Roles you didn't expect to take on as a landlord

With the rising price of property and the ever-increasing demand for space in South Africa’s major cities, the prospect of becoming a landlord can be a financially enticing one – especially considering the comfort of an additional income or a property investment paying itself off from the monthly rent. Now that’s a benefit everyone would love to enjoy!

But while it might offer up its share of financial rewards, the term ‘passive income’ is perhaps a somewhat ambitious way to describe this responsibility, which tends to ask far more than initially meets the eye.

Becoming a landlord can be an extremely rewarding and profitable, but isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Here are 3 of the more unexpected roles you may be called upon to fill:

  • Being the “adulter” adult. There are maintenance requests, and then there are requests that have nothing to do with maintenance entirely. Your responsibility as a landlord is to provide a comfortable and a healthy environment for your tenants to stay in, so you probably didn’t bet on chasing misbehaving cats or refilling gas canisters in your spare time. Depending on your tenant’s level of independence, you could be called at any minute, any hour to attend unexpected or unforeseen crises. Best you brush up on those DIY skills.
  • Debt collector. While there are undoubtedly dream tenants out there, they tend to be few and far between, with many requesting for payment extensions, and in some cases, withholding payment entirely. Possible reasons for these would be because of an unattended issue by the landlord or a shortage in finances. Unfortunately, at some point during your term as a landlord, you may have to fight for your right to be paid on time.
  • The middle man. Those tenants you interviewed might have seemed lovely at the time, but as it so happens, they have a desire for late-night parties, resulting in  you having to be the mediator between unhappy neighbours and your tenant.

During the interview process, take time to carefully consider your potential tenants, and you should be able to enjoy a relatively low-maintenance side-line career. In order to protect your investment and ease the financial burdens of owning a property, get adequate home insurance to cover you when you need it most.

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