If I knew how, I would... - Posted by corine

Posted by corine on July 09, 2008 at 06:51:48:

Yep. Your very right again. I am mindful of quiet enjoyment, really I am. I rented most of my life, so I know what it’s like. I’ve never done a walk through while someone is living in a home. I have one right now where they have been there 2.5 years. Based on the outside, I can only imagine what the inside is like.

Your right though, no more on this thread. I very much appreciate you. Thank you.

If I knew how, I would… - Posted by corine

Posted by corine on July 08, 2008 at 08:16:17:

A constant theme I’m hearing here about myself is that I’m too emotional, don’t treat this like a business, knee jerk reactions, etc. I understand and accept your observations.

Now, though, how can I change that. How do I address this so I don’t keep doing this? What do good business people do?

How do I act/behave?

I’m serious with this Q:

It is simple. - Posted by Ed in Idaho

Posted by Ed in Idaho on July 08, 2008 at 23:25:35:

Hire a good property manager and just ‘manage the manager’. If you can’t do that and you can’t be a ruthless, souless, heartless SOB of a lanlord when the time comes, maybe you should switch your investment plan. Like buying notes or stocks as an example.

Fire your worst customers - Posted by Penny

Posted by Penny on July 08, 2008 at 22:41:31:


You’ve gotten lots of good thoughts & advice about actions, consequences, protecting your rights, etc. So I’ll give you a little feedback from a business perspective.

Behave like a business person. Businesses have to look at the bottom line or they aren’t in business very long. Profit versus risk is key. So at the end of the day, it’s all about the numbers and the data behind them. When you keep this foremost in your mind, it becomes less personal and the numbers guide you in what to do.

Have a back up plan for risky situations. As a business owner/investor, you’ll make mostly good decisions and a few bad, like everybody. Remember - it’s not your mistakes, it’s your recovery rate (my Dad always used to say this). That’s where having a back up plan is important. I read somewhere that 80%, maybe it was more, of the things people worry about never come to pass. So put your backup plan in place just in case, then focus on your future. You’ve gotten lots of feedback and opinions in this area already.

Keep good records. I once had a new salesperson at one of my businesses that never was able to perform. I watched the numbers and saw that it was hurting my business. Despite training efforts, it just wasn’t the right person for the job. Because I watched and analyzed the numbers, it made it easier to let the person go much sooner instead of letting the situation languish. I also had the numbers to rebutt a threat of a discrimination claim, so I could continue to sleep like a rock at night. I hired an employment attorney to review the documentation we needed to provide to comply with state employment law. And I used my backup staffing plan, since we were shorthanded afterwards.

Fire your worst customers. Good businesses don’t keep their worst customers. They let them become competing businesses’ worst customers. The worst customers have a lousy return on investment for the time you have to spend on them. Your time is one of your most valuable commodities. This tenant is taking way too much of your time. You are now in the process of firing her because you’ve already decided not to renew her lease.

Learn from your mistakes. What would you do differently?

Make decisions that satisfy your profit goals and risk tolerance. The right action for you should be clear. What’s right for you may be different than for someone else. If the situation changes, then you re-evaluate it.

There are times where business people allow some personal traits to affect reasonable business decisions, e.g. taking more costly action to get the tenant out sooner versus more passive actions of riding it out. Just be sure you’re doing it at a conscious level and are accepting the consequences and benefits of that choice. Sometimes your own peace of mind and personal principles can be enough to override the solution suggested by the numbers analysis. Sometimes it takes a different strength to not escalate a situation and ride out the solution because you may be further ahead in the long run.

But in general, the numbers can go a long way toward guiding you and giving you confidence in your decisions & actions. When you are confident in your decision and course of action, that confidence gets projected outward.

Hope this helps.

Re: If I knew how, I would… - Posted by Edwin

Posted by Edwin on July 08, 2008 at 15:01:03:

Corine, I think $1200 retainer is a big pricey. You should be able to get a letter written for $50. Maybe this attorney is sensing there might be more involved than just a letter, which is why she’s asking for more. I suggest shopping for a cheaper attorney, or even an experienced landlord who can advise you what to do. (yes, I’m volunteering, if you want). I am not liking this manipulative woman, and would strongly encourage you not to back down. In lieu of an attorney, I would highly recommend the landlording and eviction books published by Nolo press.www.Nolo.com. Just remember, you can reimburse yourself any legal expenses you incur from the tenant’s security deposit–assuming it’s sufficient.

Re: If I knew how, I would… - Posted by DJ-nyc

Posted by DJ-nyc on July 08, 2008 at 14:09:08:


You are not alone with this weakness. I am emotional too sometimes and I practice praying and staying calm when dealing with tenants. In nyc, it is very tough when the law favors bad tenants and such. Experience and “wisdom” will soon over-rule your emotions.

Do I want to “get paid” and pay down my mortgage or do I want to get caught up in Landlord/Tenant court with a bad tenant who has “nothing to lose” and may mess up my place. Yes, I will eventually win, but do I really win when I may have been able to avoid the situation by “working with the tenant” in some way. I have bought tenants out a few times because it is ‘cheaper’ to give them walking money over dragging them through the nyc court system. Weigh and judge situations and talk it over with an experienced Landlord. Go to REI groups and build a support system of experienced Landlords to ask questions.

Somebody told me this past holiday something basic but it helped me recently with some business issues I am having; the person said,


Re: If I knew how, I would… - Posted by IB (NJ)

Posted by IB (NJ) on July 08, 2008 at 10:50:50:

I try and concentrate on what’s really important: my family and the kids I mentor.

So when I’m doing business for those two institutions I consider any problems I encounter an attack on the respective institution. I then take the emotion out of handling the issue and concentrate on the fact that I must protect my family and the young kids I mentor at all cost. It helps me to avoid making emotional and costly mistakes.

So what do you consider important? Your family? Your livelihood?


Re: If I knew how, I would… - Posted by Natalie-VA

Posted by Natalie-VA on July 08, 2008 at 10:11:31:

Hi Corine,

Like the rest of us, you have a weakness. It’s good that you realize it. The way I see it is you have two choices: either learn how to get past that weakness, or have someone else handle that part of the job. I know how frustrating it is to deal with people like that, but you must keep your eye on the ball. I’m selling a house right now where the other party and their agent are real pains in the a$$. My husband is getting very frustrated over the “he said, she said” type issues. I just have to keep my eye on the ball and get the deal closed. I ignore all of the other issues that really have no relevance to getting the deal done. Now would I like to tell them to find another house? Of course, but that doesn’t put money in my bank account.


Re: If I knew how, I would… - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Jimmy on July 08, 2008 at 09:56:53:

its a numbers game. expect to reject 95% or more of the prospective deals you come across. and of the 5% that get past the initial tire-kicking, maybe 1 on 5 will materialize into a deal.

if you take on this attitude, you will have a hard time getting emotionally “involved” with a deal.

as for knee-jerking. hmm. can’t help you. it comes with experience. I am knee-jerky about some stuff and very un-knee-jerky aboout other stuff. understand you have a weakness, and be constantly aware of it. it clouds your judgment, so always ask yourself if you are knee-jerking when you feel the urge to make a quick decision.

Excellent - Posted by Robby C

Posted by Robby C on July 09, 2008 at 19:14:27:

Excellent read. I concur with JT-IN.

Re: Fire your worst customers - Posted by corine

Posted by corine on July 09, 2008 at 05:16:17:

Penny, sorry about the marrage proposal. I read your post via my email account and didn’t realize you are a Penny.

I’m so impressed with youR post. THANK YOU.


Outstanding thoughts for any business - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on July 09, 2008 at 05:04:50:

These ideas should be a keeper for anyone who reads this… Valuable ideas; your Father taught you well.

Thanks for sharing.


Re: If I knew how, I would… - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on July 08, 2008 at 19:10:31:

Where are these attorneys that write letters for $50.00? And could they
possibly be any good? I’d say $1200 is about right. It will probably take
about 4 hours @ $300.00 to deal with Corine and tenant. Getting
Corine’s side of the story is definitely gonna cost more than $50.00. :slight_smile:

Or maybe the Atty is perceptive - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on July 08, 2008 at 16:57:36:

And is just trying to discourage Corine from pursuing a matter that she shouldn’t…

Or, maybe the Atty realizes that this situation could easily get ot of hand since there have been too many emotions injected into the situation thus far… and any pursuit will turn into a pricey deal. After all, the Atty must know who the tenant has retained and knowing that is a clue of where the road will lead.

Or just maybe… (endless theories)

Re: If I knew how, I would… - Posted by Corine

Posted by Corine on July 08, 2008 at 15:24:36:

How do I reach you Edwin?

Update…decision, how you won’t be disappointed - Posted by Corine

Posted by Corine on July 08, 2008 at 14:27:13:

Rich, I hope I won’t regret this, but I don’t have the stomach to go to war over 600. The atty. called back and said that yes, they would write a letter but wanted a 1200 dollar retainer. Hum. Well, now I’m emotional, but not stupid, and pretty good at math.

I respect this atty., but this horror’s reign ends December 30th. I told the atty. that if she keeps coming at me, naturally, I’ll pay whatever to defend myself, but for 600 dollars, ah. It’s not worth the energy it’s presently zapping me of.

Do I think it’s a coincidence that after almost three years, two days after a lame increase, I receive this damage to my place.

I just want her gone and hope I learn and not make the same mistakes in the future.

I’m sorry to disappoint the tougher guys here. Do I have a right to the increase, yes…do I want to fight over so small an amount to win? no.

I just want her gone.

If itâ??s about winning, I have won. I own the place. Sheâ??s the one thatâ??s movingâ?¦and wonâ??t be finding a replacement property for this price any time soon or ever.

Drama over.

Unless she starts again.

Re: If I knew how, I would… - Posted by corine

Posted by corine on July 08, 2008 at 10:54:17:

Very good perspective. Thank you also Natalie.

I know, pride gets in the way.

I’m not going to battle over 600 dollars. That’s nuts.

Would rather loose the battle and win the war.

Re: If I knew how, I would… - Posted by corine

Posted by corine on July 08, 2008 at 10:17:52:

That’s wise.

In thinking back, the knee jerk reaction in this situation with this particular tenant is reminiscent, almost to a tee of two separate cases in this complex. All single women, one according to the management company at the time, “she knew how to work the system”.

This was in 2002. The fight between our community and this woman went on for several years. She made out with a half million in damages, in addition the HOA rebuilt her condo from the studs out. She immediately sold and moved on with .5 million. Our insurance dropped us and all of our dues went up.

Another woman followed suit right after that.

And now my lovely tenant…not that she’s necessarily going down the same road…

I may be emotional, hot headed, but also very intuitive. This womanâ??s moves are predictable as h—.

So judge me how you will, but given those two incidents, that’s why I have reacted this way.

PS. That first case I spoke of, all the best lawyers, insurance companies, it was a mess for at least two years. The condo sat naked to the studs while this battle raged on.
And the woman won, again, because she knew how to work the system.

How does Lou Brown describe this…Oh, the lawsuit lottery.

Iâ??ll work on my weaknesses and leave past experiences in the past.

Re: Or maybe the Atty is perceptive - Posted by Edwin

Posted by Edwin on July 08, 2008 at 18:29:16:

You’re right, JT. But it’s all speculation. Of course there is always the danger that if Corine asserts her rights she could brew up a hornet’s nest, but there comes a time in life when you have to stop worrying about the what ifs? I think too often people worry about things they shouldn’t. The due-on-sale clause is a perfect example. There is universal fear and hesitancy about possibly doing something against the bank’s rules, but I bet the times a bank has called a loan due because a property was sold are very few. The way I see it, Corine has a bully of a tenant who needs to be “bullied” back just as hard. She can always back off if the tenant gets nasty, but the tenant just might start complying with her rental agreement and live there peacefully the rest of her lease. I think it’s worth a shot. Go get 'er, Corine.

Re: Or maybe the Atty is perceptive - Posted by corine

Posted by corine on July 08, 2008 at 17:17:00:

Nope. Atty. knows very little. I spoke to her assistant yesterday and he had a brief conversation with her today.

This isn’t that important to them, not that big a deal.