On the Gee and Ursula Show, hosts Gee Scott and guest host Mike Lewis give advice to help other people in a segment called … Scenarios.
More Scenarios: I’m not ok with my stepdaughter spending my husband’s money
Scenario: My brother and I rent out a two-bedroom condo. We’ve been very flexible and generous with the family who’s been living there for the last two years. We gave them a chance to rent, even though they had bad credit and three children. They’ve had another child since moving in and are expecting another this June. That means five kids and two adults living inside a 900-square foot condo. They’ve just requested a six-month extension when their lease ends this June, around the same time baby number five is due. We want to be considerate, but we also have a couple who’s ready to sign a one-year lease. That couple has no kids. Do we let the family extend another six months, give them a chance to match a one-year lease, or go with the new renters?
Mike Lewis: Well, I still got a bunch of questions on this one. Let’s just say what hasn’t been stated here is that they pay rent on time and that they’re taking care of the place. I’m assuming all of this is true. And if the place is not showing unusual wear from that many people living in the place — because there are people who have grown up, my mom among them, who grew up with a lot of people in a very small place. It’s tough for a family to find housing. I actually would — if they’re good renters and the place is not being abused in some fashion — stick with the people you got. I mean, they’re there. It’s going to create a lot of heartache on them to move that many kids, that big of a family, out. Give them a shot if you actually liked them as renters. I’d probably stick with them.
(Producer) Andrew “Chef” Lanier: So I got to be the one that comes in and says, ‘kick out the people with kids.’ No, here’s the deal. I think you have a legitimate concern because, while it’s legal to ask for pet deposits, you cannot ask for child deposits in this country. I can attest to you that children cause a lot more damage. That being said, it’s small, 900 square feet, and you got five people living in there. But you know what, that’s normal. Around the world, there are a lot of people that live in small spaces. Do you know how they do it? They don’t have a ton of crap. We have a ton of crap as Americans. We fill our garages with our stuff, not our cars. We have storage units outside of our houses to fill with more crap, and we pay $300 a month for the contents that are worth maybe $1,000. Exactly. Stick with them. Got to stick with them. Can’t kick out kids.
Gee Scott: I wish Ursula were here. I need Ursula here right now, because I can’t believe I thought it was going to go around the horn, and I thought I was going to be safe. All right, let me say a couple of things. First, before I give my answer Mike and Chef, the people that do my taxes are from a professional company, ok? My financial planner and stuff like that, all professional. I don’t have my cousin do it. I don’t have family do it.
Here’s what I’m trying to tell you. With my money, and the little bit that I have, I am all business about my money. I’m all fun and games on the show, and I’m having fun, hee hee hee. But when it comes to business, I never mix personal and I never mixed feelings with my money. Now, with that being said, if I go into the business of being a landlord, and I have a 900-square-foot condo, and you have five kids in my spot. No, I’m not renewing your lease in June. It’s not that I don’t love people. I love business. And I don’t mix them. You want to know why I don’t mix them? Because every single time you have a heart and every single time you try to make concessions, you get burned.
And maybe there are some people in my past that have given me a chance. They did, and I had bad credit, no doubt about it. But I don’t mix personal feelings and my money. I got to say it man, I’m sorry. I’m not renewing that lease, and I’m giving the new lease to the couple that’s coming in there with a year period, point blank. Five kids in a two-bedroom 900 square foot condo? No, heck no.
Lewis: Well, certainly, their neighbors would probably agree with you on that one. That’s a lot of people to pack into a small space, but I would still argue that I don’t know that it’s actually possible to not conflate your money and your feelings. I don’t know. I mean, I’ve never been able to. I’m not necessarily financially unsuccessful, I wouldn’t say I’m as successful as I could have been by being more by the book or a little more cold-hearted in that regard. This is kicking a family out. But the thing is, if they were good renters, you stick with what you know as opposed to one you don’t.
Nick Cresia: Well, I mean, in my opinion, they got to know what comes with the territory of being a renter. You got the high potential at the rotating door with your property. Getting attached is a recipe for some tough decisions with other people renting it out. I’d say the only shot is maybe raising the price. See if the family is going to maybe be game to stick around. Even at a higher price, you can’t put a price on that privacy that is a small square space for that many people.
Gee: If I’m a landlord, guess how I’m renting my space out? Property management company. You want to know why I’m going to hire a property management company? Because they’re in the business of doing what? Managing your property. And I’m going to pay my 10% to them, and it’s not personal. I just want my reports at the end of the month. They might say, ‘Gee, here’s your money. Here’s everything these folks are due, we highly suggest you keep them here, or we suggest you change renters.’ It is up to the property management company to make sure I’m good to go.
Chef: You just want plausible deniability. Got it.
Gee: No, no, no, I want business. I’m not coming to you and saying, ‘Hey, Chef. It’s the sixth. Are you going to pay your rent?’ I’m not doing that, fam. I got a job. It’s not my job.
Lewis: I agree, but I mean, we don’t know enough about this family. If this family was decent renters, there’s no reason not to stick with them. I would also say that the fact of the matter is when you have been in a place, and people have cut you a break and put a little bit of faith in you and your ability to actually measure up to maybe the overreach that you made on getting an apartment, something like that. Personally, I feel this obligation to extend that faith to the next person down the line.
Gee: You ever got burned on money when it’s personal?
Lewis: Well, yeah, and I will be again, no doubt, but I’ve never felt like it was a dumb decision.
Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.