Jacksonville Property Management Blog
How to Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Tenants
Being a landlord is a walk in the park. You have the property, you have tenants, they make regular payments, and you spend them. Easy. There is nothing to it - except for the fact that there is. This mindset could cost you a lot of time and money. The wiser and healthier approach to this would be to understand that you are the one offering a service. As such, you must maintain a good relationship with the tenant. The most important thing to you as the landlord, probably, is that somebody trustworthy and reliable is staying in your property. Knowing it is being taken care of and that the tenant will pay the rent in time is worth the extra effort. On the other hand, a lack of action on your part attracts a different type of tenant. Here is how to maintain a good relationship with your tenants.
Maintain a Good Relationship Through Maintenance
At the end of the day, what you advertised and what the tenant is paying for is the property and all the utilities that come with the house. Nobody expects that there will never be any maintenance issues, as they come with the territory. Therefore, you should always have a few reliable handymen and vendors among your contact numbers. Furthermore, timing is vital. If a tenant informs you of a situation, be a good landlord and get on the phone ASAP. Minor problems can turn into more costly ones over time, all the while eroding your tenant's trust and good faith. A nice touch would be to follow up with the tenant once the repairs have been done. See if the repair work was up to scratch and see how they are doing.
How to Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Tenants? The same as with any Other Relationship - Communication!
An active line of communication is essential. Tenants need to know they can reach out to you if there is a problem. They also need to know that you will listen. On the other hand, it also means being straightforward when communicating your requirements. As the landlord, you ought to maintain effective communication from the very beginning. If you manage to achieve this, you can expect tenants to offer the same. They will inform you of any problems they notice around the house. Likewise, they will advise you about when they plan to move out in due time.
A word of warning about rent collection, though, make sure you have a system in place for the payments to be made regularly. Yes, a good relationship is advisable, but letting your tenants be late with their rent is not the way to achieve this. Allowing obligations to be skipped is not the cornerstone of good communication.
Clean and Updated
It should go without saying, but keeping the property clean and decluttered sends the right message. It doesn't matter if you plan on clearing everything up right before your tenants move in - they need to see it clean when they first come to visit. Furthermore, sprucing up the place could do wonders for an old property. A fresh lick of paint can do wonders for the interior. If there are clear signs that your HVAC needs replacing, bite the bullet and do it! The indirect benefit is that the tenants themselves are more likely to take good care of a home that has been taken care of by the owner. If you haven't put in the effort, why should they?
Now, not all tenants are born alike. With some, things will be easygoing, but others can be a tad more difficult. You need to be able to handle such situations. Staying calm is essential in these situations. You should never take any comment personally and should confidently approach the problem. Sometimes, you might need to consider legal action, but this is the last resort. Still, you need to know what to do in that sort of situation too. You must learn to solve problems of this nature, as most landlords will find themselves dealing with difficult tenants at some point.
Honesty is the best policy. We've all heard it said and with good reason. Be clear about how you plan to divide the responsibilities. Don't tell them you will cover the utility charges, and then when it's time to pay, tell them this is their expense. Be trustworthy, and don't go back on your word. Sending an e-mail or two once you agree on an issue is also not a bad idea. Having things in writing is always handy should a misunderstanding unfold down the line.
What to do With Your Things?
We talked about the need to declutter and offer a tidy space for your new tenants. There will be things in your property that you need, but your tenants most certainly won't. That grand piano may be a precious family heirloom for you, but to them, it could just represent part of an obstacle course in an overcrowded living room. The best solution would be to find some cheap storage for these possessions. Keeping only those items that are essential could be helpful in this regard. Paying long term can also help reduce costs. If you dig a little, you are sure to find some low budget options out there, and rest assured that all the work one needs to invest in finding a cheap storage unit always pays off!
Happy Tenant Hunting!
There you go, how to maintain a good relationship with your tenants! It mostly boils down to common sense and thinking about how you, yourself, would like to be treated had the roles been reversed. Of course, there are legal aspects to a landlord-tenant relationship you should know about, but you know where to find this information, now don't you? An open and amicable relationship works in everybody's favor, and there is no reason why you cannot create one with your tenants. Once that has been done, well, maybe and only then, being a landlord becomes a piece of cake!
Being a landlord may seem simple, but there is more to it than meets the eye! Here is how to maintain a good relationship with your tenants.
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