Landlords and Tenants Can Get Along – Right?


We’ve seen a recent rash of off-putting headlines concerning tenants and landlords.

Here are a few:

‘Landlord could face jail after bombarding tenant with texts’

‘Rogue landlords – a mounting problem’

‘Tenants from hell evicted after sharing filthy home with five children’

‘Tenants from hell are on the increase’

Now we’d like to cleanse our palate with a heart warming landlord-tenant story…

In 1993, the Plourde family, with their two small children, were looking for an apartment in the Oak Park area of Illinois.  Paul Soderdahl, 86, was looking to rent out the top floor of his three-story home.

Meeting the Plourdes for the first time he offered up the apartment immediately, verbally committing to a $300 per month contract.  Paul, or Mr S as he was affectionately known round the neighbourhood, never asked them what they did for a living or even their last name.

After school, Mr S would look after the children until their parents, Ellen and Kip, came home, and over the years that followed he became a part of the Plourdes family.  He shared dinner with them, spent holidays with them and was there for Ellen and Kip when they were having marital issues.

When it came to be that Mr S had passed away at the age of 106, it was the Plourde family who were there by his bedside. Read the full story here.

We’re not recommending you follow Mr S’s advice in not checking out potential tenants. Tenant referencing is an essential part of being a successful landlord (go to lettingref for all your referencing needs).  We also don’t expect every landlord and tenant to become lifelong friends but we do believe if everyone is honest, fair and shows mutual respect then the landlord-tenant relationship can be a beneficial and rewarding experience for both parties.

Mr S and the Plourdes’ story shows that with a bit of humility and occasional kindness the benefit can be more than just a roof over your head or extra money in your pocket – it can be a long term, worthwhile relationship.