Image courtesy of Tom

I received an interesting call from my tenant yesterday. Usually, I hardly ever hear from her unless there is some major repair needed at my rental property. In the last six months, I can count on one hand, the number of times she has called me. If there are any minor repairs needed, she will take care of them on her own.

If you don't remember, this tenant has been renting from me for almost three years. The house she is living in was the first house I bought. I lived in it for two years and then bought another house. My first house I decided to keep as a rental.

I took a huge chance when I rented my house to her. She was very upfront and honest with me. She told me her credit sucked but she knows she has to have a place to live and will always pay her rent on time. I took her at her word and I am proud to say that in almost three years of having her as a tenant, she has never been late and she has never had a bounced check. For someone just starting out as a landlord and not taking all of the necessary precautions before renting the property, I've been very fortunate.

I called her a few weeks ago just to check and see how things were going since I had not talked to her in awhile. In the conversation, I happened to mention that I was looking for additional properties to purchase.

Apparently, she's mentioned to her friends about how happy she is having me as a landlord. She called me today to let me know that two of her friends wanted to know if I had bought any additional properties because they would be very interested in renting from me. They are both having problems with their current landlord not taking care of needed repairs in a timely matter. One of them also told her to tell me that if my current tenant decided to move at the end of her lease (July 2009), she will gladly take her place.

This call made me feel really good. I always said that I would treat my tenants the way I would want to be treated if I were renting a property from somone. I always try to be responsive to my tenant and make sure all repairs are done quickly and the property is kept in good condition. If I show my tenants the proper respect, hopefully they will respect my property and want to be a good tenant.


I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If my current tenant decides to move out, I hope I can find another tenant just like her!


10 comments

  1. MBirchmeier // February 23, 2009 at 9:21 AM  

    Congrats on the good recommendations.

    As they say, it's not what you know it's who you know. Hope it works out for you.

    -MBirchmeier

  2. Debt-free College // February 23, 2009 at 9:44 AM  

    Good going! I hope that I would be a landlord like you if I ever have rental properties.

    Nate
    http://debtfreecollege.blogspot.com

  3. sara l // February 23, 2009 at 10:52 AM  

    What a great compliment!

  4. DogAteMyFinances // February 23, 2009 at 6:55 PM  

    I was thinking that means maybe it's time to raise the rent, but then you don't want to lose a good renter...

  5. Joe Bob // February 24, 2009 at 12:09 AM  

    Amazing how the golden rule works out so well. If everyone did we would all be better.

  6. The Singlutionary // February 24, 2009 at 6:12 PM  

    Landlords always get a bad wrap! Thanks for being one of the good ones and sharing the news! I'm a landlord too and I hope to have more rentals in the future. The worst thing is to have vacancies! Good job following your gut too!

  7. jim // February 24, 2009 at 11:08 PM  

    Wow, those relationships are rare and you're very lucky to have gotten someone so easy to work with on the first shot!

  8. julie // February 25, 2009 at 1:50 PM  

    I'm glad that things worked out for you with this tenant!! Sometimes being nice and letting tenants with bad credit live in your place will work out - but you are playing against the odds and most of the time, tenants with stories about their bad credit turn out to be bad tenants. I wish it weren't true, but in our experience with our many properties that is the case. We've now suffered enough that we set strict criteria for tenant selection and they must demonstrate financial responsibility.

    It is really nice to hear good stories though - thanks for sharing - and congrats on building such a strong relationship with your tenant!

  9. kathi // February 26, 2009 at 12:05 AM  

    I'm in the same place as your tenant. Lost my home to foreclosure (with two sons) and my ex is $5,000 behind on support...it's hard. I, too, was very upfront with my credit and what was going on, and it was hard finding someone to take a chance on us. But I finally did, and I'm so appreciative. I know what a blessing you are to your tenant...trust me, I know how thankful she is for you.

  10. Sandy // March 2, 2009 at 9:19 PM  

    This just goes to show that bad credit happens to essentially good people! Yes you can mess up and learn from it and be responsible with your finances. I just hate that someone think you are the average of your FICO score.