Do you get the craziest questions from your Applicants or Tenants?
“Will you allow chickens?”
“Will you hold the home for 2 months?”
“Will you reduce the rent $200 a month?”
“Will you allow 4 cats?”
You know the ones that have you scratching your heading trying to figure out the answer? You are sitting there shaking your head in disbelief or pure bewilderment! I am the biggest advocate of treating your rental like a business. I “only” negotiate BEFORE a lease is signed. I have a tight lease and I enforce it.
Even with all of that I still get tenants that ask the darndest things; ESPECIALLY to a self-managing landlord. It seems that as soon as they know it is “me”, a single person, and not a corporation it all hangs out! As a “human” I am a huge believer in treating others how I wish to be treated. So I analyze every request even if I usually say No. I still got some tricky questions. I would still have to stop and think.
Then I had a light bulb moment. The moment where I realized the simple “test” to tenants questions:
Would a corporation approve this request?
This eureka moment happened when I was reading a post. The landlord was asked by an applicant to provide a background and credit check on THEM- the landlords (!!). I remember reading some of the responses that said “Well if you require it then you should provide it to them.” I remember saying to myself there is no way my previous bosses who owned over 1600 beds would have EVER let anyone ask them that question as an applicant. So WHY would we provide that answer in our situation?
So that became the “test”.
If I was a large corporation would this be acceptable question and would I do it?
Suddenly things were so much clearer and even the “craziest” questions were no longer crazy.
Side Note: Anyone that says “Well, you are not a corporation.” That is very true but a large company can fail too! think Lehman Brothers! What it comes down to is if a corporation wouldn’t put up with it then NEITHER should you as a landlord. This is the ultimate test is for you to treat your rental home as a business.
What is your “test” / “comparison”? Do you have a litmus test to help you filter your requests?4