Create a friendly ecosystem with multifamily real estate | America's Preferred Home Warranty Skip to main content

Create a friendly ecosystem with multifamily real estate

An elderly white couple and their adult son and daughter make a meal together

How close are you to your neighbors? Some homes and apartments are more closely packed than others, but doors on multifamily units seem to be the closest. 

Whether you’re looking to buy a multi-family property, you already own a duplex and you’re looking for a tenant, or you’re moving into someone’s multifamily property, you can use our guide to strike the balance of leading separate lives while in inherent community. 

Living with strangers

Moving in next to someone you don’t know can make you feel a blend of nervousness and excitement. Though your new neighbors don’t have become your new best friends, compatibility is key: Take the following factors into consideration as you meet tenant candidates.

New neighbor considerations for landlords

  • Have the potential tenants lived next to a landlord or property manager before?
  • What are the expectations of you as a landlord living on the same property?
  • Is there a multi-family property management company you would prefer they reach out to for work orders or when you’re out of town? 

New neighbor considerations for fellow tenants

  • How can I be involved in the tenant selection process?
  • How soon can I have a meet and greet with (potential) tenants?
  • Are their outdoor items (mailboxes, meters, etc.) clearly marked?
  • How can I make communal spaces feel more shared (if there hasn’t been another tenant in a while)?


A middle-aged Middle Eastern man and a Black man in his 30s shake hands in long-sleeved tops and blue pants, in front of an old  brick-and-stone building with dark brown wood lining the windows and a dark brown door with a large glass plane that takes up 2/3 of the door's length


Living with family and friends

When people think of moving (back) in with family, they may be more prepared for what to expect. Though some family dynamics may remain the same, now is the perfect time to set House Rules that answer the questions below, helping you avoid unnecessary conflict. 

  • Question 1: When are “quiet hours”?
  • Question 2: What are the guidelines for parking?
  • Question 3: What are the ground rules for hosting (inside and outside)? 
  • Question 4: Who is responsible for trash and recycling?
  • Question 5: What’s the minimum standard of care for seasonal groundskeeping?
  • Question 6: How will communal responsibilities be split if someone is sick or out of town? 

Pro Tip: Come to the table with a short list of what has and hasn’t worked in the past, and identify any big reasons to adjust those standards now.

Utilizing common spaces 

Once you’ve (re)connected with the new tenants and established ground rules, you can shift your focus to how you’ll collectively handle shared spaces. In the categories below, you can customize your united approach to the following situations.

Pro Tip: No matter how you manage your shared and separate spaces, run a fire drill monthly (alternating between daytime and evenings) to stay prepared.   


Three generations of a Hispanic family enjoy their yard on a nice  day. The oldest generation (2 women, 1 man) watch the two younger generations (1 man, 1 woman, 1 boy, 1 girl) play each  other in a game of soccer.


Lawn care and snow care 

As soon as possible, meet with the tenant(s) to discuss the plans for warm and winter weather care, referring to the lease as needed. Whether you love to plant flowers, loathe the slipperiness of having to salt the driveway, or you’d like some input on how to get a lawn full of lush green grass, group input and teamwork can help you handle outdoor care seamlessly in every season!

And if you have someone handling the outdoor duties, even better! Make sure everyone knows the groundskeeping schedule and has the phone numbers they need. 

Enjoying outdoor space

If you’ve got a yard big enough to sprawl out in, setting up different stations can allow for multiple people to use the space simultaneously. Whether it’s a small patio, a large pool, or a funky-shaped patch of grass, consider the ideas below when designing your yard.

  • A backyard calendar to more easily plan for summer relaxation and hosting
  • An outdoor “man cave” or “she shed” to always have your own designated space 
  • Upcycling pieces to add beauty and functionality while limiting cost

Pro Tip: Make the yard more modular by putting your grill, patio furniture, and other large items on wheels.

With this guide, your next chapter in one of the many types of multi-family housing can be a much smoother one! 

What’s your favorite aspect of multifamily housing? Let us know on Instagram or Facebook!