Landlord relationships with tenants are critical to the success of any rental property. Without a healthy landlord-tenant relationship, landlords will not be able to consistently get the return-on-investment they were hoping to receive when they purchased their rental properties. Here are five mistakes landlords make when it comes to working with their renters:
1. Not treating the relationship as a business relationship
Landlords need to keep their distance and treat their rental property operation as a business. It may be tempting to invite tenants over for family dinners every Sunday or avoiding contracts but either choice has the potential to not end well. At the same time, landlords should always be courteous and polite in all of their meetings with tenants.
2. Skipping tenant screenings
When landlords don’t screen tenants, they risk the chance of renting to people who aren’t the best fit culturally for their properties. Always take time to do everything you need to do when screening tenants such as verifying income, following up with character references, and checking credit history. When talking to potential tenants, it’s key for landlords to pay attention to whether or not potential tenants are people they feel they can work with and communicate with. Doing so will help landlords do a better job of finding the best renters for their properties.
3. Avoiding regular maintenance
Planned maintenance takes more effort but it’s the best way to make sure that everything is working properly. Planned maintenance also helps tenants have the best experience possible from the day they move in all the way to the day they move out of the property. Everything from patching up holes to paint touch-ups every time a tenant moves out helps ensure that the property is in great shape. Regular maintenance also helps landlords avoid major repairs by catching issues before they are out of control like flooding caused by clogged drains.
4. Not keeping the property up to state and local housing codes
It’s the responsibility of the landlords to make sure that rental properties meet health and safety standards. When units are not up to code, tenants may be able to break the terms of the agreement which leaves landlords without a stream of income. Landlords may even be sued by tenants when state and local housing codes are not meant. It’s the responsibility of the landlord to know what needs to be done to obey the laws of the city and stay on top of housing best practices.
5. Lack of communication
Not returning calls, texts, and emails are one of the fastest ways to upset and frustrate tenants. Always reach out to tenants on a regular basis. This can come in the form of a follow-up email after every maintenance check or a monthly text checking in to see how a property’s heating and cooling system is doing. As landlords provide regular opportunities for communication, landlords can keep their tenants happy and quickly handle any maintenance problems. Improving communication opportunities helps landlords create a better living experience for tenants and increase opportunities for positive, online ratings.
While these mistakes do happen, the good news is that landlords can always make improvements in how they engage with tenants and take care of their properties. With these mistakes in mind, what steps will you take this week to improve your property management operations?
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