A Positive Landlord Experience

by Carolyn2011

A property manager's job is tough, and requires good judgment when renting out apartments. Here is one positive experience that merits mention.


They say that being a landlord or property manager is a tough job, and it’s true. I was a property manager for many, many years. I processed rental applications, collected the rent and paid the bills for the properties, worked with tenant organizations, and made sure the properties were kept up as funds were available. I evicted problem tenants, and made emergency repairs in all types of weather. I did this and more, all while being professional in my dealings with tenants and clients, being friendly and firm, and with an appropriate sense of humor.

Screening rental applications is an important part of property management. It involves going through a stranger’s life and financial, personal, employment, and credit in order to determine if he or she is the right fit for the client’s real estate investment.  Turning down a person who needs some place to live is sometimes difficult.  However, the primary goal is to select a person or family who will have the most success in a building with neighbors, and has long-term, functional and financial stability.

One day I interviewed a rental applicant who had a good job, made very good money, but also had a very bad credit report. She had never had an apartment before, and because she was 23 years old, and didn't have a co-signer, no one would rent to her.

She was young, and I felt she needed to know the truth about her circumstances. I mildly scolded her for squandering her hard-earned money on things to the point of being riddled with debt at such a young age. To her credit, she listened intently, and agreed with me assessment.

I know that renting apartments should be unbiased and based on the facts. Plus in this instance, I was working for a client and I owed him complete loyalty by making the right decisions in the management of his property. Still, something in me trusted her. I liked the way she listened to what I had to say. I liked her personality and openness about her credit issues. Still, I also had to weigh what would happen if I made a wrong assessment of her financial character.

I told her that if she could address her credit problems, I would consider renting her an apartment. A week later, she returned with payment plan letters from every vendor she owed. I had never had a rental applicant who addressed his or her credit problems this way. I was impressed with her ingenuity and sincerity about paying money she owed to creditors.

I rented her a one bedroom apartment. Two weeks later, she mailed me a thank you note. She appreciated that I took a chance with her and she wouldn't let me down. I was shocked. In over 25 years, I had never received anything of thanks from a tenant, never mind a thank you note.

In the end, I did the right thing for both her and the building owner. She was an excellent tenant. She lived quietly and paid the rent on time every month. On the annual apartment inspections, her unit was just the way we rented it to her, with no damages, and clean. This is one of the most positive experiences I have had as a residential property manager.

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Other Carolyn Gibson Articles on Apartment Renting

Renting Your Vacant Apartment "As Is" Could Cause Problems
The way you rent your vacant apartment could give the tenant the impression of how you manage your property. Renting it out "As Is", the same way the previous tenant left it could have negative implications.

Pre-Screen a Rental Applicant Before You Give Out the Keys

The Pros and Cons of a Tenant with a Co-Signer
When you allow a co-signer to a rental lease, you need to verify that the co-signer can afford to pay the rent if the tenant fails to do so. Find out what you need to know when you have a co-signer to a lease.

Updated: 11/18/2011, Carolyn2011
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Rose on 01/08/2014

That's a great story. Just goes to show that personal experience in interviewing trumps the automated processes many landlords use to assess tenants

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