Do We Teach Tenants...
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Do We Teach Tenants... (by OREO [WI]) May 16, 2024 9:15 AM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by RB [TN]) May 16, 2024 10:24 AM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) May 16, 2024 10:53 AM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by S i d [MO]) May 16, 2024 3:03 PM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by Busy [WI]) May 16, 2024 3:55 PM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by Phil [OR]) May 16, 2024 5:47 PM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by 6x6 [TN]) May 16, 2024 7:48 PM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by 6x6 [TN]) May 16, 2024 7:53 PM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by 6x6 [TN]) May 16, 2024 7:57 PM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by OREO [WI]) May 16, 2024 9:13 PM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by 6x6 [TN]) May 16, 2024 9:47 PM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by AL [NC]) May 16, 2024 9:52 PM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) May 16, 2024 11:15 PM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by Small potatoes [NY]) May 16, 2024 11:29 PM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by S i d [MO]) May 17, 2024 8:20 AM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by Busy [WI]) May 17, 2024 9:55 AM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by zero [IN]) May 17, 2024 10:18 AM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by OREO [WI]) May 17, 2024 2:18 PM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by zero [IN]) May 18, 2024 9:59 AM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) May 20, 2024 6:39 AM
       Do We Teach Tenants... (by RB [TN]) May 21, 2024 7:00 AM

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Do We Teach Tenants... (by OREO [WI]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 9:15 AM

Brad's take on NE(PA)s post -see Stupid Questions- is an interesting approach. I've taken that approach in the past and may test it in the future again. When I do, and feel I've signed the very best I feel is out there I notice they come to me with every little thing even when the lease says otherwise. i.e. "the light bulb is out", but a ladder isn't needed to replace it. In another post I told of someone emailing that the internet is out. Or my garage remote isn't working, my keypad isn't working. I respond with replace the batteries. They say it still isn't working, we make the trip there, replace the batteries and it works. So they never replaced the batteries.

So I ask you when we all get those "da" requests, are we teaching them to be that dependent? I know many parents are teaching their kids to be that way, so how would you, do you, stop this cycle?

I much refer the tenant who mentions a problem and asks for suggestions/ideas on how to remedy the problem.


Do We Teach Tenants... (by RB [TN]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 10:24 AM

I had better luck Training V Teaching.

Do We Teach Tenants... (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 10:53 AM

For smoke alarms it is better to install a box near light fixture then install a wired smoke alarm with battery back up where change battery once a year. Incandescent light bulbs are not common now where better to install LED light bulbs which last a long time. Have a toilet auger where can clear a blocked toilet where do not go over right away where a wait a few hours then the toilet is less likely to be blocked up. A good quality plumbers type toilet auger will be paid on the first use. On a vacant rental unit remove all the traps under sinks then clean out so less likely to get a call on a Sunday. Grade one deadbolt locks with a passage lock so a key must be used to lock entrance door where they can not lock themselves out.

Do We Teach Tenants... (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 3:03 PM

I was a public school teacher for 5 years and a sergeat at varying levels from section up through platoon in the Army and have been to numerous schools on educational and training methods. Part of that included the psychology of education and training.

Reality is this:

1) Once you are in your early 20s, you've developed 85% of your personality for life. You might make small changes, but generally speaking you're set, and no amount of training or coaching will change you.

2) Some people are untrainable. They are who they are, and no one will convince them to be or do otherwise.

With that in mind, the question changes a bit:

1) Can I teach my tenant?

2) Why should I bother teaching a tenant when I can just find one who already operates the way I need them to?

I use approach #2. In the public school classroom and in the Army, I was given a group of people and told "teach them". I had no choice in whom I got.

As a landlord, I DO get to choose whom I get. This is why you screen for things like cooperation and self-reliance during the screening process. Cooperative, self-reliant applicants tend to be cooperative, self-reliant tenants.

If you want your business to involve tenant training, by all means go for it. But I suggest.... rather than try to train the problems out of a tenant, just pick the applicant who is already easy to get along with and manages himself or herself without.

Again, the application process is like a job interview: why hire a bad applicant and try to train them to be a good employee instead of hiring a good employee in the first place?


Do We Teach Tenants... (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 3:55 PM

Why hire a bad and train them up? Cuz if you are good at it, its so rewarding, both psychologically and financially and you get really good results. But key is finding ones who are trainable! My batting record isnít perfect, but pretty dang good!

I do as Robert in Ontario suggests and make things simple at the start. All of my thermostats operate off of fourth wire from furnace. Might have batteries, but not needed. If something is coming up with each tenant, means I need a better product, better process. Clogs, I give the tenant the number for ABC Drains. Company will contact me if its tree roots or collapsed tile. And I admit I am useless at garage door openers. Any problem with garage door OTHER than frozen to ground, I just call Blando.

It does take longer to train adults, they have years of different ways to do things clogging up their databases. So, over-learning is often required. Thatís where you teach something simply, and repeat, repeat, repeat. Remember Stop, drop, and roll? We all know that because of overlearning. So when we are stressed, we can do it almost automatically.

I believe it was Aldo ( wi) who used to do a monthly newsletter to go out with rent receipts. I did a topic a month for awhile. Couple of tenants loved it, a couple seemed annoyed. The ones who loved it were lifelong learners, and my best tenants.

Do We Teach Tenants... (by Phil [OR]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 5:47 PM

We live in a college town --and rent to many students. My dear wife developed "the talk" that we give at check in-- goes something like this;

Welcome to your new home. Now that you are renting without your parents--you are now considered an adult. This is YOUR home while you rent from us. We do expect that you will have friends over. We expect an occasional party here. Being that you are adults, we do want you to know that YOU are responsible for any and all actions and damages that take place at this rental-- for all of your friends. We know the neighbors, they have our contact information. We do expect you to be Responsible and considerate neighbors. Any parties should be inside after 10:00 and at a noise level at all times that does not disturb the neighbors.

Any complaints that we receive will have the following- 1st time there will be a written warning. 2nd time, there will be an eviction. Any Questions?

Have had more problems overall from older non-students ....

Do We Teach Tenants... (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 7:48 PM

"1) Once you are in your early 20s, you've developed 85% of your personality for life. You might make small changes, but generally speaking you're set, and no amount of training or coaching will change you."

I'd rather have not read that, LOL.

Do We Teach Tenants... (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 7:53 PM

"So, over-learning is often required. Thatís where you teach something simply, and repeat, repeat, repeat."

I'm glad to read that. There is hope after all.

Do We Teach Tenants... (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 7:57 PM

Phil, I have never had older tenants. They are mostly college students age and they do seem trainable for the most part.

Do We Teach Tenants... (by OREO [WI]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 9:13 PM

Hi all; I must've been very unclear in my question by the answers given. Even though, the answers are valid and I do vet for great tenants and have never had to evict anyone.

What I was referring to, was that many of my tenants expect service within the day or the next day, and for things that are perfectly doable and expected for them to do per their lease. How this all started I'm not sure but am thinking we are unwittingly teaching them to call us on every little thing. Like the other day I was told the internet was out at their building and they were going to work. We have nothing to do with their internet; their name is on the bill. I was professional in my reply that she should call the company and have them take care of it. These are not stupid people; I feel we have over catered to some of our tenants at times and it's coming back to bite us. There's a fine line between being an attentive LL and, honestly, calling your LL to squash a bug. Yes that has happened twice to us, two different lady tenants. (No way to tell that one would happen!) One of those tenants was an excellent tenant otherwise. I know most of you would not go kill a bug for a tenant, or would you? Another tenant called because her car battery was dead...why call us instead of your insurance company to send someone. It doesn't cost you anything. I'm sure some of you have had these things happen. I'd like to hear your stories and how you handled them. We want a life, that's why we didn't have kids. Now that our tenants are used to our attentiveness, I want to back off on these things; how would you back off, politely and professionally. --75.11.xx.xx

Do We Teach Tenants... (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 9:47 PM

I had a set of tenants that were pretty young. A new cobweb with a spider had apparently formed on the front porch light since I had washed the house. The one tenant asked if I would take it down, so I reached up a wiped it off. A few days later they texted and asked if they could get an exterminator out because they saw a spider on their bed. I texted back that I would have just killed it, that it was a lot cheaper. I guess they were afraid of the spider. It states in the lease that tenants are responsible for pest control. I also let them know that I treated the house for bugs before they moved in. I gave them permission to get one at their expense and told them to be sure and get a receipt for their records. I never heard anything else about it.

I had another set of tenants that complained about the noisy trucks from a warehouse across the street. I told them that I would talk to the owner, and I did. I told them the owner said he would fix the problem and I gave the tenants the information for the owner and informed them that since they lived there and I didn't, that it was really their responsibility to deal with the neighbors. They thanked me for dealing with the problem and I guess they dealt with it at that point.

Just tell them it is really their responsibility since they live there, and you don't. Tell them that house keeping things are on them and you will handle normal building maintenance. I go over the lease on move in and lease signing day.

Do We Teach Tenants... (by AL [NC]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 9:52 PM

Sadly, Oreo, you may have to include a list of things not covered in the lease to refer them to when they call.

Do We Teach Tenants... (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 11:15 PM


I have 3 basic responses...

1. My lease is 31 pages because it defines and explains the behavior we require along with how common issues/problems will be handled.

We review important clauses with them at lease signing (orientation session) and encourage their questions so they KNOW what to do.

From time to time we must remind them - parking, trash, mowing, pest control, noise...solved with a simple text. If the situation becomes serious we provide a paper copy of the page they signed with the clause highlighted in blue.

I call this avoiding the disease of Wimpy-Lease-itis and setting expectations.

2. There are no dumb questions. I WANT people to ask. We benefit from open communication. What if they are afraid to ask about the leak under their sink? or ask about their boyfriend / dog / on the application?

I say I'm the MANAGER, never the OWNER so they tell us things they would NEVER tell an owner.

Before Google I learned plumbing by spending HOURS at Lowes and asking dumb questions of the very helpful pro.

I would never deny an applicant because they did not read and memorize my ad.

3. Too often LLs feel questions are objectives or challenges to their authority.


Do We Teach Tenants... (by Small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: May 16, 2024 11:29 PM

I have not had a resident ask me to take care of something that didn't involve me like their internet, lol. I have gone and replaced batteries on tstats, etc even though I could say no. I look at it from the perspective of providing a service. I'm a few minutes away, and it's not a oroblem to hit that. Plus I'm in the unit and can lay eyes on it. I also belive that using the Pre-screening process weeds out those who can't follow directions and are uncooperative. As does a prospect w a strong work history. I will say that young first time residents are totally trainable as they don't have bad tenant habits yet.

Do We Teach Tenants... (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: May 17, 2024 8:20 AM

If a landlord finds personal satisfaction training tenants, go for it. I've got a day job, a family, and 54 units. No time to train everyone how to do basic tasks. I want tenants who already know and do. They exist. Maybe thanks to all of you trainers out there. My hat is off to you. I appreciate you making my life easier! Keep up the good work.

31 page lease? Wow, it's grown since we first met at the Convention, Brad. I think it was only 21 pages back then. My lease is 9 pages. It works and has never lost in court or when I remind tenants about something that needs attention. The biggies are all there: rent, when due, how paid, fees, lock outs, maintenance, giving notice, auto-renewals, guests, pets, utilities, appliances, cleaning, damage vs wear and tear, security deposit, parking, noise levels, expectations to obey laws and ordinances, etc.

I want my tenants to read their lease prior to signing, and as many of you have seen me post on here frequently I follow the K.I.S.S. principle. 31 pages seems like a mountain to climb for the average tenant. Even my 9 pages feels a bit verbose at times. Any time I find a part that seems repetitive or too nitpicky, I try to rework or eliminate.

Leases are like houses: the more stuff they have, the more stuff there is to break.

Bottom line: as a wise doctor once said, "Good men don't need rules." Just so with tenants. Good tenants could probably manage without any lease at all and be a delight as well as highly profitable. My goal is to find those folks with whom I don't really need to spell out any rules, but we do so just in case there are ever any issues down the road. Even good people sometimes make poor choices.


Do We Teach Tenants... (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 17, 2024 9:55 AM

One tip that worked for a friend who was becoming a nuisance regarding plants: wait a bit to answer the text. Answer it with a question, or with a very simple answer, not much detail. Then wait a bit to answer. I finally suggested a plant ID program to them, they got the hint.

For example, for the car battery: Did you leave the door open? Or, Do you have AAA? Not both questions, that's too much. Both questions kind of turn the responsibility back towards the tenant.

Keep in mind, when you start to turn responsibility back towards your tenants, they will then start to take more responsibility towards things you might not quite want them to, such as a carpenter ant infestation. They might be vacuuming them up, putting ant bait stations, all the while a piece of trim or flashing is missing on the outside of the house, letting lots of water in to create the moist wood. So, it is a trade-off.

A good schedule of maintenance & maintenance checks should stave off a lot of these calls. Don't be friendly at these checks, just business. They'll maybe get the hint.

Do We Teach Tenants... (by zero [IN]) Posted on: May 17, 2024 10:18 AM

Couple things that have happened in the past.

Electricity out in the area. Tenant calls, wants me to provide a generator as her BF (not on the lease) has an oxygen machine and needs electricity. I didn't even have a generator for myself at the time.

Tenant moved from all electric baseboards in apartment to house with GFA. Can't grasp that the house will have colder spots depending on how the vents are aligned. Calls again to complain that the t-stat isn't working. Take heat reader over and show that the house is within a degree of set point. Called again about heat not working. Tenant changed batteries and put them in backwards. Replaced with a simple t-stat requiring no batteries. Later T asks for the old one. Nope, it's gone.

Another tenant called about no heat. They had taken it upon themselves to call an HVAC company to run service and clean. Company left and there was an odd noise from furnace. Company came back, offered to fix for $$$. Tenant calls me. I see problem and get a temp fix. Tenant complains that it is getting too cold for her kids and grandkid to stay in the house. They are not supposed to be there anyway. I order the bearing and replace it a couple days later.

Mentioned this week that T texts me because the city didn't pick up the trash. I don't have anything to do with that. I tell her to call them.

Tenant moved from apartment to house. Liked old fridge better. I said swap them but I am not. Now their fridge stopped working. Call ppl over to look, they diagnose wrong and I told them so, then they swapped a fan out which did nothing. I get after hours tech to meet me there. As we pull the fridge out to look I see a wire pulled out of the harness. Easy fix. When they moved it they somehow snagged the harness.

Still get a fair amount of parking spot problems. I accept them and remedy but why can't people just follow the rules in the first place? --107.147.xx.xx

Do We Teach Tenants... (by OREO [WI]) Posted on: May 17, 2024 2:18 PM

Yes BUSY, yes ZERO, these are the things I wanted to hear about and suggestions on just how to turn the tables back to the tenants. Even tho we go over this all at move in, or a week before when the attention span is greater as they are not anxious to move their things in when listening. The last orientation I did was ideal. Sadly, after two+ years she may be moving back to IL to help with aging family.

Before dropping a bomb on us, she asks us if she may do this or that, concerning would it cause damage. I am delighted to answer those questions! When something is amiss, like a garbage disposal recently, she told me what she tried, what happened, the noise it was making and do we have any other suggestions to try. She is an engineer for Harley for 10 years and is well versed on how things work. We came over to retry everything she did and ended up getting a new one for her. It was well past its warranty and motor was on its last legs.

BUSY: When someone texts us about a personal emergency i.e. the car battery, I'm in the middle of something, not like if they email as told to do. Thinking quick as I grow older is no longer my fortay. I thought of the insurance long after my husband jumped her and ruined his equipment and had to go buy another costing over $100. It would have cost her nothing to use her motorist insurance. I see how you turned things around...perhaps I need to make a list of things that are requested and some plausible answers. If I wasn't so hot under the collar with some of these requests I would not reply upset right away. I'm going to try not responding right away so often. My tenants often exclaim, wow, your over here today already? That's when I started thinking I'm teaching that it's okay to interrupt my dinner hour or late night when we're already for bed.

ZERO: Looking forward to talking with you at the convention, comparing notes. The City not picking up the trash comment kills me! My lease has a whole section with phone #'s of Sanitation Dept, City Depts., etc. and what to do about all kinds of housekeeping items. We do over everything page by page at lease signing, do I need to have a quiz after to see if they are listening? --75.11.xx.xx

Do We Teach Tenants... (by zero [IN]) Posted on: May 18, 2024 9:59 AM

A quiz would be a great idea, except that I honestly feel nearly none of them would pass.

I get a lot of head nods when I go thru the rules for each place. Most times I tell them that I am getting ready to walk them thru it all and they need to be careful not to nod off and fall down.

Levity works but most do not even read thru the lease before they sign everything. --107.147.xx.xx

Do We Teach Tenants... (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: May 20, 2024 6:39 AM

Training is a much better word than teaching.

Training implies a skill is transferred. Landlords transfer life skills

Do We Teach Tenants... (by RB [TN]) Posted on: May 21, 2024 7:00 AM


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