Can You Say “No” to your tenants????

Let’s be honest, saying “NO” to a tenant is easy for some and

really hard for others. It all depends on your personality type.

When it comes to me personally, I can fall into the people pleaser role and saying “No” is a bit of a struggle. In order to not fall victim to this and destroy my chance of making big profits each year, i have set a system in place and keep my focus and eye on the prize…….That prize is positive monthly cash flow. In order to keep my eye on that prize, I developed a system that works well and keeps everything in a business, not personal tone, with my tenants.

Here is an example of how I did this last weekend. My new tenant called me with a list of minor issues that had cropped up. I rent this property to a newly married young couple and this is the first time either of them have lived on their own.

In order to keep the “no’s” from becoming personal to them I followed my system  and make sure i squash any thoughts they may have of getting me to pay for things that are wants,, not needs.

Before I went out to the house, I called my tenant and went through the issues that he had brought up in the voice mail. Normally I make it mandatory that all correspondence like this be done via written letter or email. Since they did not have access to the internet, I let them know that voice mail would be acceptable. Just make sure you have some kind of record of their requests. That way an issue can not become a he said, she said situation. By going over the issues, I can be prepared to fix the items and also set the stage for what I will fix and why I am coming to the property. If they bring up new issues while I am there, I can remind them that they did not inform me of these issues in the voice mail or on my prior phone call. At all times, I make sure I remain in control and can set the tone and let them know that I treat this like a business and that we are not “friends”, this is a business

When I got to the house, I again went over the list of items and got straight to work, like clockwork thought, the tenant followed me around and immediately started asking if they could do certain things and have me reimburse them. I immediately went into Stress Free Landlord mode and answered with a direct “no”. I then followed this up with a , I appreciate your requests but these are wants and when it comes to a rental property, we need to focus on the needs. Iw ill give this tenat credit because he did not give up. As I fixed some small things on the exterior I reminded him that the money does not flow like water and if they would like these “wants” we can easily draw up some paperwork and he can pay to have them done but anything he does will become my property and must stay if the leave or are evicted. That seemed to quiet the matter quickly.

The moral of this story is that setting the correct expectation levels early with your tenants can save a lot of money and frustration later. You really have to say no and be firm but fair with them. Follow a process, and stick to it. Also remember that this a BUSINESS first and as landlords we MUST only deal with needs, not wants. Giving into wants will do nothing more than cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Do you have a system or strategy in place to handle tenant wants? Feel free to leave these below in the comment area!


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