People say we are all different one from another, and so are landlords. No two are alike! Each one has their own habits, characteristics, secret talents. That makes everyone of them unique and special. Even if those skills make them a better or a worse person, the landlords’ qualities know no borders. What exactly do I mean? There are common characteristics that go beyond cultural differences. Even so, some landlords can be talented with many attributes.
It happened four years ago, when I moved to Italy to carry out an Erasmus exchange, that I had to deal for the first time with a landlord. It could be classified as a worldly story, maybe not exotic nor interesting, but it wasn’t the landlord I was expecting. On Christmas, he gently invited my friends and I to have a tea in his place, so we could have the chance to meet his family, his home and his traditions. He showed us what Santa Claus had prepared for his child, we toasted to the upcoming new year and he gifted us a really nice Christmas’ card.
As time goes by, I have learnt to appreciate how lucky I was on this occasion. After a very long list of disgusting, gossipy and apathetic landlords, I have reached the point where I am considering writing an analysis to describe the most common landlord profiles. Hopefully this can help you to identify your landlord’s characterization and note which is the best way to communicate with them.
The paperwork freak
This landlord is the king of finance, law and order. At his desk: mountains of well organized books and papers, impeccable bookshelves… Do not dare to put your hand there!
This landlord is always aware of the latest laws and regulations related to real estate. In addition, he is the best when it comes to using complicated buying and renting vocabulary and never forgets to write down and sign everything you have talked about or arranged.
The paperwork freaks usually are mistrustful by nature. So you better not give them reasons to be that way with you!
Useful tip: To this type of tenants, we would advise that all payments up to date & on time. It is also recommended to save the copies of every receipt and bill. If you don’t want to be wrong-footed by his knowledge, you better learn by heart the 10 words you must know when home hunting, so you can both make yourselves understood.
The sneaky inspector
The typical landlord who is always guarding and looking through the door spyhole to see what is going on at your apartment or even dares to enter it when you are away. In other words: the spy-landlord. Nobody messes with him! He is always controlling what their lessees are doing: if they have invited too many people to the house, if you are listening to music after 10 pm or even if you have changed the welcoming rug. When something gets out of his control, the world becomes a real chaos.
Watch out! The sneaky inspector will try to find tiny errors that you may never have noticed. In other words: he will always be on the hunt for your money. When you’ll leave your place, be aware: do not let them collect more money from you, contending that the past week the heating ran for more time! On top of that, they will always find excuses to confirm that is you who has to take care of the renovations.
The gossip one
Not to be confused with the sneaky inspector! Instead of caring about finances and order like the last one we talked about, this kind of owner enjoys being up to date about the gossips that goes around the neighbourhood. He knows exactly who is in and who is out on your apartment, if you have received new letters or boxes, which magazines you are subscribed; and also if the girl of the third floor and the guy from the first have been out together for dinner. They have the incredible ability of spending hours and hours gossiping. They know (and even tell) everything! They have their own strategies to get privilege information and will jump on the occasion to interrogate you on your building’s landing.
Useful tips: For this kind of tenants, be sure to keep your privacy safe, so your landlord doesn’t use it as inspiration to write a whole reality show. Do not give them reasons to believe he is they are the center of what is going on and also never give personal opinions that could be misunderstood.
Your building is about to knock down and your landlord doesn’t call you back? So your landlord is one of the ghost landlords. As his name explains, this type of owner is never available. However, he manifests himself when nobody has called him. When it comes to urgent situations, he disappears or never answers. This person is very uncollaborative and, if he can, he always stands aside. His mantra: I don’t want to get too much involved.
Useful tip: what to do when you have a ghost landlord? One option is to write down all the questions, doubts or documents you may need to ask him. So when he manifests himself you can ask him everything you want to know. He won’t find an escape. You can also note down all the times you have tried unsuccessfully to contact him. If there is a misunderstanding, you can prove that you have always tried to contact him with no answer back. No one will say that you never tried!
The overly friendly one
I am 24/7 if my lessees need me. This would be the synopsis of the overly friendly landlord just in a quote. If you have forgotten to pay your rent on time, if you unintentionally broke the washing machine or even if you celebrated the best party ever last night, don’t think it twice! Your landlord probably won’t care… their main objective is to make you feel great even if it is him who is in the wrong. He wants everybody to be happy and easily adapts himself to unexpected situations. He won’t hardly say no to any of your wishes! In case there is any problem, he will always try to reach an agreement with the lessees.
The problem with this landlords type is that sometimes they are too friendly; and even dare to knock your door with a six pack of cold beers in the most unexpected moment.
Useful tip: set limits to maintain your privacy and remind them that, above all, your relationship is just financial. If visits happen too often, set the rules to not feel overwhelmed by it. Another option is to establish a visiting schedule to organize your time better and prevent their interruptions.
The second father
If your landlord is kind of person, you will probably feel like you are living with your parents. You are part of their family: you are invited to his Christmas parties, barbecues in their garden and they visit you many times in a week. Not to be confused with the too friendly one: the second parent will always make sure that you are fine and your needs are covered. The too friendly one will go overboard with the relationship and even will have too much confidence with you and your apartment. Unexpected visits are just an example!
Useful tip: Congratulations! This is not a very common type among the different types of landlords. However, keep in mind that they are not your real family and you should not abuse their trust. If that ends up being the case and maybe you get too close to them and they ask you to emancipate yourself from them.
The super handyman
The handyman has inherent abilities to fix things and do renovations. Inside their drawers you can find any tool you may need! They have the best emergency toolkit! They are always ready and have all the tools needed, even those ones you never imagined existed. They have the skills and the material needed to fix easily, efficiently and quickly repair any problem. In addition, they will be always happy to help you and to do it, considering that they won’t have to pay another person to do it… This kind of owner knows how to properly maintain their home, so it is the best place to live. One of the best things: they are always there, but not on the intrusive way!
Useful tip: don’t be afraid of showing your gratitude! Do not abuse of his kindness and courtesy to carry out repairs that you could easily do. In this blog, the author points out the most common problems that could appear when living in an apartment, and explains clearly who should fix them. If you are in one of these cases, do not hesitate to call your landlord!
Have you ever had a landlord like the ones we describe above? Have you identified another type of owner and would like to share it with us? We encourage you to write your experiences in the comments box!
On the other hand, if you are a owner and you feel kind of identified with one of these profiles, here you have 5 important personally traits of a successful landlord, so you can make the best of your relationships with your lessees.
Translated by Celia Méndez