Being a landlord never attracts any nice comments or compliments. “I hate my land lord or my landlord is a pain in my nose,” are some of the remarks that always escort landlords.
I believe it’s easier for the rain to fall in the desert than to hear a tenant throw a positive comment at their landlord.
But what really causes this cat and dog relationship? And who really is the bad guy here?
Sometimes landlords/ladies find themselves in a difficult position of having a tenant who is dodging out on paying rent, or is causing problems for other tenants, or is damaging the rental unit, or whose conduct makes the landlord-tenant relationship impossible.
Why do so many tenants complain of having heartless landlords? Mathias Maniranzi, a resident of Muhima 2, thumped his landlord to pulp when he found him in his bedroom with the lady of the house. In the landlord’s defense, he had come to check if his house was still in good condition!
“Some landlords think because they own the rental, they own the tenant too! I’ve been renting for over 17 years now and I know 6 landlords I can describe in one word – arrogant,” says Hamza Bwiza, Gisozi.
Owning houses to rent out is very rewarding, but it also very frustrating, especially if you manage them yourself. Gwiza Innocent, the owner of Blessed House, a three storey commercial house at kimironko, says some people (including herself) are simply not cut out to be landlords.
“Owning rental houses is really the perfect investment…that is, until you put tenants into the equation.”As with most things dealing with real estate, there is no right way to be the perfect landlord. Everybody has their own personality and their own strengths and weaknesses,” she says.
Before you jump into the business, you may want to determine if you are cut out for it. Start by asking yourself these questions:
How well do you communicate with people? Do you like to work with people on a one-on-one basis? Are you tough enough when you need to enforce the rules? Can you respond to issues in a timely, professional manner?
If you feel you can’t handle that, you always have the option of hiring a professional or a management company to manage your properties.
If you can’t hire pros, then quit treating your tenants like they are second class citizens, as this can create friction that will prove hard to grease.
Create a relationship with your tenants based on mutual respect and courtesy. Always be friendly and pleasant but also professional at all times.
Also, be responsible for repairs. Remember that your property is your tenant’s home and that is a very important element in their lives.
Communicate clearly and not at short notice if you are going to change anything, like raising the rent or working on the property in a way that might inconvenience them.