As a landlord, retaining good tenants makes your life much easier. You lose money when your property is sitting empty and when you have to advertise to find new tenants, not to mention the time you expend when you have to fill vacancies. So it’s important to maintain a good relationship with your tenants so they’ll want to stay.
When you and your tenants respect and appreciate one another, they are more likely to show respect for your property by keeping it in good condition. They’ll be more willing to be understanding if there are ever misunderstandings or emergencies, and you will be a factor that makes them want to continue renting with you instead of driving them away.
But gaining a good relationship with your tenants is not something that happens automatically or often even easily. Landlords need to put in the effort in order to gain their tenants’ trust. Here are some suggestions for how to start:
Respect Your Tenants’ Privacy
When you rent property to your tenants, this becomes their home. They have the right to enjoy a feeling of security while they are living there. This means that they should be afforded the privacy that anyone would expect in their own home.
If you are a live-in landlord, this means giving your tenant their own space in the home. This space should be respected, and you should not enter it without permission or invitation.
If you rent the whole of your property to tenants, you may need access to the property from time to time. It is important that you give adequate notice of any visits you will make. The more notice that you can give your tenants, the better.
Respond and React Quickly
Urgent maintenance issues can and do happen. When an issue is reported to you that requires urgent attention, it is essential that you act immediately. Acknowledge the problem and tell the tenant how you plan to address it, and then follow through with necessary steps.
Even if the maintenance request isn’t urgent, you can show your tenants that you care by still ensuring that it is taken care of quickly. Landlords who wait weeks or months to complete repairs that they consider nonessential are generally not loved by their renters.
Similarly, you should respond quickly to all communication, whether you communicate with your tenants by email, text, or call. Even if there’s nothing you can do immediately, let them know that you’ve seen their message and will be in touch soon.
Jacking up prices is one of the surest ways to anger and lose your tenants. Sometimes it is necessary and fair to raise rent. When this is the case, you should explain the changes to your renters well in advance to give them time to prepare. But potential renters avoid places where they feel that they’ll be cheated or squeezed dry by greedy property owners.
You should also be understanding of special circumstances. When mistakes or misunderstandings happen, or when renters are in extenuating circumstances, try to be understanding and lenient. Keeping an open mind and attempting to understand their point of view will do much more for your relationship and reputation than being unyielding.
Make Their Lives Easier
You can make your tenants’ lives easier by including utilities like electricity, water, or internet in the cost of rent, or even maintenance like lawn care. Simplifying their lives will encourage trust between you and your tenants, and they will appreciate you for it.
In a relationship between a landlord and tenants, both parties will have expectations. It is the responsibility of the landlord to make sure that these expectations are clearly communicated, understood, and met. This means making your contract clear, checking that your tenants understand any complicated information or uncommon rules relating to their lease, and always allowing them the opportunity to approach you with questions.
Communicating via text or email is one of the easiest ways to cause misunderstandings, as it’s easy to misinterpret tone. For a superb relationship with your renters, try to talk to them face-to-face, or at least over the phone. They’ll appreciate the human contact and being able to connect a face to a name.
This isn’t necessary for every interaction, but if there is ever frustration on either side, a more personal form of contact can defuse the situation and help all those concerned to consider different perspectives.
Show Your Tenants that You Care
There are lots of things that you can do to show your tenants that you care. Pay attention to their lives and ask them how they are. Sending them greetings cards for birthdays, Christmas, and major life events such as the birth of a child will make you stand out as an excellent and caring landlord.
If there is something that is not ideal about the property, the rental agreement, or the way that you manage the lease, it is always good to know so that you can improve. Getting feedback from your tenants is a positive thing because it allows you the opportunity to develop the service that you provide.
Ask for feedback whenever appropriate, and find out what your tenants need from the property and from you. Make sure they know that they can approach you at any time with their views.
Hire a Property Manager
If you are not able to be on hand to meet the needs of your tenants, it’s a good idea to hire someone who will be available for them. Hiring a trusted property manager who will provide quality care and attention for your tenants will help you retain good tenants and make life easier for you all around. An excellent rental property management company will ensure that your tenants receive the best of care and have a good relationship with both the property manager and you.