As a landlord of multiple properties since 2005, I sometimes daydream of finding the ideal tenant. The ideal tenant does the following:
* Always pays on time through auto electronic deposit.
* Doesn’t damage the property.
* Spends their own money to paint and upgrade the property where desired.
* Knows how to change lightbulbs, fix toilets, replace light switches, and maintain appliances.
* Never bothers the neighbors.
* Never throws parties.
* Never has anybody not on the lease living in the property.
* Never leaves despite rent hikes to cover the cost of rising property taxes, insurance fees, and HOA dues.
* Never calls the landlord.
* Sends me gifts on my birthday.
Oh my! What a dream tenant! Too bad the real world of landlording doesn’t work this way. Something always goes wrong, and it’s your responsibility as a landlord to address the issues in as professional a manner possible. I’ve always strived to be the “dream landlord” by quickly fixing anything that breaks and incentivizing tenants to stay long term with stable rents. I’ve also gifted great tenants bottles of wine during the holidays.
Luckily, I’ve never had a horrible tenant. Rent checks have come in on time for more than 130 straight months. The damage done to my rentals has been mostly cosmetic. I recently spent about a month to find the ideal tenant and I’d like to share some thoughts and tips.