Living in the Same Building as your Tenants - Posted by Frank IL

Posted by SusanL.–FL on February 28, 2001 at 08:59:36:

Man! That was an AMAZING story!!! It is so nice when things in life go as they should, isn’t it?



Living in the Same Building as your Tenants - Posted by Frank IL

Posted by Frank IL on February 22, 2001 at 20:50:19:

My wife and I are looking to move into a new house this year and instead of buying a single family home I’ve talked my wife into getting a 2,3, or 4-flat instead whereby we would occupy it and have our tenants help with the mortgage. Has anyone else done this and what has your experience been? Will tenants constantly be knocking on my door for any issue that arises or am I just being paranoid? Let me know what your experience has been…

it’s a management SYSTEM issue - Posted by David S

Posted by David S on February 25, 2001 at 08:54:21:

if you have a good management system in place, it doesn’t matter where you live. If you educate your tenants property, they know what to do when something needs to be done.

I would NEVER let them know that I own the property. “I’m just the “area manager” (whatever title you like) but I’ll see what the owner has to say.”

David S

OK if you screen your tenants - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on February 23, 2001 at 10:39:58:

Tenants are by and large good people. You just have to identify the NO GOOD 10% on the bell curve.

To get a good response when we rent, - we offer 10% below market rent. This way, you can interview many more applicants and pick the one you’re comfortable with. There are other tricks in picking tenants that comes with experience. If you set the rent too high, you’ll have to go with the few that comes by. Not only that, they expect good service.

We have a two family (with 3 units) in New York - and we’ve been renting to couples with one child, ideally the same age as our 4 year old. Its been wonderful. We take care of each other’s mail when we go on vacation, babysit for one another, and had a few barbeques in our back yard during the summer.

An 80 year old neighbor has a retired 65 year old tenant for 20 years. I see them go out shopping together, and the tenant now helps to lug groceries as the landlord is getting on in his years.

On the other hand, I bought a building from a gentlemen that appears to have numerous problems with tenants. I know this as I asked him why he and his wife lives in a 3 family house - by themselves. As things turned out, this guy was totally paranoid - a long story here. What I’m saying is you’ll have to treat the tenants with some respect.

As you indicated, its also financially rewarding. Had we rented both rental units - we’ve be 100% rent free.

Re: Living in the Same Building as your Tenants - Posted by Mike-BC

Posted by Mike-BC on February 22, 2001 at 23:49:44:

I know of many people who have lived in the same building as their tenants. Providing the building is in good repair to start with, there should be few complaints from the tenants. In fact many tenants will like having the owner so close. It provides security, ensuring that their residences will be a safe, clean and quiet place to live. From an owner perspective, you get to watch what is going on in your building - who is coming and going, the manner in which the tenants treat the place, etc… If you and your wife feel comfortable living with others, then go for it!

Old tenants - Posted by SusanL.–FL

Posted by SusanL.–FL on February 23, 2001 at 11:25:20:

My Mother’s aunt and uncle bought a house in Garfield, NJ long before my Mother was born. They lived on the top floor and rented out the bottom floor. The renters lived there their ENTIRE lives!!!

The two families were close----went to the Russian church bizarres together, made home-made pierrogi’s together. Had a fine old time.

Great cook, my Aunt Rosie! That’s one gene I didn’t inhereit. At least I keep the smoke alarm companies in business!


An opposing view… - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on February 23, 2001 at 10:35:25:

a rental investor I know lives in his own building with other tenants, but doesn’t tell anybody that he’s the owner. He pretends that he is just a tenant like them. There is a rental manager and the rents are paid to the manager, who also leases and evicts tenants. Maintenance is done by outside vendors or handymen. No no late night calls. All the benefit of landlording without the hassle.

Re: Old tenants - How about 3 Generations - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on February 24, 2001 at 07:42:03:

I was shooting the breeze with a local shopkeeper who owns a rental property right next to one of mine. We were reminicing about former tenants.

Told me about his first home - a 3 family he purchased and moved into. The former owner asked him to keep a tenant who grew up there. A few years later, the tenant had a child. Through the years, he attended the christening, birthday parties as this girl grew up.

The tenant retired and moved to Florida some 20 years ago, but the daughter stayed on, married, and started raising a family there. Recently, this women died of cancer at age 43. He went to the funeral.

This shopkeeper still owns the place after some 45 years. Can’t imagine having THREE generations of tenants at one place.


He told me about this same building 10 years ago. He put it on the market because his tenants squwawked when he tried to raise the rent. As a result - the rents were ridiculously low.

When realtors started showing the place, the tenants begged for him to raise the rents and keep the building. He felt sorry for them, raised the rents, and kept the building.

I thought it was neat.

Re: An opposing view… - Posted by Mike-BC

Posted by Mike-BC on February 23, 2001 at 18:23:34:

Great situation, if you can afford it. He is paying others to do work he might just as easily do himself.

I do know of doctors and dentists who own revenue buildings and do not want the headaches of being the landlord, but then again the apartments do not generate the income that their main occupation does, its more of a retirement plan for them.

That IS amazing! (3 generations). - Posted by SusanL.–FL

Posted by SusanL.–FL on February 26, 2001 at 08:46:14:

My brother is on his ‘second’ generation (of renters).

The first round of relatives were SUPER tenants. As a matter of fact, the husband was a carpenter and upgraded his unit over the years at his OWN expense. That blew me away, when I heard that.

After the Mom and Dad moved, their daughter moved in. As things some times happen in this rental business, she fell behind on their rent. Brother, Chris, just recently informed me that he has asked his realtor (who handles the building management) to start evication proceedings and put the building up for sale. (It is located in Sunbury, Pa. [Mayberry USA]).

It is paid off and he would like to reinvest his proceeds$ in more r.e. down in Naples (FL), where he now lives.

Super Landlord/Super Tenants - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on February 28, 2001 at 04:14:54:

SusanL- I enjoy your landlordig stories. You’ll get a kick out of this one on a property I have.

This 3 family house is located between a local grocery store whose owner, AL is the Super Landlord, and another 3 family, inhabited by Al’s two super tenants. This grocer is the one who had three generation of tenants in the other bulding.

The first next door Super Tenant is Dominic. When I bought the property in 1984, he lived there over 20 years. Took early retirement due to a heart condition, and sits by the front porch morning to night, seven days a week. His nickname is "The Mayor of 164th Street.

I paid him $50.00 a month to be my building manager. Believe me, if there’s a piece of paper on the sidewalk, he can tell you when and how it got there. This actually happend once when I got ticketed.

My first project was bringing contractors to replace the delaminanted ceiling of the porch. Dominic watched and smiled as these guys gave me estimates of $700 to $900. He then showed me repairs around the corner where the owners used aluminum siding to cover the damage. A college kid down the street did this for $125.00 he says. Just give me the cash, and I’ll have him come by and do it for you.

Drove by two weeks later. It was done and perfect to this day.

The Grocer rents the third floor to Super Tenant John since 1986. He told me John is putting in a new bathroom, and kitchen for $100.00 reduction in rent. Are you sure of his work? “Oh yeh - he teaches construction at the community college” was the reply.

Then my next project - the deck.

Dominic calls me all excited. John’s been looking out his back window and noticed that my contractor is not using treated wood, and putting in the footings all wrong. Tells me to come by immediately.

Drop by the site and had John talk to the contractor. He tells them he’s an instructor at the college and he would have FAILED them. After the lecture, the contractors got the right materials and re-did the work knowing John’s watching. Got an hourly report from Dominic.

Then Al, the super landlord.

All of my tenants shop and this store, and he knows all the business of my tenants. He knows when they are moving before I do. When this happens, I got prospective tenants to call, as he keeps a waiting list of local residents looking for a new apartments.

I still have the place, and know everything is in good hands thanks to Al and his gang.

Sunbury & Naples… - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on February 26, 2001 at 13:12:33:

I was in Naples this past August, and was in Sunbury researching a title not too long ago. Sunbury reminds me of a town in the fifties, like Mayberry, Father Knows Best, and Leave It to Beaver!