Rules and Regulations for Tenants (that’s shorthand for “NO”)

When I first bought my duplex, I didn’t really have a set of rules and regulations. I was too new at this game to have one, and I also had this misguided idea that I would be “cool landlord” who was informal, and let people “make the place their own.” That has only worked to varying degrees. People will unfortunately always have at least a little bit of animosity for the landlord; they’ll always think that you’re a big rich moneybag who’s too cheap to buy them new (fill in the blank). The landlord just says “no” and cashes their rent check every month.

Ah, but there is a reason for that “no.” Many reasons. Here’s a list of things that I’ve learned to say “no” to:

  • No painting without my written permission and approval of paint colors.
  • No painting without taping the woodwork.
  • No paint colors that I can’t paint over with two coats of white (I don’t care how trendy orange is right now).
  • No planting perennials without my approval of placement and species.
  • No more than 1 cat per unit.
  • No dogs. I don’t care how little or cute they are.
  • No storage of junk in the back yard.
  • No parking of motorcycles in the back yard.
  • No chaining up bicycles on the front railing.
  • No smoking indoors.
  • No replacing light fixtures with ceiling fans (moving parts for me to maintain).
  • No replacing light fixtures period, actually.
  • No more tenants per unit than what’s stated on the rental license.
  • No overnight guests for more than 2 weeks without my written permission.
  • No laundry past 11 pm.
  • No sewing machine usage, slam dancing, stomping, or other ridiculously loud activities past 11 pm.
  • No checking account? No renting from me.

And no, there’s nothing that I can do about your high heat bill when you keep the thermostat set to 80 all winter long, either.

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