Thursday, July 19, 2007

A New Resident at This Old Chicago 2 Flat

Sunday, one of our residents picked up her keys and began moving things in. This time around, we made some adjustments with our lease and process, in hopes that we will have a much better relationship with our tenants. (as a refresher, our last tenants liked to watch loud movies in the room underneath our bedroom at 2 a.m. all the time. They didn't have much furniture, which compounded the problem. They also chose to sand the brand new floors themselves.) It was horrible.

(1) were a lot were vocal about quiet hours. We had it in the lease before, but had it highlighted at different spots-including a whole separate "plain english" page.
(2) we e-mailed the lease, which I think gave them time to thoroughly read it before signing.
(3) we placed a bed underneath our bedroom and positioned it as a bedroom. We also pointed out that our bedroom was right overhead.
(4) we gave the felt circles that you put on furniture to prevent the furniture from scratching the wood floors. Once they had them, we thought they wouldn't have an excuse not to use them!
(5) one of the tenants is moving from out of state, so we offered them furniture to borrow. I think by doing this, it helps build a positive relationship from the get go
(6) We were clearer about when the rent is due. Our old lease said payment was due on the 1st, with a 5 day grace period where there wouldn't be a late fee. The result? We always got rent on the 5th. (technically late) One time, when we didn't get it until the 8th, we charged a late fee, which the tenants thought ridiculous. This time around, I included a sentence that the rent is late regardless of whether or not a late fee is charged if it is not received on the first. I clarified that the 5 days is merely a grace period.

I'm optimistic that things will go better, but fingers crossed just the same. The tenants haven't fully moved in and aren't here all the time, so we have an opportunity to ease into having more people in the house. It's always funny that when you've spent all this time with free rein over the whole house, that there's now a bunch of it that's now off limits.

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Anonymous Patriia in Jackson said...

I am renting out my house in Texas. The renters always pay on the 3rd or 4th. The rent is due the 1st. The first couple of months I griped about it but to be honest, in the end, they always pay the rent. They don't smoke and they are cleanliness freaks (my aunt manages the house so she goes in once every month or so as something needs fixing, etc). The first few months with these people wasn't the best (one of them is a prima donna) but now that the kinks are ironed out it's much better. My hope is that they stay for 2 or 3 more years. I hope your new tenants are alot better than your last and if they are I hope they stay and pay rent for a long time! :)

July 19, 2007 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had tenets from hell that did the same half-assed remodel on their own without asking us. They ruined 100 year old wood floors. Make sure your lease is explicit about damages and "improvments."

July 19, 2007 1:53 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

The rental clarification was because our last tenant was up in arms about getting charged a late fee. In actuality, I don't care if rent comes in the first, second or third, as long as it gets paid.

Overall, I'm sure with each new tenant, I'll tweak the lease more and more.

Our lease last time had everything in it, which was great when we were able to pick out specific clauses or paragraphs that they weren't following.

July 20, 2007 1:58 PM  

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