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How Do You Make It Work as a Live-In Landlord?

A lot of people want to start a rental property business. But because of rising expenses, some of them opt to live in the same apartment or multi-unit building they run. In this case, they are called a live-in landlord or owner-occupied landlord

Being a live-in landlord has several advantages:

  • It's easier for you to collect rent and track down tenants.
  • You can always keep an eye on problems and solve them before they get bigger.
  • Bad tenants are less likely to rent when they learn that you live in the same property.

While there are benefits, there are also disadvantages. One of them is the likelihood of dealing with noise problems. Demanding tenants may also take the opportunity to make frequent requests and report issues they can solve on their own.

How do you succeed as a live-in landlord? Here are tips to make it work:

1. Set reasonable contact hours.

Since tenants are more likely to reach out to you all the time, it's important to establish business hours. Tenants are allowed to contact you during these hours. For example, you prefer to be available to them from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

2. Don't rent to friends and relatives.

Is it a good idea to have your family members and buddies rent out your apartment? While this may seem like a quick way to lower vacancy, renting to them isn't that simple. They may expect to receive "special treatment" and it'll be difficult for you to enforce some rules. 

3. Hire help from the outside.

As a landlord who lives with your tenants, you may feel tempted to do everything on your own. Sometimes, it's best to hire a third party to do property maintenance, repairs, and improvements. This will allow you to enjoy more free time and increase your productivity.

4. Enforce the terms of the lease.

It doesn't matter if you're a live-in landlord or not. In order to conduct good business, you need to comply with the terms stated in the lease agreement. Letting the rules slide once puts you in a situation where tenants are likely break the rules again. 

5. Maintain a professional relationship with tenants.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a live-in landlord is being overly friendly with your tenants. Keep your relationship professional by establishing your expectations from the beginning and being consistent with them. Doing this encourages your tenants to respect your property.  

If you’re ready, make Landlord Prep your go-to resource for landlording education. Here, we offer a complete DIY landlording course to get you on the right track. Join our academy today. If you want, you can check out Flavia’s real estate investing webinar first!