The Most Important Word In Duplex Investment

said on November 21st, 2011 categorized under: Tenants

add no to your landlord vocabularyIf you plan on buying a duplex in Minneapolis — or any other location, there is one word you must have in your vocabulary.

And that is the word, “No”.

Most duplex investors I work with seem to be comfortable with that word when it comes to buying a property that doesn’t work for them due to return on investment, location, or any other reason it might not fit with their present portfolio or lifestyle.

However, I am always surprised by the number of duplex sellers I meet who seem to have forgotten that word when it comes to tenants.

Let me give you some examples:

– One duplex owner installed an expensive water softener for the entire property because one of her tenants allegedly had a skin issue. Mind you, this wasn’t mentioned when the tenant moved in.

– Another duplex owner got behind on his mortgage payments to the point he had received a foreclosure notice, because his tenant had lost her job and wanted to know if she could have another month, and then another and another and another to get him the money.

– One tenant asked her landlord if she could have her boyfriend move in. Two weeks later, it was discovered he was wanted in another state on felony charges.

– A triplex owner changed out an entire sink because a tenant complained about a microscopic chip in the porcelain.

In every single instance, the duplex investor could have saved either money or heartache by simply saying, “No” when the tenant request was made.

Many duplex investors are afraid if they say “no”, the tenant will leave and they will be faced with having a vacant unit to clean, repair and re-rent.

The irony is, in all of my years of being a landlord and a Realtor who specializes in duplexes, I have never had, nor heard of this happening.

Granted, savvy duplex owners make every effort to attract and keep good tenants. This can be easily achieved by keeping your property well maintained and clean with a fair market rent.

And if it’s in your annual budget to make repairs and honor requests made by tenants that don’t have to do with health and safety, by all means, go ahead.

Just remember, a real estate investment property is a business.

And the word “no” is part of every successful business person’s vocabulary.