I don’t think I will ever be in the position to purchase my own property, let alone rent one out to other people, but I can pretend thanks to games like The Tenants. The Tenants is a simulation game where you get to primarily renovate houses, but can also become a landlord, hold open houses for other people’s apartments and even watch over the people living in other people’s homes. It’s a fun time.
At the start of the game, you are, of course, gifted a small flat from your aunt to get you onto the financial ladder. This flat isn’t actually up to scratch, so you will need to save up money to actually get the heating, electricity, and decorations put into place. Meanwhile, you can start taking on odd jobs to rank yourself up so you can earn more money. These jobs come under a bunch of different types; At first, you will be mostly doing renovations.
Renovations can be as complex as building walls, adding in doors, and defining spaces, or as simple as taking a small room and adding the walling, flooring, and decorations. It really depends on the job. Some of the jobs are quite wild and fun — like making over a drug factor in the back of a cool house or setting up a pirate ship for a captain.
When you get to a house, you will need to send your uncle in to clean up any mess and fix any broken items (which can result in them being fixed, or broken forever). Once he is done, you can send him away and start your renovation. At the side of your screen, you are given the tasks and requirements.
Often people will have a general focus for the renovation — first impressions, attention to their wanted furniture, using more expensive items, or keeping the whole reno as cheap as possible. You will need to keep that in mind while you fulfil the tasks — picking the color wall they want, adding in whatever objects they require, and creating the rooms. It’s wild how many people don’t require a sink in their bathroom!
When it comes to placing items, it’s kind of like The Sims but with Move Objects on. You don’t have to follow a grid and can slide pieces in, however, things do not normally snap together in the same way as The Sims and when you move a table surrounded by chairs, you won’t see the chairs moving with them. The game also has no concept of accent walls and literally will give you a lower score for the room not being uninformed. Also, if you make a giant feature wall of posters, there is a chance the person checking out the room will see the cheapest poster and be upset with the quality of decorations.
When you feel the house is perfect — or if you run out of budget — you can then showcase your improvements. Right before you submit it, you can see how decorated the rooms are, which give you one more chance to adjust. Then, the owner will come and take a look around. You can watch them like or dislike each of your decisions, but I often find myself on my phone looking for the next job or checking in on my own tenant. Then, they give you a review.
There are also open houses — which you have to do for your own home when you want someone to move in. This will allow you to do background checks and tenancy checks to tenants coming in, looking at their age, job, and income to decide who would be best to end up renting the house. Once you have someone you’d like to move in, you can negotiate to find a price good for you and for the tenant. This needs to be renegotiated at the end of agreements with your own tenants as well.
Other jobs have you answering text messages quickly from tenants who have fallen out with their landlord, deciding if you are going to fix up their heating at your own expense or if you are going to tell them to suck it up. You can sometimes send your uncle to go fix up issues, but you will need to go with him, showing where to lay traps or where to spray for bugs.
From time to time, expensive, exclusive jobs come up — giving you a huge amount of money to work with — and giving you the chance to unlock new items by restoring them. These are quite fun, have a lot of themes, and can unlock some cool stuff. But, you do need to be quick as they are only listed for a short amount of time.
You can end up making a lot of money between odd jobs and your own tenants, though your tenants might miss payments, ask for you to give them a week off, and more. You will need to balance your own bills with your relationship to them. It can become complex as you continue to build up your empire, purchase and renovate new buildings, and continue through the game.
The Tenants is a really fun The Sims adjacent game, and I quite like all of the goals and tasks. You can really develop the town and get a whole business up and running — and some of the renovations are really creative and fun!
You can find The Tenants on Steam.