How Many Degrees of Separation from Tenants is Enough?

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on February 4, 2011 under Landlord Tips, Tenant Screening & Background Checks | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenant screening, tenant background checkSome landlords hire property managers because they are busy with their day jobs, others because they aren’t interested in managing properties, and still others because they simply don’t have enough time.

But many would list another reason altogether: they don’t want direct contact with tenants. Plenty of landlords don’t have any issues with tenants knowing who they are or where they live. Others are a bit more on the cautious side, going so far as to refer to themselves as property managers when dealing with tenants, and using only P.O. boxes for correspondence.

How many degrees of separation are enough? And why would a landlord be so cautious? Here are some reasons why some landlords don’t want tenants to know where they live (or even who they are):

Disgruntled tenants: Some landlords fear for their personal safety or that of their families; they worry that an upset tenant will track them down and cause harm. They do not use their home or office address on leases, correspondence or any other paperwork the tenant will see.

Privacy: Some rental property owners tell tenants they are a manager or representative of the owners of the property to keep a few more layers between themselves and their tenants. Even if they are responsible for every action and decision made regarding the tenant and the property, they feel it can ease a tense situation to say, “this is the decision made by the partners,” or “this was my boss’s decision.”

Safety: Tenants sometimes think landlords are wealthy; many landlords worry that when tenants know where they live, they are an easy target for theft.

Keeping it all business: Finally, many landlords feel that their relationship with tenants is strictly business and should remain completely separate from their private lives—including where they reside.

If a tenant really wants to track down their landlord, they probably will. And tenants who go to any length of trouble to discover where you live are likely looking for trouble. Screening tenants can help reduce the risk of harm to you and your property.

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