Own Rental Property Next Door

Pros & Cons Owning A Rental Property On Your Street

Joanna's question: The pros and cons to having a rental property right across the street.

That's a tough question. I guess that would just be relative to your feelings on it. I own a property management company and our tenants have no idea that my wife and I own the rental properties they're in. They just assume that I'm the property manager and I prefer it that way. Neither do the contractors that actually service these units know that I am the property owner because few of the contractors have gotten to know me well enough to know which properties are mine, and none of them know all the properties that we own. I prefer it that way. I really don't want those kind of favors from the contractors. I don't want them to give me a break in pricing and then cost our clients as a whole.

Instead, we get buying power from them doing a great job collectively from all those units. And that's the favor I want from them. It's really a tough thing for me to answer. It's super convenient having a property across the street. We have a property that is about a 17 minute drive away and then 17 minutes back home. Then the time you spend there, it starts to get to be a real time investment thing. Having a property right across the street would be super convenient, absolutely.

If the tenants have the ability to come knock at your door, I could see why that would put somebody off. Ideally, I probably wouldn't love it. I have the luxury of presenting myself as the property manager and not as the owner. But as long as you set boundaries, as we always do with tenants and maybe even have it in the lease. The lease basically details how they are to pay their rent, the actual mechanism that they are on the first day of the month, put the rent into the mail, or on the first day of the month, they're to give the mail to the guy at the corner store. And also the lease details their maintenance request. And in our case, they're to go online and use their tenant portal.

To you, you might want to basically stipulate that all maintenance requests are to be texted to you, and that's your preference and it would be part of the lease agreement, and they would be technically speaking in default of the lease if they did not submit a maintenance request by text. That might actually be a good way for you to establish your boundaries. I wish I had a better answer for you. Good luck!!!


Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

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