Trials and Tribulations of Managing Rental Property

I own investment property, and I suck at it. I am coming out today to admit that I hate my tenants.  I am afraid of them, it seems, so I do everything they ask me to do in the hopes that they won't trash my house.  I let them pay their rent late. I believe their excuses.  I don't charge late fees. I turn a blind eye to pets. My previous tenants, six women, flushed tampons through my very old and narrow sewer lines and caused nearly monthly sewage back-ups. Guess who paid.

Let me introduce myself - I have an M.A. in Diplomacy. I have seven years of education in how to tell someone to take a flying leap in the nicest possible way. I used to work and travel around Eastern Europe, primarily the Balkans, on my own. I speak four languages, and can swear in a couple more, so I believe in communication. I spent several hours alone in a train car with a Serbian soldier carrying a Kalashnikov and complaining about Americans. What I am trying to say is that the phone calls I get from my 19 year old tenants shouldn't get to me. But, they do.

Oh, yes, I nearly forgot - I'm a property manager. And I'm very good - you know why? Because I manager OTHER PEOPLE'S TENANTS. Unlike my own, they have no emotional hold on me. I have my marching orders, I know the rules, and I do my very best to be as likeable as can be, but at the end of the day I represent you, the property owner.

Imagine the smell left by four young men in their 20s and 2 dogs. That is my world.

In some quiet suburbs, all you need to do is mention the word "investment property" and you will see folks scampering to take cover in neatly pruned shrubbery. It's a daunting idea - taking on other people's housing, the liability, the headaches, the PHONE CALLS...

The Money, people. That's what it's about - investment property is a great way to keep equity and make money in an unpredictable market. I'll take the phone calls - you can just cash the checks.


Victoria Meadows is a Property Manager with the Carol Meadows Team at Keller Williams Advisors Realty.  She can be reached at 513.766.3898, or by email at