As a landlord, you may encounter tenants with some really sad stories. Be understanding, but above all, be firm and unwavering when it comes to sticking with your policies. They are there to protect you and your property. In addition, you should only have these types of discussions with people who are named on the lease. Family members or significant others may want to get involved, and while you should be respectful, only discuss details with the tenant.
When you live in your house it is your home, when you rent it out then it is your business. Keeping it “business” is not easy to do but a key to being a successful landlord.