A great tenant relationship is the foundation for cooperation, respect, and on-time rent payments. These things will go a long way to keep your business profitable and ensure your properties remain in good shape.
If that’s your goal and you want to build strong, positive relationships with your tenants, here’s how.
1. Hire a Property Management Company
The easiest way to get amazing tenant relationships is to hire a property management company to handle your rentals in their entirety. For example, Green Residential, a popular Houston property management company, provides a full-service package for investors who want to be hands-off with their rentals.
They do everything from tenant screening and rent collection to eviction notices and home inspections.
The advantage to hiring a professional company is having someone experienced in taking care of your tenants who also knows the law. A huge part of being a landlord involves knowing landlord-tenant law at the federal, state, and local levels.
One mistake can cost you thousands of dollars, make your tenants mad, and even land you in court. A professional property management company will know exactly what to do (and what not to do) to keep things legal and maintain happy, satisfied tenants who feel taken care of by their landlords.
2. Address Maintenance and Repairs Fast
Tenants love it when their landlords address repair and maintenance needs quickly and efficiently. It makes them feel like their landlord cares about them and wants them to be comfortable in their home.
The faster you can get repairs done, the better. However, not everything is an emergency. Don’t train your tenants to call you at 3 am to report a loose closet door handle that they can’t fix. Make sure you set boundaries for what constitutes an emergency.
However, always respond to a client’s request immediately, even if you need to tell them you need some time to handle it. That initial quick communication will go a long way to make them feel like you’re already taking care of them.
3. Set Clear Expectations
Miscommunications are the main cause of most arguments, so do whatever you can to avoid them with renters. Create a solid foundation of expectations by explaining to your tenants what you expect and what the rules are from the start. This will prevent any misunderstandings from escalating later because you can remind them of the policies you went over together and point them to the part of the lease where it’s written.
Some of the most important things to go over verbally include:
- The amount of rent due along with the due date.
- Grace periods for late rent. For example, you might give tenants a 3-day grace period before rent is considered late and you’ll start charging late fees.
- Amount for late fees per day with the maximum.
- Who is responsible for certain maintenance tasks, especially landscaping?
- Policies for smoking and pets
- The security deposit amount
- Damage will be deducted from the security deposit
- The consequences for breaking the lease. For example, they’ll get a notice to quit or vacate.
Communicating your expectations keeps your relationship professional, and that’s the only way you’ll maintain respect from your tenants. The more casual and lenient you become, the more likely tenants are to take advantage of you and ignore the rules.
4. Honor Your Word
Tenants pay attention to what their landlords promise, so make sure you always make good on your word. If you tell a tenant not to worry about a late fee, for example, don’t try to collect it later. If there are tasks outlined in the lease agreement that you agree to perform, make sure you get to them promptly so your tenant knows they can trust you to follow through.
You expect your tenants to pay rent on time and follow their end of the lease agreement, and it’s only fair for them to expect the same from you.
5. Give Great Tenants a Break
You’re never obligated to give anyone a break, but it can strengthen your relationship with a great tenant. For instance, when a tenant has always paid rent on time and in full, and they need an extra week to pay the rent because of a random circumstance out of their control, grant them the extra time without charging a late fee. They’ll be grateful and will always remember your kindness.
Tenants who feel taken care of are less likely to be destructive.
When you treat your tenants with a high level of respect, they’ll feel appreciated, return the respect, and will be more likely to take good care of your property.