Being a successful property owner or landlord means being firm and fair at the same time. A lot of new owners have problems with enforcing their rules because they are afraid of confrontation. Many are compassionate people who are scared of using too firm a hand with their tenants, and they want to be liked by everyone.
However, being lenient with one tenant just leads to a slippery slope from which it’s hard to recover. You might think you are being kind to those on your property by overlooking the rules for them, but ultimately it is detrimental to your relationship. Here are some reasons to remain firm in your owner duties.
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Renters Expect Rules to Be Enforced
Remember that it actually looks good for you as a landlord to enforced your set and agreed-upon rules. Any good tenant is going to expect their landlord to uphold the contract. As much as late fees suck, quality tenants know when their rent is due and will expect you to charge a fee if they’re late. A fair renter will understand that it’s part of business. And many tenants will even be apologetic for causing you to have to impose the late fees.
You’ll Get Caught in a Double Standard
When you let one late fee slide, it makes your rules inconsistent and causes unfairness and confusion. it’s best to consistently stick to the rules in your contracts and any HOA governing documents. Allowing exceptions for one tenant will lead to your other tenants expecting the same treatment. Then, if you impose the rules on the next tenant and they found out you let something slide with someone else, that leads to mistrust and bitterness.
Late Fees Are Effective
People will actively try to avoid being charged extra. Imposing a $25 late fee, or charge them for each day rent is late, is a huge motivation for renters to get their payments in on time. Sometimes renters may forget what day it is and have to be reminded, but it’s not excuse to let the fee slide; it will just motivate them to pay better attention to the due date next time.
Finding the right balance your tenant relationships can be difficult, but ultimately enforcing your rule and being clear about them will lead to more trust, better understanding, and retention of solid renters on your property. Plus, the more you practice sticking to your guns, the easier it gets to continue.