I’ve had tenants come and go. It’s all a part of the business of renting. I’ve only had to evict one tenant and others left for general reasons ranging from needing more space to a roommate breakup. But I’ve also had my fair share of tenants point the finger at me and slander my name to the neighbors. Why? Because they were forced to move due to their inability to pay the rent. So of course, it’s my fault. “Don’t take it personally”, I can hear many of you say. But it’s not about taking false accusations personally, it’s about respect. Respect for being a human being. Respect for all the times you’ve cried about your money woes and landlords did their best to work with you. Respect that what is an apartment to you the renter is a business to a landlord and mortgages aren’t paid with apologies. Respect that despite a tenant’s refusal to abide by the lease or pay the rent, landlords still have to by law maintain the building. Respect that while they give 0% of the rent owed, they still live in 100% of a landlord’s unit. Respect that they could’ve been out in the street years ago but we chose to see a human and not a dollar sign. And for all these issues, landlords deserve better. We deserve to be respected because we are also residents just like tenants. I don’t expect groveling but an appreciation in the form of respect is needed.
Every time a landlord goes through such an experience with a tenant, it takes a toll on their humanity. And their compassion erodes into an iron steel will that becomes unbendable and unbreakable. In a society where tenants and pro-tenant organizations are complaining about rising rents, it’s imperative that the Single Property Landlord have a clear lens and a sturdy focus. Yes, rents are high and yes, wages aren’t matching them, but that’s not the Single Property Landlord’s problem. Business has to get done whether a tenant pays the rent or not. And that cold and callous truth should focus us even more. Put compassion where it belongs, volunteering for your favorite charity or mentoring a young mind. But job number one is ROI and cash flow when it comes to your business.