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Tuesday, May 15

The Joys of Landlording, Part 2

Yesterday I shared my frustrations about the mess my tenant left me.  Fortunately, there is some good news:  I've already found a new tenant.  We are meeting tonight to sign the lease and for me to collect some cash.  The lease will begin May 25th.  I was fortunate - my business partner from the failed restaurant referred someone at his company who was looking for a new place.

I told myself that I would be more picky the next time I interviewed tenants, but that didn't happen this time.  I just can't stand looking for tenants.  I'm not much of a people person so the thought of showing the house multiple times and fielding dozens of calls doesn't appeal to me.  I didn't have to do a thing this time - the tenant found me.  The reason I said I wanted to be more picky is because I was planning to exclude smokers and pets from future rentals.  This tenant smokes and has a dog.  I'll probably learn to regret moving so quickly, but the reason for doing so is simple:  let's say it would take me one month to find my "ideal" tenant.  That's one month of rent, $700, that I don't collect... and this is quite an optimistic assumption.

  • Heads:  My tenant is respectful to my home.  He takes his dog outside before an accident, and he limits his indoor smoking.  When he moves out, I steam clean the carpets, air out the house and clean the walls.  Total cost:  about the same as with any tenant.
  • Tails:  The tenant is a chain smoking idiot.  He flings ashes onto the carpet and lets the dog do whatever it pleases.  When he moves out, I have to replace the carpet, paint the walls and do a thorough cleaning.  Total cost:  about $1,000, plus my own labor.

Once again I'm flipping a coin and hoping it lands on heads.  Sure, it could cost me in the end.  But it feels great knowing I won't have to do all the work involved with finding a new tenant.

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