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Albert, Other/Just Looking in Chicago, IL

I've been a landlord for over 25 years and always have had a good relationship with my tenants, but now it is becoming a huge problem. Please help me.

Asked by Albert, Chicago, IL Tue Mar 5, 2013

I've been a landlord for over 25 years and always have had a good relationship with my tenants. Unfortunately, they become my friends soon after they become my tenants and I've always enjoyed their friendship. That can be very costly. How can you raise rent regularly on friends? How can you enforce your lease when they break it if you value the friendship? I'm behind in my payments because my "friend" can't pay the rent! HELP.

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First; your tenants are never your freinds.
Just as you should never rent to family or freinds, they cannot become your family or freinds!
If you are their "freind" encourage them to buy, you do not want the same tenants for ever and if they have made a committment to the neighborhood, area, then why should they not benefit form the increasing market and the joys of home ownership? Tax deductions, appreciation etc. As a "freind' encourage them to buy!
By the first renewal, start speaking to them about buying, let them know that you do not want them for ever as tenants. The second renewal, let them know this is the last renewal. Because after three years there are two major things change in a landlord / tenant relationship: the tenant starts feeling too comfortable and feels that they are almost a "partner" in your property (but without paying the bills!) they will come up with things to "improve" the house and things that they want, but do not add value to your rental property and they just get too comfortable. From a landlords perspective after three years the apartment will generaly need a good "muck out" to keep it up to standard, but also to keep it up to market rent value.
So three years and your out!
That said, never give a tenant more than a one year lease, leases only hold landlords, they do not hold tenants. Tenants are a moving target, Landlords are sitting ducks!
As a Landlord you need to detach, similarly to a farmer, they cannot give their animals names and make them pets and then send them to the slaughter house!
The bottom line is, if they were your freinds they would not put you in the hole!
Good luck!
Kathryn Lilly, Broker
Realty on the Greene, LLC
718-858-7600
Brooklyn, NY
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 5, 2013
Hello,I always tell my clients that being a landlord is all about business first and it's nice to be nice to each other but not so friendly that your tenants are not paying the rent or the correct amount. At this point these tenants don't sound like real friends otherwise they would value your friendship and would not want you to be behind on payments and potentially lose the building.

Right now you may have to lose a few friends and get down to business so you don't get so far behind that you can't pay the mortgage (if you're still paying mortgage). You have to let your friend know if he or she cannot pay the back payments and future payments then you may have to ask them to move or file for eviction. Sounds horrible, but it's either you or your friend at this point. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 6, 2013
I learned a valuable lesson from a landlord that had 65 properties in Ann Arbor MI. He told me you have to treat it as a business. He told they are not your friends. Time to change my friend
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 6, 2013
Chose: do your job as a landlord and keep you house, or let your "friends" get your house forclosed on
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 5, 2013
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