Landlords encounter lots of stress. Our “How to Achieve Low-Stress Landlording” post will help. You will learn about the main causes of landlord stress and how to avoid them.
How To Achieve Low-Stress Landlording
First, we need to explain the four main causes of landlord stress. Further, we offer some solutions.
What are the Main Causes of Landlording Stress?
Sometimes, certain situations and your personality dictates the level of stress. Most people become impacted by these six situations:
- Not treating landlording like a business: Failing to do this leads to business failure;
- Careless tenants: Irresponsible tenants and/or their bad behavior lead to damaging your property and neighbor complaints;
- Legal problems: Owning and renting real estate creates a potential for legal issues;
- Late payments: A big frustration occurs when tenants pay rent late or not at all. It impacts cash flow and leads to wasted time and energy getting paid;
- Maintenance: A common landlording stress occurs with maintenance which takes time; and
- Poor cash flow: High stress occurs when cash flow problems arise.
Let’s explore these six landlord stress points.
1. Not Treating Landlording Like a Business
- Landlords build a system of repeated processes and run it like a machine. These include advertising for new tenants, screening applicants, signing lease agreements, and collecting rents;
- They continuously tweak their rentals business to increase profits and simplify tasks;
- Landlords are fair but firm when dealing with tenants;
- Focusing on customer service because landlords rely on their good reputation;
- They maintain financial control over the business by knowing how much cash comes in and goes out;
- Landlords know and understand the laws and rules of landlording like anti-discrimination laws, handling deposits, and evictions;
- Asking for help when needed. Like knowing how to find good reliable contractors to fix everything; and
- Outsource and delegate tasks they can’t do themselves.
2. Careless Tenants
Finding good tenants is essential to begin a stress-free business relationship.
That’s right, landlording is a business no matter how friendly you get with your tenants. You are in a business relationship with all your tenants.
Therefore, learn how to screen potential tenants:
- We published a post explaining: “How To Do Tenant Background Checks”;
- Likewise, view our post titled: “How To Screen Tenants”. It provides tenant screening questions and why they work; and
- Don’t fall prey to a “Tenant from Hell” as our recent post explained.
3. Legal Problems
Landlords must know every law and rule about renting real estate.
Misunderstanding the law or a rule leads to negligence and government fines or lawsuits. Simple mistakes or oversight may cause legal problems
We published several posts explaining landlording laws below in the section about avoiding legal liabilities.
In addition, you will find this post to provide landlords with coverage from legal liabilities named: “Insurance Policies for Landlords”.
4. Late Payments
If you don’t get paid on time you won’t pay your creditors promptly.
Thus, unless you maintain a nice fat bank account to pay your bills you must enforce your tenant’s late payment penalties.
Likewise, check out our blog post about: “What to do When Your California Tenants Pay Rent Late”. We explain what to look for in your lease agreement about late rent payments. Similarly, it explains California’s bounced check law and late payment laws. Finally, it explains the eviction process.
We also suggest setting up online automatic monthly rent payments to reduce stress. View our: “How to Collect Rent Payments Online and Offline”.
Properties age requiring regular maintenance and inspections.
Stress increases when landlords DIY with no idea how to fix the plumbing or wiring. Removing, buying, and installing appliances or water heaters, or air conditioners creates stress.
Consider outsourcing instead of DIY which causes stress and takes up too much time. We covered this and other important things a new landlord must know to succeed in our post called: “How To Get Started As A Landlord”.
6. Poor Cash Flow
Worrying about paying the mortgage, taxes, and normal renting costs on time creates stress.
- Determine the rental property’s gross income;
- Deduct the expenses related to the rental property (taxes, maintenance, insurance, etc.);
- Subtract all debt service (i.e., mortgage); and
- The cash flow equals the difference.
How to Overcome Landlording Stress
Happy tenants mean less stress.
For instance, instead of considering seeing a psychiatrist or getting a prescription for ulcers, landlords can follow our suggestions in a prior post explaining: “How To Keep Your California Tenants Happy”. We suggested:
- Educating your tenants to know what you expect from them;
- Checking on your tenants regularly to see how they are doing;
- Performing quick repairs as the need arise;
- Fast responses to tenants’ communications;
- Sending reminders before the rent due date;
- Giving rewards to your tenants when deserved; and
- Inspecting the units regularly.
Above all, if you haven’t started your landlord business yet, learn what it entails before jumping in.
Therefore, view “How To Become A Landlord In California”. Our post asks potential landlords important questions to help them decide if landlording is their business choice. Questions like:
- The amount of time required;
- Organizational skills;
- Ability to do self-repairs;
- Ability to handle difficult tenants;
- Learning federal and state landlord-tenant laws; and
- Understanding tax obligations.
In addition, our post asks if landlords can handle the many required tasks. Like:
- Advertising for new tenants;
- Showing your rentals to prospective tenants;
- Interviewing applicants;
- Avoiding equal housing legal problems;
- Doing background checks;
- Filling in legal rental contracts;
- Collecting rents and security deposits;
- Making repairs and dealing with tenant damages;
- Observing California and local landlord-tenant laws;
- Keeping records, books, and tracking tax write-offs; and
- Evicting bad tenants.
Dealing with tenant damages causes stress. Read our useful blog post named: “How do San Diego Landlords Handle Tenant Damages”. You will find answers to most of your questions even if you don’t live or rent in San Diego.
How to Avoid Legal Liabilities that Landlords Face
Read our helpful blog post called: “San Diego Landlord Liabilities”. It not only helps San Diego landlords but all California landlords.
Learn what a California lease agreement should include protecting landlords.
Read our blog post titled: “What to Include in Your California Lease Agreement”. It also explains California laws about:
- Rent control;
- Collecting rent;
- Handling deposits;
- Charging late rent payment fees and other penalties;
- Bounced check fees;
- Rent increase notices;
- Landlord right of entry; and
- Terminating leases for failing to pay rent.
In addition, learn about other laws like:
Avoid discriminating against tenants by reading our blog post: “California Fair Housing Laws 2020”. It explains all the California and San Diego housing laws and important court rulings. Similarly, it covers federal housing laws too.
Learn how to screen tenants by viewing our post: “How to Thoroughly Evaluate a Prospective Tenant’s Credit”. We explain background checks and how to do a credit check on applicants and how to understand a credit report.
Understand California Security Deposits Laws by reading our: “California Security Deposits” post.
Know your rights when entering a tenant’s unit. View our: “Landlord Right of Entry in California”.
Want to eliminate a bad tenant? Read our post about: “How to Evict a Problem Tenant in California”. It includes all the steps for filing an eviction (unlawful detainer) lawsuit in California.
How To Achieve Low-Stress Landlording – Conclusion
In conclusion, as you read in this post, how to achieve low-stress landlording involves knowing the causes of stress. Further, how to avoid stress.
Forbes points out that landlords must treat landlording as a business offering eight suggestions.
Likewise, we linked to 15 of our past posts that explain how to avoid landlord stress by:
- Finding good tenants and keeping them happy;
- Understanding federal and state laws about housing and landlord-tenant relations;
- Getting good insurance;
- How to deal with late rent payments;
- Outsourcing DIY repairs and maintenance to save time and get it done right;
- Learning how to calculate cash flow;
- Knowing how to become a landlord;
- Dealing with tenant damages;
- Avoiding legal liabilities;
- Knowing what lease agreements must include; and
- Learning how to evict bad tenants.
Thus, follow these suggestions and maybe you can learn: “How to Make Millions with Rental Properties”.
Want To Avoid Landlording Stress?
Outsource all the time-consuming and stressful tasks by hiring a professional property management company.
WeLease achieves everything an experienced landlord accomplishes from A to Z.
Contact us to learn what we can do for you to avoid stress and save time to do things you enjoy. We provide reliable professional property management services throughout San Diego County.
Steven Rich, MBA – Guest Blogger
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