Desperation can make even the most rational investors lose their minds sometimes. When faced with a decision that they know may come back to haunt them; time, money and circumstance often impair judgment. When dealing with a rental property that has a vacancy approaching, you know you need to either find a tenant or face the consequences. No rental property owner wants to be stuck paying the mortgage out of their own pocket. However, this is not the time to become lenient with your rental policies. If a tenant comes along that is less than desirable, desperation may lead you to go against your better judgment and accept their application. However, you need to stand firm with your rental policies.
Many landlords and property owners think that having a vacancy is the worst thing that can happen to their investment. While it certainly isn’t ideal, it is far better than dealing with an eviction or long term property damage resulting from a bad tenant. You may feel the need to find a tenant, any tenant, to occupy your property, but it is important that you take a step back and look at the big picture. If you don’t allow pets, there must be a reason for it. You may feel that they will damage your property or create a lasting odor. If you feel this way, you shouldn’t let time and circumstances alter your thinking. Once you start compromising what you believe in, you will have no structure with your business.
Finding a tenant immediately may serve to relieve any anxiety you have over a potential vacancy, but if you compromise your rental policy, you may be in for more trouble than a vacancy. Regardless of your situation, practice due diligence and stick to your strategy. It is there for a reason. If they like your property, but smoke or have a pet, you need to stand firm and adhere to your rules. If you have ever walked into a property with excessive cigarette smoke damage, you know that it can immediately turn off any prospective buyers or renters. If you rent to a tenant that smokes, against your own judgement, you can hurt yourself in the future.
Moreover, you need to enforce lease agreements. If you acknowledge a fee for late payments, penalize anyone that is late. Whatever your rules and policies are as a landlord, you need to make sure you enforce them. That is what they are in place for. Without this structure, you will start making decisions that you know aren’t in the best interest of the property and will hurt you down the road. It may not always be easy, but standing firm on your policies will help you achieve your long term goals regardless of your current situation.