Renting out a spare property is an excellent way to make extra income or spending money, but many landlords are surprised when their renting experience doesn’t turn out like they expected. From vandalism to theft and simple verbal abuse, not every relationship with a tenant is going to be a walk in the park. This is why we have compiled a list of guidelines to help you maintain a great relationship with your tenant and, ultimately, thoroughly enjoy renting your property out to other individuals, families or couples.
First Things First – Laying Down the Law
At the very start of the relationship, before you have begun to invest time and energy into developing a good relationship, it’s vital that you lay down some firm rules. This way, your tenant will immediately understand what is and isn’t allowed, as well as what they can expect over the time they live in your property. Additionally, this step of the process can help you weed out bad tenants, who may not be inclined to follow your rules and could end up costing you more than you gain.
You may also want to discuss some of the rules with your renter, to help them understand why such rules exist. This way, they won’t be blindly following rules that they don’t care about, but can actually grasp the consequences, and costs, of breaking the rules. For example, if you have a leak in your swimming pool near the top but don’t explain this to your tenant, they won’t understand why there is a rule against filing the water to the brim. This could cost you in wasted water, but can be easily avoided by simply explaining the situation.
A Good Relationship Encourages Open Discussion
One of the greatest advantages of maintaining a good relationship is that it encourages open discussion. For a landlord, this means that it’s never difficult or daunting to collect rent or check up on the apartment. For a tenant, it means they never feel scared to discuss property problems, allowing you to make repairs or solve any issues before they become unmanageable.
For example, if your tenant is concerned about angering you if they tell you about a water leak, the leak may eventually become far worse and substantially more expensive to repair. Conversely, with open dialogues and a friendly relationship, the tenant won’t feel intimidated to speak to you about various issues, ensuring that you can offer a solution before the problem gets worse.
Developing Trust and Respect
While many landlords regard the relationship solely as a business agreement, the truth is that no relationships are that simple, and you need to show that you trust and respect your tenant in order to gain their trust and respect. This is important because your tenant will be living in your property for an extended period of time, and if they don’t respect you, then they aren’t likely to properly maintain and take care of the property. On the other hand, a tenant who trusts and respects you will be more inclined to show respect to your property, avoiding vandalism or damage wherever possible.
There are a few ways in which you can build this trust and respect with the person living in your property, and some of these require a small amount of extra effort. However, the investment of time and energy will pay off when your property is left intact and well-maintained, without needing unnecessary repair costs.
Ways in which you can build trust and respect include:
- Showing respect when you first meet, as well as each time thereafter.
- Reacting in a timely manner to solve any issues and cater to repairs.
- Allowing your tenant some freedom in regards to making the property feel more like a personal home.
- Offering a small grace period to fix any problems they caused or to pay late rent – But don’t allow it to happen more than once or twice.
- Respecting your tenant’s privacy as an individual – and not simply barging into their home uninvited.
- As shared by UrbanIgloo, reward good tenants with gift cards or small gestures of appreciation – and remember that they are essentially your customers whom you want to keep happy.
These are all excellent ways to develop and nurture trust and respect in your tenant/landlord relationship, and can help you personally enjoy your renting experience while benefitting financially. Additionally, Tenant Alert offered insight by noting that it can be difficult to find a new good tenant if your current one leaves. So keep your tenant happy so as to avoid having to go through the stress of finding another.
Nurture the Relationship, but Keep Your Distance
While it’s natural to want to befriend your tenant, keeping a healthy distance can help you avoid some of the common traps that other landlords fall into. You see, if you are too close with your tenant and they can’t pay the rent, you may not have the heart to kick a friend out onto the street. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid friendly conversation or talking about common interests with your tenant, however, but just be sure that your relationship doesn’t end up compromising your financial security.
It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to go over and above to fix problems that aren’t stipulated in the rental agreement, and keeping a healthy distance can ensure that you don’t feel bad for declining unreasonable requests.
When renting out an apartment, freehold property or a condo for rent through a reputable agency like DDProperty, it’s important to remember these basic guidelines for maintaining a great relationship with your tenant. This way, you will be able to not only reap the benefits of extra expendable income, but also enjoy the experience of renting out your property. Just remember, however, that your rented property is a business investment, and you need to ensure that it continues to pay returns, even if it means kicking out a friendly tenant who won’t pay their rent.