The importance of relationships between tenant and landlord is often overlooked and underrated. Improving tenant relations can be the key to creating ease and success in your career as a landlord – and there are 11 key factors that every landlord should know! Follow these easy tips from the experts at RentPrep, a tenant screening service, to make the best of your landlord/tenant relationship.
A Table Of Contents For Improving Tenant Relations
- Empathize With Your Tenant
- Prioritize Your Relationship With Your Tenant
- Share Responsibilities
- Encourage Community Involvement
- Remember: Good Tenants Are Hard To Find!
- Keep Your Customers Happy
- Give And Receive Flexibility
- Be Responsive
- Go The Extra Mile
- Consistency And Reliability Are Key!
- Offer Online Payment
Empathize With Your Tenant
Your tenant could be from a very different background with different values than you. It’s important to remember that the things important to you may not be important to your tenant! For example, if the front yard is often overgrown, it may just be an oversight by the tenant – not an intentional slight to you, the landlord.
In addition, your tenant could be in any number of difficult financial situations. We have all been a day or two late with bills before. Keep in mind that your tenant is human, but be careful not to allow irresponsible behavior to become a habit. Being understanding and being taken advantage of are very different things!
Prioritize Your Relationship With Your Tenant
Even if your tenant doesn’t contact you for anything rental-related, be sure to check in every so often. Maybe you know of a new restaurant opening in the area or maybe there is a holiday parade you want to recommend. Knowing your neighborhood and acting as a pseudo-concierge can make your tenants feel at home and connected to you – which will help them to value you, too.
Regardless of standard policy or rules, try to share responsibilities with your tenant. For example, if your tenant needs extermination services (and there isn’t an overarching cleanliness issue), consider paying for the first round of services. The output cost is low, but the value to the tenant is high.
Ensure that the standard of living is up to your own standards. For example, if a toilet seat is cracked, consider making this small cosmetic replacement for the sake of saving face with your renters.
Encourage Community Involvement
As the property owner, you will be in the “know” in the community. Renters are often not invited to or involved in community associations or neighborhood events. Consider including your renters! It will encourage buy-in into the neighborhood and will help your tenants feel like they really belong in their new home.
Remember: Good Tenants Are Hard To Find!
If you have great tenants – keep them happy! Good tenants are hard (and expensive) to find. The cost of finding new tenants is often greater than doing the smaller, thoughtful things (like some Christmas cookies or a card during the holidays).
You could even offer to have the place deep-cleaned every six months! At a low cost to you (sometimes even under $100), you make your tenants feel appreciated and valued for taking good care of your property.
Keep Your Customers Happy
Your tenants are ultimately your customers, and you are providing a service and a product. It’s important to keep them happy and wanting to return! Make sure that your home is in good repair and a place that you and your family would like to live.
Don’t put off making repairs just because they are out of sight! Check in with your tenants often (even monthly) to see how the rental is going and if any repairs or updates are pertinent.
Give And Receive Flexibility
Being flexible and understanding of life’s many unexpected situations can create great gains with tenants. For example, if a tenant loses their job, consider allowing a two-week grace period for rent (as long as it isn’t a great inconvenience to you).
When a tenant moves out, remember that normal wear and tear are part of the tenant caring for the home as their own. Consider waiving small repair charges upon move-out inspections as an appreciation for overall care of your home.
Are you going out of town for two weeks? Let your tenants know! No tenant will ever be upset about overcommunication. Communicating openly (via text or email, even) with your tenants will help them realize that you are available whenever needed, which will avoid awkward situations like waiting to let you know that the garbage disposal is broken.
If your tenant contacts you about something that needs repair, give a response even if there is no immediate solution. Let your tenants know that you are working on the situation and that you will touch base frequently until the problem is solved.
Go The Extra Mile
I once had a landlord (of six years!) who brought us a bottle of Prosecco every Christmas. This gesture was memorable and let me know that he appreciated how much I was caring for his home.
This same landlord tore down bushes in the front yard when we mentioned that the fence behind them was historical and structurally appealing. The fact that he listened to me and valued my suggestions was very flattering and ultimately led to a long and prosperous relationship for both of us.
Consistency And Reliability Are Key!
Be sure that communication is consistently good and that you are available by phone call, text, or email regularly. Ensure that your tenants have multiple ways to contact you, and maybe even an emergency contact in case you are unreachable. Reliability in a landlord is a huge plus and can make or break a good tenant/landlord relationship!
In our latest video, we go over the ICE method to help problem solve a landlord-tenant relationship. Check it out here:
Offer Online Payment
This very simple idea can provide great convenience for both landlord and tenant in ease of payment! Whether it’s through Venmo or a banking application, online payment can create ease of transaction and ensure that payments are on time.
The relationship with your tenant can make or break your success (and ease!) of being a landlord. Make sure you find loyal and trustworthy tenants by vetting them through RentPrep, one of the most trusted tenant services available.