Building Strong Landlord-Tenant Relationships
Last month we talked about property management best practices. While effective property management naturally establishes good Landlord-Tenant relationships, these relationships are so important that they deserve a more in-depth look.
Strong Landlord-Tenant relationships are key to a Landlord’s success. They ensure that Landlords stay informed about what’s happening at each rental unit, are able to keep units in good condition, and are aware of any changes or struggles Tenants are experiencing. Plus, positive Landlord-Tenant relationships increase Tenant satisfaction and decrease turnover and vacancy rates.
As a result, Landlords and property managers need to be proactive about building these relationships. The good news is that once you’ve effectively screened Applicants, executed a state-specific Lease Agreement, and created a plan for property management, you’ve already built a strong foundation toward good Landlord-Tenant relationships. To build upon that foundation, here are five things all Landlords should do to ensure they build and maintain positive Landlord-Tenant relationships.
View this post on Instagram
We’ve talked about communication a lot throughout our coaching series, but it’s still the number one thing to consider when building strong landlord-tenant relationships. Prioritizing communication means:
- Meeting with Tenants in person prior to moving in to discuss the property, Lease terms, and any questions Tenants have;
- Setting up flexible systems of communication to make it easy for Tenants to contact you;
- Being responsive to Tenants’ needs. This includes listening to concerns, taking action to address concerns, and following through on promises;
- Checking in periodically with Tenants.
As you communicate with Tenants, make sure that you’re as transparent as possible. For example, if there is going to be a delay in getting a repair done, explain the reason for the delay and the expected timeline. Or, if you’re not able to make an upgrade that a Tenant requests, be honest that it’s not going to happen and explain your reasoning as much as possible.
It can be tempting to always tell Tenants what they want to hear, but resist that temptation. Instead, be forthcoming about information – both good and bad – and transparent in all communications.
Respect Tenants’ Privacy
Another key to building strong relationships with Tenants is to respect their privacy. This means never showing up unannounced and always giving Tenants adequate notice before coming to the property. It also means giving Tenants the option to be home when repairs are being made or professionals are entering the property.
As you manage a property, remind yourself that the Tenants have possession of it, it’s their home, and it’s your responsibility to respect those rights and their privacy. This will go a long way toward building trust and strong relationships with all Tenants.
Know Applicable Landlord-Tenant Laws
It’s also essential to know key Landlord-Tenant laws. For example, you need to be familiar with notice requirements for entry, late fee requirements, and state laws governing how you address unpaid rent or other Lease violations.
Violating Landlord-Tenant laws will immediately hurt your relationship with Tenants and compromise any trust that has been established. This is true even if you unknowingly violate relevant Landlord-Tenant law. To avoid this, it’s important to stay informed about key state laws and to ensure that you consistently comply with them. Friendly reminder that each of our state Lease pages provides an overview of key Landlord-Tenant laws in your state.
Make Things Convenient & Easy for Tenants
Finally, an effective way to strengthen relationships with Tenants is to try to make their life as easy as possible. For example, make it easy for them to pay rent by providing convenient payment options; make the process for submitting maintenance requests simple and straightforward; and ask for feedback on ways that you can improve their experience.
Things as simple as providing a list of local pest control companies, giving Tenants contacts for reputable landscaping companies, or giving them tips about local amenities and services can let your Tenants know that you value them and want them to be happy in the rental unit.
Getting the Most Out of a Rental Property
Strong Landlord-Tenant relationships don’t just happen overnight. Instead, they’re built through good communication, mutual respect, and consistency. The best Landlords work on building these relationships from day one, but it’s never too late to work on improving or strengthening them.
Doing so will improve your returns and make your experience as a Landlord easier and more pleasant. Good luck putting these strategies into practice, and we’ll look forward to talking through Lease termination and Lease renewal next month.
Kevin is passionate about helping others to become a better Landlord by providing tools and education to help them thrive.