Friday, October 22, 2004

Becoming a Landlord - Is It Right for YOU? Part III

Being a landlord isn't always easy. It's a good idea to assess your personality to know if you're right for what is essentially a job, a business.

Temperament is important because you may have to deal with frustrating tenants, or the frustration OF your tenants. You may have to deal with some gruesome messes. You very well may have to clean some up, so assess your constitution.

Can you be fair but firm? If you are easily "walked over"? You may have tenants who will stretch limits as far as you let them. And that's not good for you or your tenants. If you can be fair and even-tempered, you'll do well.

The abiity to "read" people will be important, too. Sometimes honest folks get into financial straits, and your rent may be late. You'll have to learn to know the difference between an honest temporary problem a tenant has, or that you're being taken advantage of. You may have to evict someone. It's not a pleasant thing; but it happens. It might be a very hard thing for you to do, but it sometimes has to be done.

Are you handy? Hopefully, you are, because you'll have to be able to fix things, or at least be able to paint an apartment. Do you know good carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc.? You'll need to form good relationships with skilled tradespeople who can help you, and sometimes quickly. When a furnace goes out in the middle of the night, you have to be ready to remedy, or be able to call someone to go out in the cold.

Do you want everybody to like you? It's important that you be friendly to your tenants, but don't make them friends-- it will do neither of you any good.

So, check your personality, temperament, personal style, sensitivities-- because being a landlord isn't for everyone, but it might be just right for you!