Property Management: Rules to Please All the People?

14Aug28 New Pix-2

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OKAY. YOU’RE INTERESTED IN RENTING LIVING QUARTERS in a very suitable location, the monthly charges are acceptable and the property is attractively maintained. Then you’re confronted with the rental paperwork. Naturally, there is a lease and its rules. But you may wonder: Why are there so many rules? You would not be alone if you question the overwhelming bulk of regulations at some multi-family properties.

Consider one of our consulting assignments that included a review of the rules and regulations for a combined multi-family and commercial property. Predictably we found and recommended there should be additions, updates, revision and elimination of various rule sections to better comply with governmental requirements and improve clarity. However, the document was voluminous, with details that consumed almost fifty pages. The word “excessive” came to mind.

Nonetheless, the property manager and landlord insisted all the rules were necessary due to prior issues with renters. Their position was confirmed through an examination of the property’s previous enforcement actions and violations. Consequently we developed a way to accomplish the same goals for resident conduct and still reduce the document by almost forty percent.

While the property manager and landlord were pleased with the result, presenting the revised rules to a residents meeting was more challenging (read “tumultuous”). Despite the reduction, the courteous residents complained the revision was too lengthy to read, grasp or remember — the less courteous revealed their frustration at the remaining mass of the document in a more “colorful”  manner.

Like our initial review, residents cited examples they felt were common knowledge and shouldn’t be included, such as removing trash from the living spaces or keeping windows closed in winter (the landlord provided heat) or properly storing outdoor objects apt to become airborne during a storm. They asked: Who would want to live in trash, be cold or risk storm injury or damage? We explained that busy folks ― even those who try to be vigilant of such matters ― unfortunately can be preoccupied with other things and not always readily recognize when something requires attention, like the lack of cleanliness, reasonable energy conservation or storm preparation.

We spoke to a potential ability to eliminate more of the written rules when we all live in an ideal world in which everyone ― everyone! ― constantly is aware of and uses the qualities of common sense, fairness, courtesy as well as respect toward others. Residents were told until that ideal world emerges the landlord’s efforts to maintain order on the property mostly would be achieved through enforcement of those qualities as they are reflected in the rules. If not in the rules, there would be no mechanism to enforce them.

A reduced decibel level rippled through the crowd as those words of logic apparently struck a chord with reasonable attendees, who thankfully represented most residents … most, but not all of them. The minority remained vocal and apparently unyielding.

Perhaps one day in that ideal world it will be possible to please all the people.


Need consulting, coaching or problem troubleshooting regarding other single-family or multi-family housing issues? We’ll be pleased to help you. Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at


Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation. Statements and/or opinions of guest authors may or may not reflect those of Inhouse Corporation.

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