Tips for Maintaining Healthy Landlord-Tenant Relationships

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Getting good tenants is a top priority, but once you have your ideal tenant, it still takes effort to keep the relationship positive. Taking the time to create and maintain healthy relationships with your tenants will make them feel taken care of, appreciated, and valued.

A positive relationship with a tenant can encourage them to take care of your property out of respect and a sense of duty. It’s also one of the best ways to avoid problems and increases the likelihood of lease renewals.

Here are some tips for creating positive relationships with your tenants.

Promptly handle maintenance and repairs

One of the biggest complaints tenants have about their landlords is the fact that many of their maintenance and repair needs are ignored. As a landlord, you have a legal duty to provide a habitable living space for your tenants, and certain repairs need to be addressed immediately. For instance, if your tenant reports no running water, no hot water, a broken heater, or some kind of major safety hazard, you generally have 24 hours to fix the issue.

With the exception of emergencies, you might postpone repairs when you get busy, but your tenant will be waiting for you the entire time. The longer you take, the less your tenant will trust you.

If you struggle with tracking requests, try using software that syncs with your digital calendar so you can schedule inspections and repairs easily. Promptly return all tenant calls regarding repairs, let them know you received their request and will update them when you have the repair scheduled. Doing this will make them feel like you’re already taking action.

If it’s too much for you to manage repairs and maintenance, hire a property management company to do everything for you. That’s what Houston property management company Green Residential does for their clients. With a team of professionals working for you, repairs will be done quickly, efficiently, and legally.

Communicate from the start

Tenants like to know what’s going on, from the time they submit their application onward. If you don’t keep them in the loop, they’ll call you endlessly for everything. If you make it a point to communicate in the following ways, your tenants will have more respect for you:

·  After they apply, tell them when they can expect to hear back from you.

·  After sending a tenant their lease, let them know you are available to answer any questions they may have.

·  For current tenants who email you or submit requests, let them know you’ve received their communication even if you can’t get back to them right away.

·  Go over the lease verbally to make sure they understand everything.

You don’t need to over communicate, but don’t leave your tenants or prospects hanging. Set the tone that you will communicate and your tenants will be more likely to do the same.

Set high expectations early

Your way of being will train prospective clients on how to interact with you, so you need to be intentional from the beginning of your relationship. Setting expectations verbally isn’t enough. You need to demonstrate those expectations through your behavior. For example, showing up to appointments on time will demonstrate that you value punctuality and your prospect’s time. If they’re late to an appointment and they never called to let you know, tell them right away that you are looking for tenants who pay rent on time and communicate. People who are chronically late for their appointments might also be late with the rent.

By establishing your expectations from the start, you’ll discourage applicants who won’t make good tenants.

Keep your word

Trust is the foundation of every great relationship, so if you tell a tenant you’ll do something, make sure you follow through. Going back on your word will make your tenants feel violated and angry, especially if it’s something they considered important. When tenants lose respect for their landlords, they may also lose respect for their property.

Keeping your word goes both ways with what you say you will do and things you won’t do. For example, if you tell a tenant you won’t charge them a late fee this month, don’t go back on that and charge them. It might only be $20, but that’s not the point.

Transparency goes a long way to earn trust

Tenants often have a history of bad experiences with landlords, so the bar isn’t that high. Being transparent about your expectations and property rules can positively influence how much a tenant trusts you. With clear, effective communication from the beginning, you have a better chance at establishing that trust and avoiding problems with your tenants.