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  • Eric Bowie

Do You Have to Like Your Tenants?



The Short answer is NO


You are doing business with your tenant, so whether or not you like your tenant or not, is neither here nor there. With that said, we are all human, so it does make things feel a lot smoother if you and your tenant actually get along with one another. But it's not necessary, and it's really not that important.


The most important thing is whether or not the tenant is a good tenant, not whether or not they are friendly to you as a person or if you like them or dislike them. I've had really mean tenants that paid on time and took care of my property, and I've had the nicest sweetest tenants who never paid on time and left my properties in complete shambles. Some of my kindest tenants have left my properties with roach infestations so bad that I thought they were intentionally breeding and selling roaches, and they mistakenly left their inventory behind. In other words, being a "good tenant" has nothing to do with how nice and kind they are, or how well you get along with them. A good tenant is simply one that pays on time and takes good care of the property. So the only thing that truly matters in your business relationship with a tenant, is do they pay on time and do they take care of the property! That's all. Yes, in my 20 years as a landlord, I've had some tenants who were more reliable, more punctual, and more independent than others. I've had some who have literally trashed my property, and some who kept the property spotless. But I've long since removed my personal feelings from my relationship with my tenants and the management of my properties. If you can do that, you'll last in the business of being a landlord. If you can't, you will get frustrated. I guarantee it.


The primary reason most people never want to own and manage rental property, is having to deal with tenants. If you can treat it like a business, it helps you sort of divorce yourself from the frustrations that inevitably come with dealing with tenants.


The other crucial point that I need to point out is that I've learned over the years to not be so overly critical of my tenants, and not to get into the details and specifics about my personal feelings about a tenant. As landlords, don't take what your tenants do, or fail to do, personally. This doesn't mean I have lowered my standards for my tenants over the years. I've just realized that the reality is, everyone is different, and it's not my call to criticize or get frustrated over how people choose to do certain things with their living space. As a landlord you will have to sort of get out of your own box. People are amazingly different and do things differently with their living space than you.


So, do you really have to like your tenants? No. However, you should respect your tenants, keep your standards and expectations high, and don't dig into the minutia with your tenants. As long as they are paying on time, not doing anything illegal in the property, and taking care of the property, then all is well.


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