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HollySue
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18 Jan 2012, 2:01 pm

"Run it through your tact machine." Many years ago, in the early 1980s, a therapist said this to me, and I recall becoming teary and saying, "But I don't think I have one." He never did explain it to me. This situation came back to me a few days ago when I was talking with a relatively new friend about my female tenant telling me that she didn't know if I knew it or not, but that I have said some very hurtful things to her.

I go out of my way to speak calmly, quietly, using reasonable phrasing, etc. This family has been very nasty with me at times, and they are horrible about paying rent even close to on time. She is mostly talking about the things I've said in in response about what she has said about her husband most, her mom, and minimally about one of their kids. I am very straight forward and blunt, and tend to sound clinical about clinical issues, as I am a therapist.

So obviously, this woman is someone who believes that I lack tact. It has only been in the last few weeks that I have started to piece together that this likely life-long issue is related to me likely being on the Asperger's Spectrum.

I am redefining the boundaries I need to have as a landlord, and know that I need to now keep a lot of distance. This idea no longer makes me cry, as I'm tired of these people hurting me, and I have no desire to hurt them. However, i wish I could respond in kind when they get nasty with me. I have almost never been able to do this, after a lifetime of having been bullied. I'm starting to read about this in threads here, from an AS perspective.

Am I correct in thinking it would be a mistake to tell her that I figure she is reacting to an Asperger's aspect of me, and that she might want to consider conversing with me if this happens again. Part of my mind is telling me that I'd be giving her too much information. Instead, I ought to just stop her if she starts talking to me about anything personal about her family members. It seems odd to not follow the suggestions that I give my clients, but being an open, reasonable person historically comes back to bite me.

Opinions or suggestions anyone?



kirayng
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18 Jan 2012, 5:07 pm

Well, your tenant hardly pays you for rent and doesn't deserve your free counseling, so I would suggest (and this isn't mean) to tell her you do not wish to discuss her personal life in regards to her nonpayment of rent. I find being a "no bullshit" kind of person actually gets me a lot of respect. Did you know that (in the US) all of your landlord/tenant relations can be done completely in paper? Write her notice to quit, don't offer to work with her or offer her advice on how she can improve her circumstances (no one likes unsolicited advice, no matter how well intended). It avoids all personal issues. If she calls up sobbing and begging to stay in the apartment or other such drama, then politely tell her you'll address her concerns in writing, request that she leave a telephone message with your office detailing her issue or plan to make a payment. Another option is to hire a rental agent that deals with the people-- you make the decisions) Or convert all correspondence to email, tenant ability to comply factored in.

Okay, that's just addressing the immediate concern. Onto the "real issue"-- that you are not tactful. Don't let this turn into a belief statement about yourself. It's not that you're tactless, it's just that the straightforward manner in which we deal with people puts them off because they're all wrapped up into the social complexities of the situation (she's probably trying to get your sympathy to get more time to pay or go deeper in debt with you, for example. This just really doesn't work on most Aspies. Which I only know of a few in person, a lot on here, maybe others can elaborate on this part).

Don't lose sleep on it! Tact is something everyone else wants you to have, while they can go around with not much at all and be fine. I fall back on polite, respectful, clear, concise. direct for my interactions professionally. Tenant/landlord is a business contract, essentially (not technically) and as such you can treat it that way. Btw, my family has been in the real estate business for three generations and my parents have a property management company as well as being landlords. I'm knowledgeable on US tenant rights/ landlord obligations. Just to clarify, you said you were the "landlord", that implies ownership-- my best advice is to hire a property management company unless you enjoy the hands-on, people oriented business it is. You can still fix the places up if you're into that, just saying leave the people stuff to a professional organization, it really helps.

And yes, we lack that social filter. It's not going to change. But we're also drama-free as a byproduct, enjoy it. :) (not saying we're not dramatic 8)



BuyerBeware
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18 Jan 2012, 6:28 pm

Um, it sounds like she's trying to manipulate you by making you feel bad.

Something else for which Aspies tend to lack a filter.

I second the idea of making it purely a business relationship-- and good business says, "Pay your rent or hit the road, sob stories get you only so far." No matter how you cut it, she's a rotten friend-- so stop wasting your emotional energy trying to be friendly with her (or worrying about it).


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League_Girl
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18 Jan 2012, 7:08 pm

You are always going to get tenants who will try and manipulate you by giving you sob stories and guilt trips so they will stay in their apartment. You will always get a tenant who won't pay their rent on time and no matter how nice you are about it, they will still get nasty with you. Sometimes AS will have nothing to do with how tenants treat you because maybe you are doing good with tact but people are going to get nasty nonetheless.



HollySue
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18 Jan 2012, 10:20 pm

I am finding myself proud to officially be an Aspie now. I have always felt very good about being straight-forward. And I learned a good few years ago not to try to “therapize” a tenant, or friend, and especially not family. I much prefer to be paid for this kind of effort of communications. This tenant family does eventually pay, and that is a vast improvement over others I have needed to evict, so I prefer not to push them into leaving. Paying tenants are rare, and they do take good care of the farm-house. I tried a property management company once, and that guy plugged in the very worst tenant I have ever had here. Details aren’t worth the typing. There are almost none in the area here.

Quote:
It's not that you're tactless, it's just that the straightforward manner in which we deal with people puts them off because they're all wrapped up into the social complexities of the situation.
– I love this!!

I just feel angry when tenants try to manipulate me. It never works, and it makes me happy to learn that my lack of social filter for it is due to being Aspie.

Quote:
Sometimes AS will have nothing to do with how tenants treat you because maybe you are doing good with tact but people are going to get nasty nonetheless.
– This is very helpful.

I like you folks a lot; thanks!! :wtg: Aspie power 8) :D



kirayng
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19 Jan 2012, 10:03 am

HollySue you said, "Paying tenants are rare" --- no, they aren't. :) Paying tenants are common and you should make efforts to fill your places with them, less worry for you.

Just saying, sorry if I'm being too matter-of-fact.



HollySue
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19 Jan 2012, 11:12 am

Not too matter-of-fact at all. I ought to have said that I have had huge trouble in getting good tenants, during the 12 years of managing the property myself, since my husband died. :oops: Until this family came in, the house was empty many months per year. Aside from needing the rent to keep my bills paid, it's impossible to pay heat and electric for my small home and this larger farm-house both. After 12 years of b.s. I'm annoyed and exhauster enough to be all business, I HOPE.



League_Girl
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19 Jan 2012, 12:53 pm

Do you ever do rent applications? Here lot of landlords and apartment managers require people to fill out the application to rent the apartment or home and they have to pay a little fee, anywhere from 25$-$50? and they use the money to run a background check on the person to see if they have a criminal record. Plus they check out with the former landlords and managers to see how good of renters they were. On the applications, people are required to list down their former residence they had rented. As for once owning a home and rented a long long time ago, I have no idea but I guess it's the chances they take.



hanyo
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19 Jan 2012, 12:57 pm

I know how bad it is. I moved recently but in my previous home within the past several years my landlord had at least 2 or 3 tenants that I know of that didn't pay rent, one that had the cops there all the time for domestic violence and was punching holes in the walls, and at least two that lived there less than 6 months. I don''t know if they left because they weren't paying rent.

I think my current landlord had some problem tenants where I live now. There were at least a few different tenants living where I am in the past few years, the last one only lasting a few months.

When looking for an apartment I even had a couple of landlords say that they would reduce the rent as long as my mother has a steady job. I guess they have that much trouble finding renters with a stable income.



Ellendra
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19 Jan 2012, 2:37 pm

Several years ago I was considering buying a property to rent out, and went to a few seminars about property management. One tip I remember for finding good renters was to offer special month-to-month rates for military personel and their families. Any chance there's a military base nearby that would make it worthwhile to use that tactic?



kirayng
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19 Jan 2012, 3:33 pm

I think in this situation you will get more out of it if you sell the large house. Is that something you've considered?



HollySue
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19 Jan 2012, 6:04 pm

I'm listed with the local military base. It's a great idea, but I have never had even i call through them. Apparently a bit over a half hour drive is too far.

I'd love to sell off the larger house, but do not have the 30 to 40 K necessary to do the subdivision. It takes 1 to 2 years, and the money is gone whether the subdivision goes through or not.

I had even unwillingly decided to put the entire property on the market several years, and the real estate bubble exploded almost immediately afterwards.

The good news is that the rent was due today, and the husband came home from work mid-afternoon to pay me instead of waking me late at night. I thanked him a couple of times, and said that I hope he is able to continue in this new pattern. :o :cheers:



HollySue
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20 Jan 2012, 11:33 am

Oops, missed one response. People are not always very honest on these reports. Or, in fact, with their spoken words.



Tequila
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20 Jan 2012, 11:39 am

HollySue wrote:
Oops, missed one response. People are not always very honest on these reports. Or, in fact, with their spoken words.


You need to be very, very black and white with these people. Screw them, frankly. You need to get paid - that is the end of it.



HollySue
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20 Jan 2012, 11:41 am

Quite true!