Be Prepared to Evict
Just as not everyone has the temperament to be a real estate investor, the same goes for being an effective landlord. It requires attention to detail, self-discipline, and the willingness to enforce the rules of your rental agreement.
Human beings push against their boundaries. As a landlord, that means that some of your tenants will try to push your boundaries. It’s your job to defend those boundaries. Not everyone has the discipline to enforce the rules of their lease in the face of a sobbing tenant. But enforcing rules is one of the challenges of being a landlord that you must be comfortable with if you want to succeed.
Your mortgage lender won’t be swayed if you call them sobbing and ask them not to charge you a late fee or start the foreclosure process. If the rent isn’t in by the end of the grace period, serve an eviction warning notice, which gives the renter a second grace period before you file for eviction. If they don’t pay by the end of the second grace period, file with the local court. That will start another lengthy process with an eventual hearing and lockout date, all of which takes months.
Of course, it rarely comes to that. When you serve an eviction warning notice and file in court immediately, renters often start prioritizing their rent over their credit card bills, discretionary spending, and other expenses.
If you don’t like the sound of any of that, you’re not alone. But it means that you’re not temperamentally suited to landlording. You should either outsource it to a property manager or find other ways to invest in real estate.