Nice Guy Syndrome as a Landlord

Owning rental properties is a business. Sometimes the line between tenant and landlord can get blurry. Being cordial with your tenants is advisable, but being nice to the point of affecting your business will cost you. Especially in real estate. This is known as “nice guy syndrome.” It’s when a landlord is too lenient, paving the way for tenants to take advantage. Learn the in’s and out’t of “nice guy syndrome” when it comes to property management.

Why You'll Regret Being Too Nice to Tenants

First-time landlords often make the mistake of wanting to like their tenants, and being overly friendly to renters as a result. While there’s nothing wrong with saying hello when you see renters around the property, you should always look at the relationship as a business relationship. Because that’s what it is. For this reason, don’t rent to friends and family.

Landlords who try to befriend tenants open the door to all sorts of problems, from late rent payments (always with sob stories) to broken leases. If you won’t be able to follow up with tenants about late rent or lease violations, you have three choices. You can decide not to become a landlord, you can toughen up, or you can hire a property manager.

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How to Get Over Nice Guy Syndrome

The best thing you can do to get over nice guy syndrome is to screen tenants upon application. Setting a high bar by calling references, checking credit history, and even checking social media will send subpar tenants scattering. By screening tenants, you ensure that renters who do apply for your single-family home for rent are more likely to be quality tenants—tenants with good credit and stable jobs who pay the rent on time.

A simple rule to help you select quality tenants and avoid allegations of discrimination is to rent to the first qualified applicant who indicates interest. If someone comes to the house, completes an application, passes a reference check, and has good credit, they’re the winner!

While it can feel good to extend a helping hand to someone who needs support, remember that your investment property is a business. Not a charity. Don’t get yourself into a situation where you’re paying out of pocket because your tenants aren’t able to meet their obligations.

Writing late fees into the lease pays you back financially. But it cal also motivate renters into doing what it takes to get you the rent check on time

Have a real estate attorney check over your lease language for enforceability, so you don’t wind up setting an overly strict late fee that violates state laws.

By following a few simple rules, you can run your rental property in a professional manner, without succumbing to nice guy syndrome.

HomeGo Can Help.

If you find out that being friendly with your tenants is just in your blood, call HomeGo. We can give you a clear and concise offer with no obligation, allowing you to remove awkward rent discussion from movie night with your renters.

Schedule a no-obligation home tour, or talk to a HomeGo agent today.

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