5 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Tenant-to-Landlord Relationships
The old cliché of the overbearing landlord and dissatisfied tenant is too often considered a harsh reality. However, this only happens if both parties let it be true – it doesn’t have to be this way at all. Landlords and tenants can have pleasant relationships if they take the right measures. It will make for better business for the property manager and a better living situation for the tenant.
1. Be Upfront with Rules in the Beginning
Before a tenant moves in to rental, the landlord and tenant should make sure they are on the same page. This means going over the lease with a tenant is crucial to setting the right tone for the relationship.
Often tenants feel blindsided by stipulations that are covered in the lease but never addressed by the landlord. Going line by line through the lease can clear up all of the regulations and prevent nasty surprises on either end. This will prevent any potential disputes as to what the rules of the rentals are and can promote dialogue with any subtle discrepancies that may arise later on.
2. Make Yourself Available
When problems with the rental arise, not being able to get ahold of their landlord can be very frustrating. Property managers need to make it a priority to be available when their tenants need them. This often comes up with maintenance issues. Responding quickly is also important. Replying to urgent requests in a timely matter shows that the landlord is committed to insuring a safe and stable environment for the tenant, as promised with their lease agreement.
Tenants should also have a direct way to contact their landlord. A phone number, e-mail address, and mailing address should all be provided to a tenant. Some landlords may even opt to use social media platforms with tenants as well, but this should really only be used if the landlord intends to check it regularly and does not use it to publicly call out a tenant.
3. Respect Privacy
One of the biggest grievances a tenant can have with their landlord is if the landlord enters the home without notice or while the tenant is away. Many see this as an evasion of privacy and can be the catalyst for a lawsuit. It is important to always call ahead and clarify with the tenant when a good time for you to come by would be.
Even when the tenant has been given a warning that you are going to be entering the home, it is important that you make as little disruption to the space as possible. In some cases, you may have to move things to access pipes, circuit breakers, etc. but it is crucial that you put everything back where it was when you got there. Letting the tenant know you had to move things before they ask can also reassure them that they can trust you and they will appreciate the sentiment.
4. Go Out of Your Way
When you are aware of something that needs to be done for the rental and the tenant hasn’t reported yet, offering up to fix it first can be a great way to show your tenant you are willing to go above and beyond to make the effort.
Replacing aging fixtures, built-in furniture and improving the yard are just a few examples of things that could be instigated by the landlord. With things that directly hinder tenant lifestyle, these things should be taken care of immediately and the tenant should alert you in this case. However for things which simply improve the quality and aesthetic, the landlord can also instigate developments.
5. Check In (But Don’t Be Overbearing)
Making it a point to check in once a month or once a quarter is a good way to make sure your tenant’s needs are being met and that they are satisfied with their service. You should take note on how you can improve; often this can carry over to other tenant’s as well. This all can be done via a phone call, email, or whatever the tenant is most comfortable with.
Keep check-ins at a reasonable frequency, keeping to a prescheduled pattern as much as possible. Calling a tenant up every week is overbearing and shows distrust with the tenant. If it is something routine, then it can be assumed that it is protocol. If a landlord is calling of the time to see how the house is it’s assumed he or she thinks the tenant is doing something wrong.
Dusty Henry is the editorial intern for the internet’s largest database for landlords, All Property Management. Find property managers in your area with All Property Management’s superior search function. Landlords listed on APM also offer free quotes.
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