In today’s society, there are many different ways to get into contact with each other. Some people use text messages, some prefer to call, and others have moved on to instant messaging and sending emails online. As a landlord, you might have adopted some of these forms of communication as well.
Being open to every single type of communication method, however, is not always going to be the best choice. Sometimes, it’s better to limit the types of communication that you are using to give yourself more clear work workflow and less to keep up with.
Many landlords try to avoid using email with their tenants because emails can become overwhelming very quickly. Additionally, emails can easily be spammed with repeated messages when they are unnecessary.
If you have decided that you do not want to accept emails from tenants for any reason, you can set up a non-email disclosure agreement to add to your lease agreement. This addendum is essential for setting up boundaries, and today, we’ll teach you how to write your own addendum.
A Table Of Contents For A Non-Email Disclosure Form
- How Should You Communicate With Tenants?
- The Problem With Emails
- Why You Should Use A Non-Disclosure Email Addendum
- How To Write A Email Non-Disclosure Agreement
As a landlord, you want to be ready to communicate with your tenants when you need to or when they have something that they need to talk to you about. If you have a property manager, this communication should all go through them, but not all landlords work with property managers.
All landlords that are directly managing their properties need to decide how they prefer to communicate with their tenants. Then, this needs to be clarified with the tenants as well so that both parties are on the same page.
There are many different ways that you can set up your communication channel with tenants:
- Phone number
- Traditional mail
- Text messaging
- Online messenger system
Most landlords will use a combination of these methods to ensure that they are easily contactable.
Even though you want to make sure that you are easy to contact, you also want to be sure that you aren’t overextending yourself. Setting up all five communication methods listed above would leave you with the responsibility to be regularly checking all five of these platforms, and that can be exhausting.
It’s best to limit yourself to one or two communication methods and to make it clear to tenants which methods are going to be most effective to use when they want a fast response from you. When you are all on the same page, it will be easier to ensure that no unnecessary communication problems arise.
Why do some landlords find it necessary to set up an email non-disclosure agreement to add to their lease? Is receiving emails from tenants so bad that it warrants this type of response?
The answer here is both yes and no. Yes; emails can get to a point where they are so overwhelming that they take away from a landlord’s ability to focus on what is most important. On the flip side, emails are also a very fast, convenient, and traceable way to stay in contact.
While emails have their benefits such as being an easy way to get new tenants set up, we’re going to focus on why you might want to consider skipping this communication channel when possible.
One of the biggest problems with using an email address to contact and connect with your tenants is that your inbox can easily become the stuff of nightmares, filling up with junk emails, spam, and repeated requests from tenants that you are already dealing with.
While most tenants wouldn’t give out your email address or send their requests over and over again, there is always a chance of that happening.
Emails are convenient, but an inbox can get out of control very quickly if you aren’t careful.
Extra Management Time
Should you decide to accept emails from your tenants, you will need to ensure that you have the proper notifications and alerts set up so that you see their messages in a timely manner. Depending on what type of phone you use and how many other emails you receive each day, this can become overwhelming very quickly.
Can you imagine needing to check four or five different places for messages every few hours? While it’s okay to accept messages on different platforms, that would be completely overwhelming!
Communicating with tenants should be direct and efficient. If emailing them is no longer either of these things, it’s probably time to move on to another communication method.
If you do choose to use email for some of your communication, it’s important to remember that while email records are admissible to most court cases as evidence, certain things cannot be communicated via email.
Any sort of important notice, for example, needs to be delivered personally or through certified mail for it to be considered proper. This doesn’t apply to every aspect of managing your tenants, but it can be easier to avoid email to avoid the temptation of sending these notices online.
Sticking to the phone (via calling or texting) is easier because the notices cannot be sent this way, so you will need to handle them more directly.
Any landlord that has decided that they would prefer not to rely on email with their tenants should use an email non-disclosure agreement as part of their overall rental agreement. This type of agreement can also be added as an addendum, and you can get a complete sample template for this in the next section.
Using this addendum is important so that your tenant cannot, legally, expect you to check your emails or rely on information that is sent over email.
Additionally, this addendum prevents the tenant from sharing your email address with any address book service or another group that might begin to use your email address to send you spam email or unwanted offers.
Setting up this type of NDA ensures that your information is protected while simultaneously getting you and your tenant on the same page about how communication should be handled. Including this document in your rental agreement will spark a conversation about communication, and that conversation can set a great foundation for your relationship.
Now that you know more about why this type of agreement is important, let’s learn how to write up your own email NDA to use on rental agreements.
As you’ll see in this sample form, this is one of the easiest addendums to put together. Check out the sample, and then we will break down what must be included:
|Non Email Disclosure|
There are only three main components that you need to know how to write for this addendum: identifying information, the NDA itself, and the signatures.
As with most of our templates, you’ll find that this one starts off with covering the basic identifying information. This is the information that needs to be included to ensure that this legally binding document is clear about what it applies to, when it applies, and what property is being considered.
Specifically, you want to start with the following:
- Tenant name(s)
- Property address
Without this information, it is possible that any signed agreement wouldn’t hold up in court should you need to use this document as evidence.
Once you’ve set up the introduction, it’s time to get into the main details of what the NDA is actually requiring. What is being protected? What about email is being changed? What are the rules? This is the section where all of that should be clarified.
You can read our example in the form itself. This example can be adjusted to fit your exact situation. For instance, you might want to allow email contact for certain types of information, but not for other things. It is up to you to specify how your email can and cannot be used.
In our sample, we covered the following important details:
- All communication must be handled as outlined in the lease (telephone and written communication, in this example).
- Email will not be recognized as official even if it has been used between the parties in the past.
- Notices must be sent in written, hard copies.
- The landlord’s email must be removed from any address books or other email lists.
We recommend that you include all four of these bullet points if they apply to you; from there, feel free to expand what you believe should be covered.
Finally, this addendum finishes off with dated signatures from all tenants as well as you, the landlord. The signatures are required to make this a legally binding document, so make sure that you include this addendum with the other forms that get signed during a rental agreement signing.
Utilize The Non-Email Disclosure
Are you unsure if your tenant is planning to email you? Do you want to ensure that all communication comes through the most appropriate channels and that doesn’t include email?
If so, utilize the non-email disclosure!
There is nothing wrong with using this type of NDA form to ensure that you and your tenant are on the same page. It can also be used in response to a communication issue happening that involves email if you want to revoke the email right from a specific tenant. There are, in fact, a number of different ways to put this disclosure to use.
A no- disclosure email agreement will protect both you and your tenant from communication issues, so you shouldn’t have any problem adding one to your lease. Remember to set it up carefully, and you’ll be on the road to preventing problems!