Real Estate Investing: The first renter
August 25, 2014
Part Three of the Real Estate Chronicle
The property manager has already well earned the first fee.
The property came with legacy renters. At first it was a bonus to buy into a property with existing rent coming in and they seemed like decent people at the first meeting. It also meant that I didn’t have to go out of pocket to make sure the place was move in ready: no cleaning crew, no equipment purchases or replacements.
Later, we discovered they were … well, kind of jerks.
Apparently the sale came as a surprise to them, but rather than discussing any concerns with me or my representatives during the sale and closing process, they shut them out and then became unreasonable when it was time to sign a new contract and pay the rent.
It seems that they felt entitled to having their alleged agreement with the previous owner honored (nothing existed in writing, mind you) without having discussed it with us at any point. They insisted that the previous owner was about to let them out of the lease and go month to month instead. Aside from how unlikely that is, their belligerence and rudeness destroyed any initial goodwill they might have traded on. Since they decided to insult the staff, I decided that if I had to abide by their existing lease as a term of the purchase, so do they.
The property manager gets to deal with their jerkitude each month until the lease runs out and I suspect we’ll be plenty happy to look for new renters at that point. We’ll do full background checks, and of course the lease policy will be quite clear.
At this point, I’m thrilled that I spent the money to have management services; it means I won’t be dealing with sullen faces, nasty attitudes, and having to personally chase them for rent each month.
Aside from that, the last thing I need to be adding to my plate is any version of the 3 am “there’s a leak and the pipes burst” sort of calls, so I made sure to hire management that takes care of everything, 24 hours.
I’ll have my hands full handling the financial aspects of this new venture, and I’m feeling a lot better about the whole thing now that we’ve weathered the first few bumps in the road.
I should probably wait at least six to twelve months before diving into more investments, but if this continues to work out pretty well, there may be another one on the horizon. This whole thing DID go much more smoothly than expected though, so I am tempering my enthusiasm. Just in case.