Owning a rental property is a dream for many people, but purchasing and taking possession of it is just the beginning. Once you have the property, you need to find ways to attract and retain good tenants who will make owning the property profitable for you. Managing a property and keeping tenants satisfied with your management and property is more of an art than a science, and there is no one-size-fits-all guide to being a successful landlord. You would be wise to follow some general principles on your journey to becoming and operating as a landlord. Read on below for some useful tips about how to build an excellent landlord-tenant relationship with your renters.
Be Careful When Choosing Your Tenants
When it comes to vetting and choosing your tenants, even just a little bit of front-end quality control will save you many headaches down the road. Put in some work at the outset to make sure you are selecting tenants who will not leave you high and dry when rent comes due, who won’t damage the property, and who don’t pose a danger to you or any of your other renters. You need tenants, but more than that, you need to stay financially solvent and build a good reputation among your tenants. Always remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Keep Your Promises
Just as trust is the best foundation for friendships, the same is true landlord-tenant relationships for Your tenants need to know that they can trust you when you tell them something. If, for example, you tell them you will have their plumbing fixed or allow them to pay rent a little late, you need to follow through. If you want to avoid sticky situations, determine which types of concessions you are willing to make and what kinds of risks you are ready to accept before making any promises.
Cut Your Good Tenants Some Slack
Like everyone else, your tenants have legitimate issues that arise from time to time and interfere with their ability to uphold their obligations to you. As the landlord, it is almost entirely up to you to decide when you should cut your tenants some slack and when you should be strict with them. Being fair and compassionate when your renters need you to be, does not make you a doormat, but you must choose your position wisely. If you make too many concessions too often, odds are you will be taken advantage of.
Be Responsive to your Tenants
If you want to establish a good reputation among your tenants–who will undoubtedly share their opinions with prospective future renters–you need to be responsive when they have questions, concerns, and needs related to their living spaces. What exactly you are responsible for will depend on the lease agreement. In all likelihood, your tenants are relying on you for most of the maintenance and upkeep of the property. Be responsive and quick to action when issues come up. Remember that while you own the property, it is what they call home, and even small inconveniences can add up over time.
Be Friendly and Understanding
No matter how friendly and understanding you want to be with all of your tenants, there will likely come a time when you need to be firm and stand your ground in a dispute with one or more of them. It is nice to be liked by your tenants, but it’s also crucial that you protect yourself and your business. Build a solid foundation where both your needs and the needs of your tenant are being met.