Prospect Tenant Complains About Their Slumlord Property Manager

Prospect Tenant Complains About Their Slumlord Property Manager

apartment investing; real estate investing; slumlord

LeRu Apartment Rented

Wikipedia defines A slumlord (or slum landlord) as a derogatory term for a landlord, generally an absentee landlord, who attempts to maximize profit by minimizing spending on property maintenance, often in deteriorating neighborhoods.

We recently rented a unit in one of our apartments in California. We received a call from  after it had already been rented out. I had to let her know that unfortunately it was no longer available but if she’d allow me, I can take her information in case something becomes available.

The conversation that proceeded is not unusual. One of the most common reasons for people moving is their landlord and/or property manager’s lack of customer service and performance on maintenance requests. If tenants feel ignored and not being attended, it’s only a matter of time before they leave. Most tenants will not be patient and prior to their lease expiring will begin searching for a new apartment.

Tenant Retention

One of the main jobs of a good property manager is to keep units leased up as long as possible – “tenant retention”. We’ve owned properties with tenants living there for decades – the longest was 30 years. These are tenants that you want to give good service. They are loyal and comfortable living in your unit and are a good bet to stay there for a long time. This helps to reduce unit turnover, one of your biggest expenses. Every time a tenant leaves, income is lost from the lack of rent and expenses increase because the unit needs to be made rent ready. If you’re doing this on a constant basis it can be very costly and significantly impact your cashflow.

“I Can’t Live Here Anymore!”

Prospective tenants are great sources of market information because they are researching and viewing other apartments. Two of my favorite questions to ask to prospective tenants are “why are you moving” and “what/how are the units you’re seeing out there”. When I asked this lady about why she’s moving she said “my property manager is a slumlord and I can’t live here anymore, they don’t do any repairs”. She continued to bad mouth them and told me who they were and their bad reputation. She vented all her frustrations. I immediately google searched them and the first things that came up were negative reports on consumer websites with strings of bad reviews that included photos (see video). I’ve researched other property managers but it’s unusual that the first things to come up in a search are bad reviews and especially a barrage of extremely negative comments. It was unbelievable that a company would allow their reputation to become so bad, especially in the age of the internet making it so easy for disgruntled tenants to publicly announce their discontent.

If you plan to be in the business of providing housing, do a good job of giving service to your tenants.  It’s very easy for your tenants to let the world know how bad their situation is. You don’t want to be the next person being ridiculed on the internet as a slumlord.

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