11 Ways You Can Improve Your Tenant-Landlord Relationship
Apr 9, 2023
The relationship between tenants and their landlord can be difficult to navigate. There are conflicts of interest to surmount and boundaries can become blurred. Landlords who can avoid the pitfalls of the relationship dynamic have a better opportunity to give tenants a more rewarding experience.
It’s never too late to improve your tenant relationship. Start utilizing some of these simple methods to build a more rewarding relationship with renters.
1. Set Clear Rules and Expectations
The landlord and the tenant need to be clear and honest about their expectations from the very beginning. This lays the foundation for a positive professional relationship. Being vague or ambiguous in your expectations can cause misunderstandings and unwelcome surprises later on.
Rules and expectations regarding the property and the relationship should be clearly outlined in the lease agreement. Both the landlord’s and the tenant’s rights and responsibilities need to be plainly listed. The lease agreement should provide transparency of what is expected.
2. Document Everything
Whenever possible, get it in writing. Having proper documentation can avoid the disagreements which come from miscommunication. Keep good records of everything and have it all neatly organized into tenant files for future reference.
3. Be Organized
Being unorganized makes the job of being a landlord much more difficult but it can also negatively impact your tenants. Your renters will not appreciate having their rent payments lost and their important documents misplaced. If you’re an unorganized landlord your tenants would rather be dealing with anyone else.
Improve your tenant relationship by having tools, strategies, and processes in place to help you and your business stay organized. Develop routines to ensure that everything is completed in a timely fashion. Use dedicated property management software such as Property Matrix to help you stay on top of what needs to be done.
4. Maintain Open Lines of Communication
You can improve your tenant relationship by making renters feel that you’re never too busy for them. Answer calls whenever possible and reply to messages and emails promptly. This will make your tenants feel that they can talk to you if they experience any problems.
Landlords should be transparent and easy to contact. Maintaining open lines of communications allows problems to be resolved faster. Never avoid difficult conversations as this can only exacerbate the issues.
5. Always Follow All Laws
Abiding by all landlord-tenant laws protects you and your tenants. All landlords need to make sure they are thoroughly familiar with all federal, state, and local Fair Housing laws. Ensure that your staff is familiar with relevant laws as well.
The laws are in place to protect tenants from landlords who may be inclined to do something illegal or discriminatory against them. If you are not sufficiently well versed in the laws then you may accidentally break them. Protect yourself from litigation by always making sure all laws are followed.
6. Be Accessible and Responsive
Tenants want to know that they can rely on their landlord if they have a problem. Your renters know how to contact their landlord and you should always be accessible to them. Reply to missed calls and messages promptly and appropriately.
When a tenant alerts you to a problem you need to respond right away. Improve your tenant relationship by demonstrating that you will act on their concerns. This is a good step towards building trust and respect.
7. Keep Your Promises
Never make a promise you don’t intend to keep and when you do make a promise always follow through. If you don’t keep your promises you will break the trust that your tenants have in you. Once it is broken trust is very difficult to build back up again so always do as you say.
8. Be Friendly And Approachable
If you’re looking for ways to improve your tenant relationship, be pleasant and friendly. Practice common courtesy when dealing with your tenants and never let your emotions dictate your actions. Always be happy to answer any questions your tenants may have and show them you’re never too busy for your renters.
Start building your tenant relationship from the start. Take time to get to know them during the screening process. Ensure that they feel welcome when they move in and that they are comfortable in their new home.
9. Maintain Healthy Boundaries
It’s good to be a friendly and helpful landlord but remember to keep the relationship professional. You may be able to improve your tenant relationship by taking a step back and giving renters their space. Don’t forget that although you may own the property, your tenant is calling it home.
Never drop in unannounced and limit official visits to a minimum. For matters that don’t require urgent attention use less invasive methods of communication such as text or email. Tune in to subtle cues and back off if you feel like a tenant is looking for more distance.
10. Be Open to Suggestions
Tenants have a more familiar understanding of the unit and they know what it’s like to have you as a landlord. They are in a position to offer suggestions for improvement that may otherwise never come to your attention. It’s a good idea to pay attention to their advice.
Landlords can encourage feedback by openly soliciting suggestions from their renters. Be prepared for criticism and try to view it as an opportunity for improvement. Encourage your tenants to speak openly with you and never get defensive.
11. Encourage Community Involvement and Host Events
Help tenants feel more connected to their community by telling them about local events and things to do in the area. Utilize building websites and portals to share information about what is happening in the neighborhood. Partner with local businesses to offer discounts and deals to your tenants.
Show your tenants how much you appreciate them by hosting an event just for them. Improve your tenant relationship with a barbecue, holiday themed party, or an outdoor movie night. It’s a great opportunity to build a sense of community while improving your relationship with your tenants.
Improving your relationship with your tenants doesn’t have to be difficult. It takes a bit of planning and some courtesy to get you well on your way. Be the kind of landlord that you would want to have and your tenants will love you for it.