5 Rules Every Aspiring African-American Landlord Should Know
Ever since I bought an investment property and became a landlord years ago, I’ve heard a number of horror stories from other Black landlords. Much of this gets back to the unique (in a bad way) business terrain that exists for African-American business owners. As I explained in great detail in the post, If You’re A Black Business Owner Who Wants To Succeed, Leave The African-American Consumer Behind, Black business owners create unnecessary, extra hurdles for themselves when they orient their business to servicing African-American consumers. It’s usually best to not deal with African-American consumers at all if your business is visibly Black-owned. As opposed to what I call a “colorless” business; meaning one that can maintain the illusion of assumed White ownership.
From my point of view, here’s a quick post-mortem on the horror stories I’ve heard from other Black landlords.
RULE #1: DON’T BUY A RENTAL PROPERTY IN A BLACK RESIDENTIAL AREA UNLESS YOU’RE PREPARED TO HIDE THE FACT THAT IT’S BLACK-OWNED
If you buy in a Black area, you’ll need a White man to pretend to be the owner and property manager. If you, as a Black owner, live on the property it’s imperative that you pretend to be just another tenant. If the tenants are directing their service phone calls and requests about repairs to you, tell them that you’re handling the service calls for the (fake White male building owner) in exchange for a discount on your rent. As with everything else, African-American tenants act crazier with Black landlords than they do with White ones.
RULE #2: PICK A BUILDING YOU CAN AFFORD TO OWN WITHOUT TENANTS
Don’t buy a building unless you can safely pay the mortgage and related costs without tenants. Sometimes, this means buying a building in a less expensive area. Sometimes this means buying a building in order to live in one of the units.
If you’re at the point of making the transition from renting to owning your own home, consider the following. You can buy a single-family home that does very little except take money out of your pocket. Or you can buy a two- or three-flat building that puts other people’s money into your pocket while you live in one of the units. It’s interesting. African-Americans are culturally so focused on convincing ourselves that various things are “unrealistic” that we fail to notice the droves of other people around us who are doing all these “unrealistic” things. Choosing an owner-occupied building as their starter home is how many uneducated ethnic Whites from previous generations got ahead.
Whatever you do, don’t buy a building that you that you can’t keep without paying tenants. That makes you desperate and less likely to properly screen prospective tenants. It also puts you in a position where tenants have far too much leverage over you.
RULE #3: DON’T CO-OWN RENTAL PROPERTY WITH ANYBODY WHO’S NOT ON THE EXACT SAME PAGE WITH YOU ABOUT HANDLING PROBLEM TENANTS
How you intend to handle problem tenants needs to be thoroughly discussed before buying anything together.
RULE #4: EVICT PROBLEM TENANTS AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE
A tenant who ignores one part of the lease agreement will go on to violate other parts of the lease agreement. It’s just a matter of time. The other thing is that when you let one tenant ignore the lease agreement, that sends the signal to the other tenants that you’ll tolerate them ignoring the lease agreement.
RULE 5: MAKE SURE THE LEASE PROHIBITS TENANTS FROM MOVING UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS INTO THEIR UNITS
One of many unfortunate realities about Black renters is that the typical African-American woman renter is planning on moving her (often no-working or criminally-inclined) Black male baby daddy or boyfriend into the apartment after the lease is signed. This deranged overall behavior pattern of Black women letting Black males mooch off of them is manifesting at younger and younger ages. A while back a reader mentioned that this behavior pattern has extended to a number of African-American female college students. These silly African-American girls are actually moving (typically NON-student) African-American males into their dorm rooms! This behavior is one of several reasons why the racially “Black” college population in the US will soon consist solely of foreign-origin Blacks.
This sort of behavior, the Miss Chanequa Campbell and Miss Brittany Smith incident at Harvard (and other African-American student incidents that just haven’t been as publicized) all communicate the same message to college administrators: African-Americans are more trouble than they’re worth! It’s just too costly and too much of a hassle for most institutions to be bothered with most African-Americans. On any level.
Mark my words, as various nonblack institutions learn this, they’ll simply replace African-Americans with foreign Blacks who are more likely to act like they have some sense. As I documented during this post at the previous blog, this replacement process has already begun. Universities have a duty to maintain safety on their campuses, and in their university housing. And you can bet your bottom dollar that the typical African girl would never move some Negro male (or any other guy) into her dorm room!
It’s striking when you stop to think about how so many able-bodied, physically adult African-American males have never created their own nests, and have never had their names on a lease or a mortgage. They’ve been living all their lives in a series of women’s homes. They go from their baby mama’s home, to their auntie’s home, and back to their mother’s home. This is bizarre. Especially when you compare it to the typical behavior of men from other ethnic groups—who generally establish their own homes when they become adults. This pattern exists only because the masses of African-American women enable it to exist.
You need a provision in the lease that clearly lays out how long “guests” can remain in the units. If you rent to African-American women and you don’t want random Pookies and Ray-Rays camped out in your building, make sure the lease agreement prohibits that sort of thing.
The bottom line is that you’ll face certain disaster as a Black business owner if you fail to factor in the uniquely adverse business terrain that exists for us (and us alone).
Tagged as: art of black-owned business