Landlord Scruples (long) - Posted by Eric (NH)
Posted by Eric (NH) on May 22, 1999 at 18:38:06:
I am curious as to the degree to which other landlords spend money making “non-essential” repairs and improvements.
In the past six months, I purchased a ten-unit, low-income property which is on a par, quality-wise, with student housing. I have heard from many of the tenants how the last owner either ignored maintenance requests or make vague promises which he never kept (which I am learning is how many landlords operate). However, I have difficulty doing business like this. Since owing the building, I’ve spent money on things like installing extra locks on the windows for a nervous tenant, reimbursing a new tenant for a carpet cleaner rental even though the carpets looked O.K. to me, replacing a damaged screen door which was removed by the previous owner, etc.
I know that the author of Landlording, Leigh Robinson, appears to follow the philosophy of making timely repairs so as to keep the property decent and to keep tenants happy. I tend to agree with this, and also believe that it is important to keep the property fully rented and to keep bad debt to a minimum, which I have done. In fact, in spite of having to spend close to 8k already on roof, deck, and furnace repairs, I’m still making approx. 1k per month profit on an initial cash down of 25k.
Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to know if other landlords actually care about their tenants comfort, or I am crazy to spend any extra money than I have to?
P.S. While I have a soft spot for making repairs, I am pretty ruthless about collecting rent, and have sent numerous tenants “Notice to Quit” notices, which appears to have trained them now to pay promptly and with good funds.