What type of landlord are you?
What type of landlord are you? Do you know how to be a good landlord? As new legislation for residential tenancies is updated across Australia, it may be time for you to change too! Are you the right landlord for today’s tenants?
No more landlords and tenants!
Bravo to Victoria for redefining landlords and tenants in their new residential tenancy legislation. The words landlord and tenant have been replaced! Landlords will now be known as “rental providers,” and tenants will be known as “renters.” A good move if you ask us, considering the use of landlord goes back to medieval times where landlords were the lords of the manor and tenants were peasants with a bit more freedom than a slave!
Seven types of landlords
Everyone has a story about a landlord. Many are good, some bad, and a few just ugly! Most legislation changes are evening up the rights and responsibilities of those who own property and those who live in their property. Maybe now is a good time to consider what type of landlord you are and to reflect on whether your attitude and actions are in line with the new legislation.
Landlord 1 – The Nosey Parker!
This landlord wants to keep an eye on their rental property and invades the quiet enjoyment of their tenants through their constant harassment. Often trying to be friendly, they may call or text regularly, and can be overly friendly or a real sticky beak! They are ignorant of the rental laws and literally think that it’s their property and they have a right to make sure their tenants are doing the right thing!
If you are the nosey parker type landlord, then you are driving past your rental home regularly, maybe even parking in the street to watch what’s happening. You may be walking past and decide to peer in the window or look over the fence. Maybe you call to discuss the maintenance of the garden because you noticed the grass was looking overgrown. Whether you realise it or not, your constant intrusion is invading the quiet enjoyment of your tenants. Bluntly, you are breaking the law!
Landlord 2 – The Bulldozer
The bulldozer is forceful, intimidating and threatening. Tenants are afraid to approach the bulldozer, scared of being yelled at or physically threatened. This type of landlord does what they want, when they want. This may even involve bullying the tenants for various reasons including gaining access to the property, doing renovations, knocking on the door to collect unpaid rent, or just harassing the tenants because they want them to move out.
While the bulldozer may think they are untouchable, the informed tenant will take legal action and seek compensation for the harassment.
Landlord 3 – The Capitalist
The capitalist is a landlord who has a budget and sticks to it. At the end of the day it’s all about the money. The capitalist will avoid taking care of repairs trying to reduce any outgoings. If it is going to reduce their bottom line, they will avoid taking appropriate action! Unemotional and uncaring about the standard of living their tenants have to endure, they often find themselves involved in disputes with renters. As a result, renters turnover at the end of their lease.
Landlord 4 – The Manor Lord
This type of landlord is the traditional landlord. The Manor lord views tenants as second class citizens. Therefore they can be perceived as being rude or mean towards renters. The Manor Lord strictly follows renting laws. However, they show no mercy, no heart towards the renter. There’s no give and take. Even if the renters have been done everything right in the past, when something goes wrong, the Manor Lord will apply the maximum penalty within the law to ensure their control.
Landlord 5 – The Humanitarian
The Humanitarian is the fair rental provider. Renters are equals. The humanitarian respects their renters, and the renters respect this rental provider. The humanitarian follows the renting laws and expects their renters to do the same. But when things go wrong, the humanitarian is understanding, empathetic and reasonable in the way they deal with these situations. As a result, the renters are loyal. This landlord can expect their renters to stick around. The relationship established by the humanitarian with their renters is one of mutual respect and a win-win. Both parties benefit from the relationship.
Landlord 6 – The Pushover
This type of landlord lacks the confidence to maintain an equal relationship with their renters. The pushover is uninformed and inexperienced as a rental provider. They are very trusting and select renters based on their friendship instead of properly qualifying the suitability of the renters for their rental property. The pushover is easily taken advantage of and can lose control of their rental property often as a result of not implementing a tenancy agreement. Their lack of knowledge of the rental laws and trusting personality is their downfall, leaving themselves open to manipulation by their renters.
Landlord 7 – The absent landlord
As suggested by the title, the absent landlord is generally missing in action. They are the invisible landlord, who plays no role in the management of their rental property. They will use a manager and leave everything up to the manager. If they have hired a great property manager, then the renters will be fairly treated. However, if they have selected a property manager who is regimented in their management of the rental property, tenants will terminate tenancies at the end of each tenure.
What type of landlord are you?
As you evaluate your attitude and experiences as a rental provider, you may find you are one or more types of landlord. Consider your strengths and weaknesses as a landlord. You may want to implement action to improve your knowledge and skills. Professional development may include attending training in managing rental properties, participating in webinars, listening to podcasts, reading blogs, watching videos, talking to your real estate agent, and joining property management/private landlord online groups. Now is the time to update your knowledge and skills in property management as new renting legislation is implemented in each state and territory.
Being the modern landlord
The renters of today are varied and come from all walks of life. Renters are the customer of the rental provider. Landlords need to realise renters are entitled to fair treatment and respect. There are good, bad and ugly tenants, and the same can be said for landlords. Managing a rental property is a business. Landlords need to know and implement the rental laws, understand the role of the rental authorities and use the correct rental forms and documents.
Do you want more support as a private landlord? Would coaching assist you? RentEzy offers coaching services for private landlords. Includes free needs analysis and exclusive resources. One-on-one coaching delivered either via telephone, skype or in person, face-to-face. Conditions apply.