Fair Housing Do’s and Don’ts
19 min Training Video
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Fair Housing Do’s and Don’ts
19 min Training Video
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Please Share Your Thoughts Below
Did You Know Giving Your Tenant A Project Can Be BOTH Your Time Saver and Money Saver?
“Project.” Is it a good word or a bad word in our world of real estate investing? Your mental knee jerk reaction is probably BAD.
Take a chill pill, settle down for a moment and you will learn how you can benefit with BOTH your time and MONEY by creating projects.
How many times has this happened to you?
One of your great long term tenants contacts you with a request for new carpet for their living room. (not the whole house, but just one room).
Do you have thoughts like…
Well, sit down and get ready to knock yourself in the noggin with a big stick.
Good Tenants are a rare breed today. They are on the endangered species list. I think I saw it on the Discovery Channel.
YOUR LIFE vs YOUR TENANT’s LIFE
YOUR LIFE: Do you have a busy schedule EVERY DAY. Putting out fires, “riding the bull”, doing deals, paperwork, insurance, taxes, phone calls, messages, bills, payments, evictions, late charges, late notices, work orders, Family, plus a job?… sound familiar? I found myself in this rat race above for many years. If this is not you, you are a rare exception. Stick to it.
TENANT LIFE: (perhaps as we view it), let’s switch gears and step into their shoes. Watch late night TV. Sleep late. Coffee in the morning, Jerry Springer, soap operas, gossip tv, gossip phone calls, pizza delivery is a meal, getting ready to wait for the mailman to arrive, 2 hours spent preparing a grocery list,… WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS.
Now let’s go back to the carpet story.
Your knee jerk reaction is another problem.
WRONG, You should view this as an OPPORTUNITY.
Especially with a good tenant, YOUR HOUSE is THEIR HOME. Do NOT forget this. It is a powerful tool for you.
When your good tenant contacts you with the carpet story, the absolute most dangerous act on your part is to go “check it out”. This “good business” practice on your part simply puts a bullet right between your eyes on the part of your tenant. Your “good business” behavior is actually calling your tenant a liar. Your actions are saying I am not sure I believe you, let me come over and check it out. Even with good intentions on your part, you just went 2 steps forward and 7 steps BACKWARD.
Hold On – there is more… So, you go “check it out” and you agree with your tenant. YUP, it is worn and could be replaced. Mentally, your tenant has their arms folded across their chest saying “I TOLD YOU THAT EARLIER STUPID.”
With good intentions on your part and a concern of SAVING MONEY…. You might tell your tenant something like…. “yes, I see you could use some new carpet. I will call my carpet guy and he will contact you to schedule putting in the new carpet.”
You work your butt off trying to run an efficient rental business by using the same CHEAP carpet with all of your rentals, the same installer, etc. This really is a good business thing by putting systems into place.
Your KIND act and pride of showing your tenant you have a system in place to take care of their problem is a total disregard to the concerns of your great tenant and you just SMACKED them square in the face with a 2×4 by reminding them they are a TENANT who is RENTING MY HOUSE. All of their thoughts about their HOME just evaporated with you bumping your gums about your system.
But wait a minute. You are trying to be a nice guy, a good landlord, etc. Yes, this is true BY YOUR STANDARDS. You are taking time out of your busy day, spending your money, to do something for your tenant in YOUR HOUSE. So when you get viewed as a greedy landlord, you remind your self of your good intentions, good actions, spending money, etc. all for not even one simple thank you. You are guilty of promoting the US and THEM attitude as much as anyone else.
SWITCH GEARS and try this next time. When your good tenant contacts you with a request for new carpet in one room, turn it into a WIN – WIN situation for both the Tenant and yourself.
If on the phone, let the tenant bump their gums for a while. Use their NAME when talking to them. It makes them feel good. After they make some noise for a while, here is how to make them want to stay forever. Refer to your rental house as “THEIR HOME”.
Give them a project. Tell your tenant you can help them out if they want the new carpet. Tell them you will buy the carpet if they get it installed.
Instruct your tenant to go “carpet shopping”. Give them some places to go. There are carpet remnant stores and outlets in almost every town. Tell the tenant to be reasonable and give them good instructions… no gold laced carpet allowed. The tenant goes carpet shopping and gets a bill from the carpet store. Have the tenant mail or fax the bill to you. You create a check payable to the carpet store.
Even though you are a tightwad, you should not have to replace the pad. Your tenant is going to round up their own installer. Do not worry about the installer. Odds are, your tenant will choose better quality carpet than what you normally install. By the time they move out, it really doesn’t matter how it was installed because you will probably remove it and replace it again.
Now think about this in the big picture. Tenant contacted you with a request. You are a good landlord. You acknowledge their concern, and you give your tenant a PROJECT. In their mind, they are going shopping on your dollar to buy carpet they choose for THEIR HOME. No more phone calls on your part and I bet the purchase of the carpet is CHEAPER than your system in the long run. I doubt if the cost of the carpet in this manner will be more than the expense of your installer and the carpet.
Using YOUR system, your tenant is reminded they are a tenant living in your house. They will be sitting at home waiting for your system to do their thing. Your tenant has time to waste on projects to make them feel good. Give them TIME EATING PROJECTS. Your Tenant will win and you will win.
This is a great program. Think about it from your Tenant’s perspective.
Yes, I drug this out and made it painful. We do not have patience for s-l-o-w m-o-v-I-n-g stuff. This is my point. We are in so much of a hurry and have no patience, we assume we are normal and everyone should be like us. WRONG. We are the 1%ers. We are the weird ones and proud of it. It is what makes us successful.
Use the same method described above on almost any improvement request by a tenant. Do NOT use it on skilled or licensed trades such as furnaces, plumbing or electric.
It works great for requests for such things as painting, landscaping, or window air conditioners.
So slow down, be patient, and the next time you receive a request for something, use your creative abilities and TURN IT INTO A TIME EATING FUN AND CHALLENGING PROJECT to benefit you.
It reminds me of the Tom Sawyer story of whitewashing the fence and he was getting helpers to PAY HIM for the privilege of using his brush to have fun slopping the whitewash on the fence. Try it, you might surprise yourself and they will THANK YOU.
To really nail it down good, drop them a note about how good a job they did or simply stop by with a positive attitude to see the results of their efforts…
DO NOT ACT LIKE AN INSPECTOR. Let them bump their gums again and tell them they did great on colors and all. They are decorating their HOME. Help them feel proud and they will take care of it better and stay forever.
Please Share Your Thoughts of Giving Your Tenant A Project Below
This is an example of how you must be very careful in what you say and how you say it when dealing with prospective applicants for your rental properties.
Please note, if you have someone doing this for you, showing rentals, etc. “Whatever they say or do, it is the same as if YOU are saying it.”
What are you comments on this?
A Property Management Company based in Virginia Beach, VA, Will Pay $82,500
to settle allegations it refused to allow a Hispanic woman to apply for an apartment because she did not speak fluent English.
The company allegedly had a policy of not renting to persons with limited English proficiency.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the rental of housing on the basis of national origin. “Denying housing because a person does not speak English well violates the Fair Housing Act,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
The case came to HUD’s attention when a Hispanic woman filed a complaint alleging that the property management company, which manages over 500 rental units throughout Virginia Beach and Norfolk, refused to provide her a rental application because she could not speak English well.
The complaint further alleges that the leasing agent refused the translation assistance of the bilingual person the applicant brought with her.
HUD launched an investigation to determine whether the alleged discrimination was systemic. In the course of the investigation, HUD discovered that the company had a written policy expressly requiring all prospective tenants to be able to communicate with management staff in English without assistance from others, and to complete rental applications only while they were in the management office.
By agreement, the company will pay the prospective tenant $7,500, and will donate $25,000 each to local housing advocates. In addition, the company agreed to adopt a non-discrimination policy, which it will distribute to current residents and prospective tenants; adopt a plan to more effectively serve residents and prospective tenants with limited English proficiency by providing translation and interpretation services; and require its employees to undergo fair housing training.
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This is not a new issue for landlords.
GOOD – A tenant in an apartment who Pays Rent Early Every Month and never calls or complains.
– now he is 600lbs and has a lot of trouble going up and down stairs.
– he lives in 3rd floor apartment
– says he has no friends except his “2 cats” (yes, 2 cats were allowed)
– his parents live 3 hours away.
ISSUE – Tenant in apartment below reports leak in her bathroom ceiling and there is terrible odor in the hall coming from this fellow’s apartment.
– Work Order scheduled for repairs
– Dan photos before and after.
– Photos show outrageous dirt, trash, cat crap everywhere.
– Our 20yr+ Pest Control guy who sprays for bugs in apartments refuses to re-enter apartment until cleaned up or this guy is gone.
– Our Air Conditioning Service Person reports same.
SOLUTION – proposed tenant enrolling in a weekly maid service to clean his apartment and report to office.
– at this time, tenant is agreeable and willing to pay.
– his re-inspection is scheduled for 3pm today.
Stay tuned for the next chapter to see what Tenant does to get results.
This 4 minute video shows you 4 Resources (3 are FREE) for Rental Property Owners.
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