Top 10 Things You’ll Never Hear a Renter Say

In honor of David Letterman’s 30 years in late night, here is a Top 10 list of things you’ll never hear a renter say:

10. “I’d love an avocado refrigerator.” Today’s renters want a modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances. No one wants to live in an apartment that hasn’t been updated since the ’70s.

9. “No rush changing my lightbulb; I know you have more pressing matters to attend to.” No matter how minor a resident’s request is to you, to him it’s the most important thing in the world. Don’t be vague about when something will be fixed; give a specific time so that he can be around if necessary, and if that time has to be changed, tell the resident beforehand, not an hour after the time you quoted.

8. “The broken tile in the lobby makes for a fun obstacle course!” Not only could this scare away potential new renters, but it presents a real safety issue for your current residents. Always make sure your lobby and common areas are well maintained.

7. “My upstairs neighbor’s tapping is helping me learn Morse Code.” A noisy neighbor can make even the mildest Bruce Banner turn into the Hulk. Don’t just ignore the problem. If you’re planning a new building, aim for apartments to be as sound-proof as possible. If you require carpeting over a certain percentage of an apartment to muffle noise, give residents warnings if they don’t. And if you get a lot of complaints about certain people, talk to them about it. 

6. “Cold showers build character, and are a refreshing way to start the day.” Something as simple as a broken water heater can cause you to lose residents faster than, say, someone jumping out of a cold shower. Keep an eye on this, and the first sign of a complaint, fix it.

5. “It’s cool that there’s a line for the treadmill. I just came down to watch, anyway.” It’s all well and good if you want to add “luxury” elements, such as a gym, to your building to enhance the appeal. But one treadmill and a set of weights does not a gym make (actually, that’s more like a prison yard). Take into consideration the projected demand before you add something like a gym and figure out how much equipment to buy. If there’s a gym already but always a crowd, implement rules such as “only 30 minutes to a machine during peak hours.”

4. “Paying by check is easy—and fun!” OK, paying rent will never be fun, but it can be made easier for people. Let people pay their rent online. It’s greener, anyway, plus then you literally can never hear someone say, “the check’s in the mail.”

3. “It wasn’t until that fifth Chinese food menu under my door that I realized I was craving beef lo mein.” Make sure your building is secure, of course for safety reasons, but also so solicitors won’t bother your residents.

2. “I named that one Mickey.” Rodents and cockroaches are never, never welcome. Spray often, and take care of this quickly. Not just because it’s disgusting, but once one apartment has them, it can easily spread to the next.

1. “I know you’re a business, so it’s cool that you’re raising my rent.” Sorry, you’re on your own for that one.

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor