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>Unlike most occupations, landlording will bring you into contact with some of the worst people the planet has to offer, under what has to be the worst possible set of circumstances.

I suggest rephrasing to

>Unlike most occupations, landlording may bring you into...

I've had a rental property now for many years. It's in an evolving, urban Boston neighborhood and the property generates ~$1000 more than the mortgage, taxes and insurance per month. I have 5 tenants who are all recent college grads. My agent did credit checks on all of the original tenants and many new ones have cycled through over the years. Aside from replacing a couple of appliances (which consisted of ordering them online and coordinating delivery with a tenant) I've had zero issues. In fact, the last 3 years, I've given each tenant $100 off of December's rent to let them know I like having them as tenants. I have about $80,000 out of pocket invested so without even considering the equity I'm building in the house, I'm getting around a 15% rate of return (granted at a higher tax rate that a capital gains...)

Nice touch offering the December rent break. I guess it's just like offering incentives to good employees to generate loyalty and keep them around for the longterm. I am sure there is great worth in offering this small incentive to a tenant you want to keep, even if you could be charging more to a new tenant. Aside from the cost and effort of finding a new tenant, knowing that you have a consistent, paying renter that will take care of your investment is ideal.

My parents have a small, older rental house that they charge less than market rate for, as they have never increased the rent for the current tenant who has lived there for several years. They have had renters trash the place before, and they know getting a little less from a good renter is a preferred scenario.

Charging a little less than market value is definitely a winning strategy if you can afford it - a tenant who feels like they're getting a good deal is going to be a better tenant.

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