Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Murphy's Laws of Landlording

Murphy said that "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong." Many investors who have been in real estate for any length of time, particularly landlords, agree that Murphy was an optimist. So in order to be more prepared in the future, it may be wise to review Murphy's laws of real estate:

- The sweet little girl with the baby who rented your place this week, will start dating the mad motorcycle man from hell -- and several of his friends -- the very next week.

- Tenants have at least one relative get sick or die per month, so they will just have to pay you later.

- If a tenant attempts to replace the washer in a faucet, plan on replacing the faucet, or perhaps all of the plumbing in the building.

- Prospective tenants who make an appointment to see your rental across town, often get kidnapped on the way there -- so how could they possibly show up?

- Tenants only lock themselves out in the middle of the night, or on Christmas.

- When a furnace breaks in mid-winter, it is always the heat exchanger.

- At least one tenant's check will be "lost in the mail" every month.

- Every lost pet will find its way to your rental.

- The hardware store closes five minutes before you get there.

- A tenant's ability to see dirt and damage is much greater during move-in than during move-out.

- Your best tenants always get job transfers during the worst rental markets.

- Everything in your rentals will break 100 times faster than in your own home.

- Tenants always swear under oath that the window was broken when they moved in.

- When a tenant calls and says, "Hi, how are you?" something is drastically wrong.

- If it is pouring rain, you can be sure the windows are open at one or more of your units.

- If it exists, your tenant will try to flush it down the toilet.

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