The Top 5 Ways to Ruin a Good Tenancy


5 common ways landlords ruin perfectly good tenancies

By John Nuzzolese

Imagine having the perfect tenants in your rental property. Maybe you already have them now. What we really hope is that these perfect tenants will remain perfect. To continue doing all the right things and not doing any of the wrong things. We want them to obey the lease agreement religiously, take care of the property and pay the rent on time or early. Imagine a tenant who leaves the rental better than it was found. Is this idea from the The Twilight Zone or something you can really have?

Most of the time, when we actually have a tenant that seems “too good to be true”, something happens either suddenly or gradually to turn our tenant to the dark side.

Here are 5 common ways landlords ruin perfectly good tenancies:

  1. Are They Friends or Tenants? Failure to maintain a professional distance from the tenants. Too often a landlord will fall victim to one of the oldest Landlord Traps by lowering his guard and allowing the tenants become personal friends. Rarely does this end well.
  2. Broken Promises Failure to fulfill certain promises made to the tenants in the beginning of the relationship is a leading cause of the breakdown of the tenant’s trust and respect in the landlord.
  3. Greed In the real estate business for many years, I have found one thing to be universally common among sellers and novice (and many pro) landlords. It is the belief that their property is somehow better or worth more money than comparable listings that have sold or rented. It is this squeezing every dime out of a property that causes the tenant to resent the landlord. Even a good tenant can not help but dislike a greedy landlord who is overcharging the tenant. Overcharging? How can anyone say it’s overcharging if the tenant agrees to the price?? There are many reasons a person will agree to pay a higher amount.
    • tight rental market
    • family crisis
    • tenant not qualified for another rental
    • many other reasons

    Having resentful tenants is not a recipe for a good long lasting tenancy.

  4. Neglect Being a landlord is a business. For a business to do well, it must be maintained and run properly. That includes caring for rental property. As much as we try, we can’t always make the tenants responsible for everything on a property. Some responsibilities belong to the landlord. It is important to nip small problems in the bud before they become major catastrophes. Besides, if you keep the tenant satisfied, your property will be more rent-able/sale-able.
  5. Conduct Unprofessional conduct can range from rudeness to overly friendly. Try to refrain from arguing, using profanity or gossiping with tenants. It will come back and bite you. Let your attorney be the bad guy. He’s the guy who tells you to “enforce your lease”. Keep a professional, polite attitude to retain the respect of your tenants. Tenants respond better to a pro who knows what he or she is doing.