Landlord’s Corner

If you are familiar with the Lenox town center loop, you most likely have seen Andrea Bruce walking it. Or, maybe, even caught her paintings on display at a local gallery. Having called Lenox home for the past half-century, Andrea has undeniably carved out her niche within the community. However, what many may not realize is that Andrea also wears the hat of a. seasoned local landlord. Construct delved into Andrea’s experiences to uncover the realities of being a small scale landlord in south Berkshire County.

Q: What is the hardest thing about being a landlord?

A: The hardest aspect for me is maintaining a reliable income from the property to cover my mortgage. While some tenants are fantastic, taking care of the space and paying rent punctually, others can be challenging. As my lawyer once told me, “tenants have all the rights,” which can make certain situations very difficult. Nonetheless, I’ve found that most people are wonderful, and I’ve even forged lasting friendships through my landlord-tenant relationships.

Q: Do you have other sources of income?

A: Yes, I receive Social Security, and I also operate a small one-room Airbnb from my home. I’m an artist. These additional sources of income contribute significantly to my ability to sustain myself financially as a single, retired woman.

Q: What trends in renting have you noticed over the past few years?

A: There has been a notable influx of people moving into Berkshire County, and developers have capitalized on this trend. Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed friends being displaced from their long-term apartments due to buildings being purchased by investors who subsequently raise rents or convert the spaces into Airbnb.

Q: Do you feel that your decision to keep rents reasonable has encouraged good renters to stay long-term?

A: Absolutely. I deliberately keep the rent on the lower side because I don’t believe in overcharging tenants. This approach has attracted many exceptional individuals over the years who have become long-term renters. Ultimately, my goal is to continue living comfortably in my house while treating my tenants fairly. I’m going on 30 years now, so I must be doing something right!



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