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Property investors know that reputation matters. Tenants who have a good rental experience are more likely to renew their leases, pay rent on time, and report maintenance issues promptly. Here are some tips on how to maintain a good relationship with your tenants.
Start Before They Move In
First impressions matter. Prospective tenants who have a pleasant experience through the application and screening process will feel more confident about signing a lease. Greet new occupants with a welcome gift and a packet of information that helps them get to know their new home and neighborhood.
Operate on a “no surprises” basis. Make sure your tenants understand policies, fees, and responsibilities. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Don’t misrepresent the property. Disclose any quirks in the home that tenants need to know in order to live comfortably there. Explain what to do if something needs repair, and go over emergency procedures with them.
Tenants expect to be able to contact their landlord when they have questions or concerns. If there will be disruption due to repair work or maintenance, make sure you inform tenants in advance. Tenants also appreciate reminders about things they should do to keep their home comfortable when seasons change.
Find out your tenants’ preferred method of communication, whether email, text, or phone call. Have tenants put their choice in writing. That way, they’ll know what to expect from you, and you’ll have documentation of their choice.
If tenants choose text as a preferred means to reach them, keep documentation that you advised them in writing to check their cellular service plan to see if texts could result in additional charges.
A clogged drain, broken air conditioner, or washing machine on the fritz makes it hard to enjoy any home. You expect your tenants to report maintenance issues promptly, and tenants expect a rapid response to their request for repair. If it’s not possible to address the problem immediately, give a timeframe within which you’ll fix the problem—and stick to it.
Respect Tenant Privacy
Adhere to notice requirements when you need to enter the property. Don’t be the creepy, over-interested landlord asking for excessive personal details about your tenants’ lives. Communicate respectfully, and allow a reasonable time for response. Remain professional and calm, even if a tenant becomes upset by your need to enter their home. Explain why you need access, and answer any questions they may have.
Keep the Property Secure
Show your tenants you care about their safety and security. Ensure outdoor lighting is adequate, entrances are secure, and alarms are working. Emergency exits must be clearly marked and well lit. Parking areas should be free of obstructions with clear signage about who can park there and who cannot.
Send handwritten birthday greetings and thank-you cards when a tenant renews their lease. Showing your appreciation for their continued confidence in you and your rental property helps build a positive relationship with your tenants.