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Be A Landlord That Tenants Will Love Without Being A Pushover
Good landlords are hard to find these days. BUT, so are good tenants! These days tenants demand the sky no matter how much of a discount you are giving on rental. So, how can you be a landlord that tenants will love, without being a pushover? Here are a few tips to help you.
One of the most important things (if not THE most important thing) to do as a landlord is to have open communication with your tenants. The most common reasons dispute occur between landlords and tenants if not because of different opinions, but because of the miscommunication of opinions. If you fail to do maintain an open channel of communication, you may wind up with more problems than you could possibly imagine.
No template lease agreements
Don’t go out to one of those all-in-one stores and buy their lease templates to use. You can buy them as a reference. But using those template contracts as they are is a sure formula to disaster.
Customizable lease forms are also a great way to start things off on the right foot. Consider what you are willing to accept from your tenants (pets, kids, etc.) and what is absolutely not acceptable. This lease will come in handy of and when a problem occurs. Listen to your tenant’s complaints, and sympathize with them, but be sure to remind them (nicely) of the lease that they signed. Point out the exact part that is causing the problem.
If you are a newbie landlord working on your first tenancy agreement, you might be afraid to insert your own terms and clauses as you are not sure what the industry practice is. You have to get past that and state whatever your terms are. It is your property and your rules at this point.
Keep in touch
Keeping in contact with your tenants (besides the times when you are collecting the rent) will keep them happy. They will feel like they’re appreciated, and not just a form of income for you. This will earn their respect, and will help you when problems happen.
There are many types of tenants roaming the marketplace. Unfortunately, when you’re a landlord, you will come across a bad tenant or two occasionally. If you run into them frequently, there might be something wrong with you. You should research your operational practices to see where things are going wrong. Just remind yourself that you have other tenants that have no problems at all with you. You are a landlord that actually cares about your tenants.
Some tenants just have the nasty habit of trying everything in their power to get out of a rent payment, they will manipulate you, and make you feel like you’re being a horrible landlord. They start delaying rental payment by a day, then it goes to 3 days, then 4 days, etc. Slowly as more payments are made and more delayed days accumulated, you have just given up 1 month of rental for free.
In circumstances like this it might be time to consider not renewing their lease.
Have the upper hand
Never let your tenant get the upper hand! It is YOUR property, not theirs. Imagine that you are having guests over for dinner, or a get-together, and they start an argument. Or worse, if they bring kids with them, and the kids start running all over your house, making a complete mess. Would you put up with that? Of course not!
When a tenant calls you because a repair needs to be done, address the problem as quickly as possible. Tell the tenant when they can expect the repairs to be done. Some of them may say that it needs to be done immediately. But explain to them that you want it done correctly. You don’t want to have a quick-fix that will need repaired again soon.
When you show your tenants respect, you will get respect in return. Make sure the tenants fully understand the lease before they sign it. Give them your business number or email so that they can easily contact you. If you are in the landlording business, you must expect to be available 24-7.
You don’t have to be a pushover for your tenants to love you. Don’t let your graciousness and generosity be confused with weakness. Just treat them as you would want your landlord to treat you.
Also remember that some people will try to “bully” you into doing things that you don’t want to do (such as making repairs that don’t need done, or letting them skip a rent payment because they say they can’t afford it). If your tenant IS having financial difficulties, of course you should try and work with them. You don’t need to forgo your rental as charity, but you can surely work out a way of repayment that your tenant is comfortable with.
Don’t forget that if you offend them, they might just sabotage your house.
But if you are already think about eviction, do check with the laws and regulation in your state. Eviction laws vary from state to state, and country to country. You really can’t assume that a law that exist somewhere will apply everywhere else.
A good landlord/tenant relationship makes all the difference in the world. As long as you talk with your tenants on a consistent basis, and make repairs when they are needed, they will stay with you.
Always remember that you will run into a bad tenant at times. The world is a crazy place. Stay strong. Do what you believe is the right thing to do, and stick to it. Your other tenants see what is going on. Don’t lose the respect of your good tenants because of one bad one. YOU are the landlord. You have the power to evict them, in the worst case scenario.
As said before – good landlords are hard to find. Families who have a lot of experience renting from place to place will know how valuable a good and competent landlord is. With these tips, you will be able to be a landlord that tenants will love, without being a pushover.