Do your tenants know you're the landlord?

Hi, just wondered how those who live in their multiplexes handle this.

I’im considering an triplex, and appreciate the feedback.

Hi Realnew,

This is an interesting question. On my own properties, the tenants know I’m the landlord. But since I am a property manager as my day job, I know how to handle the tenants.

Many of our clients (we manage thousands of units in Puget Sound region) will tell us on their first visit to our offices that their main problem is dealing with the tenants because they (the client) are a push over, a softie. You can not be soft or easy with tenants unless you want to have very serious problems down the road. They have to know you mean business or you will exercise your rights in dealing with them, i.e., eviction if they don’t pay, eviction if they disturb other tenants or destroy your property.

It is a very strict business relationship which requires business behavior. If a landlord can handle this, then there is usually no problem in the tenants knowing who the landlord is. If not, they’d be best to hire a property manager or find another business in which to invest.

Keep in mind however, with access to information now so readily available, it’s very easy to discover who the property owner is with their address and phone number. Even before the advent of the internet, anyone could go to the assessor’s office and find out this information. That’s why they are called ‘public records’. And although many properties are held in Llc’s, you can still find out who is behind them with a little effort.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.


Agree with everything Cate says.

I’ve been doing for over 25 years and tenants all know I’m the owner. I’m not easy, or tough, but businesslike.

For me, it all starts in the tenant screening process. I personally interview everyone, and determine how they behave by chatting with them, and have them fill out the application on site, just to see how they fill it out. For me, income, credit scores are secondary, or even tertiary considerations.

To me, a well behave tenant, and a tenant that stays a while are the primary and secondary consideration.

People who tend to obey the rules, truthful, and cooperative, tend to behave a certain way, and my judgment been on target 95% of the time thru the years.

Actually, my first rental was a “3-family” here in NYC. Some people are conderned that being the owners, tenants bother you 24/7. That turned out NOT to be the case at all. Indeed, if something serious happend, I would want to know about it right away.

One time, a tenant downstairs tried to commit suicide, overdosing on a bottle of pills, and a concerned boyfriend knocked on our door, and we gained entry using our set of keys immediately. Were we not on site, the boyfriend did not know we were the owners, he might have hesitated, time would have been lost, there would’ve been a death on our hands.

To me, I don’t think tenants would respond to me differently had I lied and claim to to be the property manager. If something asked of me is unreasonable, I simply say “I can’t afford it”. I can’t see the need to pose as a “property manager” or “the janitor” saying the owner said “no”, which is the reasons I see for the charade.

I moved form the original three family, and live in another two family now, and we always rented to tenants with children downstairs, as we consider them more stable. We have two young ones ourselves right now, we were able to help each other out babysitting, and our kids could just run downstairs to play.

Thank you both. The multi isn’t going to cash flow… back to the drawing board.