Skip to Main Content

7 Myths About Landlords Debunked

Renters Warehouse Blog

Back to Posts Man holding door open for woman and man

When it comes to landlords, myths and misconceptions abound. In fact, you’ve probably encountered a few myths yourself as a real estate investor. Common perceptions include believing that landlords can treat tenants however they’d like, the notion that landlords can simply evict tenants without notice, and of course, the ever-popular, “Landlords all make plenty of money, they don’t really need my rent each month, do they?”

In order to help separate fact from fiction, we’ll be debunking seven common myths about landlords now. What do (some) tenants really think about landlords? Ready to find out what myths are circulating about landlords, and get to the truth.

  • Myth #1: Landlords can evict tenants with no notice

First of all, no. Landlords can’t evict tenants without proper notice. Tenants have legal protections against unfair eviction. However, the required notice, and process that landlords must follow, may vary by state or municipality.

A landlord may evict a tenant for various legitimate reasons including non-payment of rent, but they must follow the correct legal procedures and give the tenant adequate notice. This is known as a notice for termination with cause, in which a landlord must give notice—typically in writing—if they intend to evict a tenant. 

Note that when the tenancy is subject to a month-to-month rental agreement, then landlords can terminate the agreement without cause. However, they must still provide notice as required by state law. And some rent control laws don’t allow tenants to terminate month-to-month rental agreements without cause. 

Either way, as a landlord, you should never take the law into your own hands. And don’t even think about changing the locks or shutting the water off on a tenant. Even for nonpayment of rent. Always follow the proper protocols and ensure that you do things in a way that’s in compliance with the law. 

Is your rental property experiencing extended vacancy periods? Find tips to find new tenants quickly.

  • Myth #2: Landlords are too focused on money

Many people believe landlords care a bit too much about money. Hollywood movies might have lent a lot of strength to this myth with its almost always negative portrayals of landlords in films. Landlords are always depicted as the heartless, profit-driven villains who prioritize their bottom line over the needs and well-being of their tenants. Of course, we all know the truth though, is that while landlords do rent out properties in order to turn a profit, they’re no different from any other business offering their customers (tenants) a service (the rental). It’s simple economics. 

Additionally, many landlords go above and beyond to ensure their tenants’ happiness by offering flexible lease terms, organizing community events, or providing free or discounted amenities. These landlords understand that tenant retention is critical to their long-term success and thus prioritize tenant satisfaction over short-term gains.

Some tenants believe these myths because they fail to recognize the financial realities of being a landlord. Owning and managing a rental property comes with high costs, including the mortgage, property taxes, insurance, repairs, and maintenance expenses. These expenses can quickly eat into profits, and landlords must carefully balance their financial goals with providing comfortable housing for their tenants.

  • Myth #3: Landlords are unresponsive and difficult to contact

This myth unfortunately persists because of a few bad actors who are unresponsive or difficult to reach. However, by and large, most landlords do not make themselves difficult to contact. After all, if there were an emergency at the rental or an issue that came up, they would want to know about it as soon as possible. It’s in their interest to take action quickly.

However, it’s important to note that good communication goes both ways. While landlords should make themselves accessible and responsive to their tenants’ needs, tenants should also make a reasonable effort to communicate with their landlords during appropriate business hours. Tenants should also ensure that they aren’t constantly sending messages to their landlord or continually asking for things that aren’t in the rental agreement. To eliminate unnecessary back and forth, it’s a good idea to include what tasks the tenant is responsible for in the rental agreement, which all tenants should read and sign.

Prompt communication is also essential for landlords to maintain a positive relationship with tenants. Responding to tenant requests and concerns on time shows that you value their tenancy and are committed to providing a safe and comfortable living environment for them.

Owning a rental can be a great way to start your journey to financial freedom. See how you can get started.

  • Myth #4: Landlords can treat people however they’d like

This myth has unfortunately been perpetuated due to instances of illegal discrimination in the housing industry. However, it is essential to note that discrimination in housing is illegal and violates the Fair Housing Act, which protects against discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status.

And it’s not just tenants that landlords must treat fairly. Landlords must ensure they are not discriminating against potential tenants during the application process as well, including the tenant screening and background checks. Of course, most landlords would not intentionally discriminate against an applicant. But this could happen if, for example, a landlord makes provisions for one tenant, but not another. Unfair treatment like this could land you in a world of trouble, so make sure you implement policies and stick to them.

Tenants who feel that they have been discriminated against have legal recourse. They can file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or consult with an attorney who specializes in Fair Housing Act violations. As a landlord it’s important to ensure that you treat all tenants, including applicants, fairly and equally. 

  • Myth #5: Almost all landlords these days are big corporations

There is a common misconception that all landlords today are large, faceless corporations. However, the reality is that many landlords are individuals. There are roughly 50 million rental housing units in the United States and nearly half (41%) of these are owned by individual investors. This means a good portion of the country’s current supply of housing is provided by smaller landlords. 

Renting from an individual landlord can have several benefits. Individual landlords may be more flexible with lease terms and invest more in their tenants’ well-being since they have a personal stake in their property. Additionally, tenants may have a more personal and direct relationship with their landlord, which can lead to better communication.

However, renting from an institutional landlord can also have its benefits as well. Large corporations may have more resources to invest in property maintenance and amenities and may be able to offer a wider range of services and amenities to tenants. Additionally, larger corporations may have more standardized lease agreements and policies, which can provide clarity and consistency for tenants.

  • Myth #6: All landlords make plenty of money, so why do they need my rent this month?

It’s a common misconception that all landlords are all swimming in money made from renting out their properties. (Images of Scrooge McDuck come to mind!) This is one of the reasons why some tenants may question why landlords charge late fees if they’re late on rent payments. The truth is, that the average landlord brings in $61,920 a year, but that’s gross income. Out of their income, landlords must cover various expenses, such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and utilities. They rely on rental income to cover these expenses and make a profit. When tenants don’t pay their rent on time, it can significantly impact a landlord’s finances. Late payments can force landlords to cover expenses out of their pockets, which can be financially challenging. If a landlord has a mortgage out on the property, this could be especially problematic. Landlords may also have to pay late fees, which can add up over time. Late fees allow landlords to recoup their losses and incentivize tenants to pay on time in the future.

  • Myth #7: Landlords can enter a rental whenever they like

No, landlords can’t just walk into the rental like they own the place. (Even if they DO own the place!) As a landlord or property manager, it’s essential to understand your tenants’ rights and respect their privacy. One of a tenants’ most significant misconceptions about their landlord is that they can enter the rental property whenever they want. This is simply not true, and there are legal protections to ensure that a tenants’ right to privacy is respected.

It may be your property, but it’s your tenant’s home. So make sure you give them adequate notice before you enter. In the United States, tenants have a legal right to privacy and quiet enjoyment of their rental property. This means landlords cannot enter the property without prior notice and permission from the tenant, except in specific circumstances, such as emergencies.

In most states, the notice period required is typically 24 hours, although it may vary depending on the state or local laws. The notice should include the following:

  • The date and time of entry

  • The purpose of the visit

  • The name of the person who will be entering the property

In property law, a covenant of quiet enjoyment is an implied term in every lease that the tenant shall have quiet and peaceful possession of the leased premises against the lessor. Respecting a tenant’s right to privacy is not only required by law but is also essential for maintaining a positive relationship between the landlord and tenant. 

So there you have it! Seven myths and misconceptions debunked. While we’re on the topic, be sure to check out 14 Landlord and Tenant Myths Debunked. (There are plenty of myths out there surrounding tenants as well!)

As you can see, there’s no shortage of myths out there, often fueled by the occasional story of a landlord or tenant gone wrong, which tends to stand out in our minds. But the truth is, most landlords (and tenants!) are excellent people, who get along just fine. Most landlords simply want to rent out their property without causing any trouble, and for tenants, most just want to enjoy their home, without having to worry about being evicted. As long as both parties meet their obligations, there should be no cause for concern. The secret to a solid landlord-tenant relationship is good communication, backed up with a solid rental agreement. By staying informed, treating tenants with respect, and being proactive in addressing issues, landlords can create positive relationships with their tenants and build a successful rental business for years to come.

If you’d like to get started with investing, don’t let these myths put you off. Owning rental properties can be a straightforward and profitable venture, especially if you have the right team on your side.

For landlords who may feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of managing their properties, have you considered outsourcing some of your duties to a property management company? Renter’s Warehouse has the expertise and resources to help you streamline your operations and ultimately maximize your profits. Start with your FREE rental price analysis, and receive your free report that shows what you could be renting your property for.

Back to Posts