Four Ways Landlords Can Foster Positive Landlord-Tenant Relationships
Valon has built several successful businesses. He is the founder & CEO of Link NY Realty & Bedrock Company, publisher of Bronx River Journal.
One of the biggest errors a landlord can make is to treat their tenants with little regard for their needs. Some landlords provide minimal or no transparency in terms of changes in the property. Some spend very little time and money to improve the property. Others lack empathy for their tenants as well as their ever-changing needs and struggles, while other landlords may not take the time to reflect on their successes or defeats. These errors cause strain on the landlord-tenant relationship and create an atmosphere of distrust.
The landlord-tenant relationship should be considered a partnership. By paying rent the tenant helps you, as the landlord, pay the mortgage, property tax and other expenses. There are a few things you can do as a landlord to build and maintain good relationships with your tenants.
Transparency is key. Have regular meetings, in-person or virtual where you can explain to them the latest developments in the property and what is coming up in the future, and ask for their feedback. As the tenant actually resides at the property, they can offer a firsthand perspective on what the property needs. When tenants feel that their input is important to the landlord, they are more likely to have a sense of responsibility and ownership toward the property. In turn, the tenant will contribute to maintaining the property and taking care of it like their own home.
Face-to-face or virtual meetings, emails and any other form of communication about the property is essential and beneficial for both the landlord and the tenant. Being prompt when responding to tenants is pivotal. Tenants will feel like you are attentive and care about their concerns when you quickly respond to their inquiries. Responding within 24 hours is effective, though the quicker you respond to your tenants, the better. Ensure your communication with the tenant is clear, is concise and covers all necessary details. Preventing misunderstandings and confusion improves your relationship with the tenant and saves you valuable time.
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You must spend money to make money. Always invest in an investment property where you have tenants residing. Dedicate a budget, a percentage of the property income, to reinvest into the property. When tenants see that the landlord is investing in the property they reside in, they will appreciate the landlord further and this will contribute to a positive landlord-tenant relationship.
Invest in projects with the tenants in mind first, as this will result in a property that feels more valuable to the tenants. Prioritize projects that address existing tenant concerns, like building maintenance. Fixing issues that are frustrating tenants will show that you care about their well-being and elicit an immediate positive response.
Be approachable. If a tenant is going through a hard time financially, talk to them. They may be able to pay the rent in installments for a limited time until they get back on their feet, and if not, then they could work with you to start showing the apartment and rent it to the next tenant. This situation would be more ideal for both parties, as opposed to immediately starting a legal procedure. Evicting a tenant could be costly and may take up to a year depending on the case and where in the United States the property is located.
It is essential that you take time to reflect on your triumphs and defeats as a landlord. If something is working well, build upon it. If it is not, change your approach. Constantly rebuilding ourselves and our strategies leads to successful businesses and relationships. Maintain organized records of all tenant communications so that you can analyze them and determine if you can see any trends. Check aspects like your average response time to tenants, the amount of positive and negative feedback you receive and how much money is spent on addressing client concerns. You may notice trends in tenant concerns or your interactions with tenants. Reflect on these trends and determine how you can improve your management of the property.
Landlords should take care to avoid appearing ignorant to or neglectful of tenants’ needs. Showing poor transparency, inefficiently communicating with tenants, prioritizing profits over tenants’ needs, leaping to extreme measures or repeating the same mistakes can result in tenants feeling that the landlord does not care about their well-being. By avoiding these behaviors, landlords can make their properties more hospitable for tenants and more profitable for themselves, paving the way for a positive relationship between the two parties.
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