Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I think the only way large scale single family home property management will actually work long term is if tenant protections are substantially increased. I suppose in theory this could be done through private contracting, but I'm not sure the legal team and the finance team are necessarily on the same page. Especially with single family homes you want to attract long term tenants, but the only way to attract long term tenants is if they have first right of renewal and at least some soft form of rent control. If those things are in place, then tenants have an incentive to maintain the properties themselves to some degree. Such protections wouldn't have to apply across the board for all rental properties, but perhaps for, say, anyone willing to sign an initial lease of 3 years.

Too much tenant protection can be problematic. My friends in Barcelona tell me (this is anecdote, nothing more) that because of the difficulty of evicting people with long term contracts, landlords increasingly are shifting to short term vacation rentals. And the stereotype of rent control where renters pay what they paid 50 years ago is certainly dumb. But limiting rent increases to some defined amount provides tenants with stability, and that stability gives them the incentive to be good tenants.