Being a landlord when financing houses and mobile homes has its challenges…

Being a landlord has its many challenges!

Sometimes we buy, fix and flip mobile homes and we’re done with them.

Other times we sell on payments. When selling on payments, of course, we want to be sure that the home is maintained.

But, we can’t control what the tenant buyer does, even though it’s in our best interest as well as the buyer’s best interest. The occasion may arise in which we get one back. And if that happens, we want it to be in good shape and not all run down. I’ve had experiences in the past where the buyer was not be able to afford the repairs.

In these cases, the repair still needs to be made, especially repairs such as leaky plumbing or roof damage.

For example, the buyer in one of my properties recently called me. She said she had a plumbing leak and didn’t know what to do. By the time she called me it had been leaking for well over a week.

What would you do?

So I called a plumber and had the leak fixed. Could I have fixed it myself? Yes. But guess what would happen on the next incident? I’m the new handyman, on call, at your service.

Nope! Not going down that road.

You quickly learn that being the ‘owner’ means you are rich and have ‘deep pockets’. I used to do the handyman work myself. But some people thought I should fix damage for free.

Why? Because I was the big rich landlord, of course. Nope! Not playing that game.

I had a property manager friend of mine run interference. Her name was Pat. Then going forward I was just the ‘handyman’ and people had to call Pat. And when I went to fix things, and other things would come up, I’d just tell the people they needed to call Pat, and they were never the wiser.

However, back to the plumbing issue. The tenant buyer was tight on money, but the repair needed to be done.

What did I do?

I fixed it using a contractor. It ended up being about a month’s payment. I had the buyer sign a receipt for the cost, and I added it to the end of the loan.

NOW! I also explained (nicely) that the home needs to be regularly and properly maintained. Otherwise it would deteriorate to the point of needing more repairs than the value. Also (nicely) mentioned that if the payment is too much and the buyer needed to move, I would forgive the balance of the loan and they could move. No harm no foul.

The buyer become nervous with that response, worried that I was going to kick them out, even though I never said those words…so now they have been texting me with updates of how they have been fixing and maintaining this and that.

One of the best things about this business is that it provides opportunities to create win-win situations like this one.

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