In the era of ‘Netflix and Chill’ and the binge watch, it’s safe to say that most people are enjoying their television. With so much content out there you don’t have to go far to find representation, and landlords are no exception. While television landlords may be a little quirky, there are some good lessons that can be learned from them.
Fred Mertz, I Love Lucy
The always classic I Love Lucy told the story of Ricky Ricardo and his wife Lucy, and the hijinks that ensued when she found herself in wacky situations alongside her neighbor and best friend, Ethel Mertz. On many occasions we also got to see Fred Mertz, Ethel’s husband and Ricky and Lucy’s friend and landlord. Fred’s interactions with the Ricardo’s are always entertaining, whether they’re getting into crazy mischiefs or he’s refusing to fix something in their apartment.
- Keep it Professional – While there is nothing wrong with being friendly with your tenants, it is always a good idea to keep things professional. When the relationship gets more complicated than that, situations can get awkward should a problem arise. The two families are friends but housing problems can easily seep into problems that affect the friendship.
- Don’t be Stingy – When the Ricardo’s sink would break, Fred’s solution was never to get it repaired. We all know that paying for repairs isn’t a fun thing to do, but it needs to be done. When something is broken, don’t wait; get it fixed right away. After all, it’s easier to fix a small problem than a big one.
Mr. Treeger, Friends
Friends was easily the most popular show on TV for a solid decade. The story of six friends living in New York, the show’s titular friends dealt with their fair share of drama, some of which involved Rachel and Monica’s superintendent, Mr. Treeger, who was the closest position to a landlord shown in the show. Though their interactions are quite wacky, there are some lessons that can be learned from their relationship.
- Stop the Subletting – Treeger gets in a tuft with Monica over the fact that she’s illegally subletting the second bedroom to Rachel, and rightfully so. With so many sites like Airbnb, it’s never a bad idea to check in on your tenants to ensure they’re not renting out your property. Don’t forget to check the internet, and see if your address pops up on rental sites.
- The Price is Right – If you’ve watched Friends, you know that it’s absolutely ridiculous that a waitress and (an often unemployed) chef could have an apartment of that size and caliber in the heart of New York City. As a landlord, you want to set the right price for rent, rather than losing money or having prolonged vacancies. Take advantage of sites like Rentometer, and don’t lose out on possible revenue.
Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock
The ever-popular Sherlock is a modern retelling of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes. While Sherlock and his roommate John Watson spend their time solving crimes, their landlady, Mrs. Hudson, is left to clean up their messes. While it’s clear that she enjoys the company of the two men, there are some problems with their relationship.
- Stick to Your Principles – Hudson is a very kind woman, and sometimes that is something that’s taken advantage of. Don’t let your tenants push you to change the rules or make special exceptions when it comes to paying rent on time or property upkeep. Stick to the rules you have set, and don’t let renters take advantage of your kindness.
- Be a Landlord, Not a Babysitter – In the show, Mrs. Hudson spends too much time looking after her tenants. While you want to have a good relationship with your renters, be sure to not act like a babysitter. Set boundaries, and let tenants know what matters you should and should not be called for.
Lillian Kaushtupper, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Anyone who watches The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt knows that the show wouldn’t be the same without Lillian, the titular character’s wacky landlady. With her abrupt entrances and her usually misplaced advice, she’s a central part of the show. Whether or not she’s a good landlady is up in the air, although Kimmy really wouldn’t know the difference after spending 15 years in an underground bunker.
- Don’t Just Barge In – While Lillian usually has exciting news to share when she barges into the apartment, it’s important to remember that that’s not proper procedure. You have to give tenants at least 24 hours notice before entering the unit, unless otherwise invited in.
- Upkeep is Key – While Lillian rents a property in a more rundown part of New York City, upkeep is still important. Don’t let the unit fall apart, and stay on top repairs. Even something as simple as putting on a new coat of paint can make a big difference.
While landlords on TV don’t seem to be all that great at their jobs, they present a good opportunity to learn from their mistakes. These characters may have their quirks, but their ups and downs present you with a good reminder of what to do and not to do. And, of course, they’re always good for a laugh after a long day at work.