The tenant-landlord relationship has gotten a bad rap due to the number of dishonest landlords out there. However, with the right communication skills, both tenants and landlords can have a good relationship with each other that will benefit both parties. Here are a few tips and ideas to keep the lines of communication open.
- Customize the rent/lease agreement. Although you can purchase a basic lease or rent form from an office supply store like Staples, it’s a better idea to customize your own form using tenant-specific details. For example, make sure you note any pet restrictions, rent dates, late payment fees, or penalties, etc.
- Make sure you get more than one contact number from the tenants. It’s good to get more than one phone number and means of contact from your tenant so you can easily keep in touch with them. Ask for a home phone number, cell phone number, and even their e-mail address.
- Call or drop by every month or so to check on your tenants. This will let them know you truly care and are open to any issues that might come up. Some landlords never visit their tenants, which could make tenants feel as if the landlord doesn’t care at all and doesn’t want to hear about what’s going on. At the same time, do let the tenants know ahead of time that you’re planning on dropping in, so that they don’t feel like you’re “checking up” on them too often or disrespecting their privacy and space.
- Clearly communicate your intentions and expectations of the tenants. Make sure you tell the tenants what you expect of them; this will hopefully keep the lines of communication open and prevent headaches down the road.
- If you have a tenant who constantly is late on payments, approach them and ask them what the problem is. Did they lose their job? Do they have other money problems? Getting to the root of why they are always late with their payments will keep your relationship from souring and it might even get your late rent fee.