however, you won’t rent to people you know. This prevents issues and makes life easier.
We can share some other stories that landlords are terrified to hear. If you’d like to contact us at Five Star Property Management, we’d be happy to talk further about your own scenario or to offer suggestions that will prevent bad things from happening in the future. We look forward to talking with you.