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Communication: The Key to a Healthy Landlord-Tenant Relationship

Landlords and tenants want one thing: To have a good relationship that lasts. Maintaining a positive relationship with your tenants does not only help you avoid problems, it also boosts your rental property business. We can implement a lot of strategies to make sure that things go as expected, but what we often miss out on is communication.

Communication is an art and skill that many landlords take for granted. If you don’t communicate with tenants, even the smallest problems result in evictions and lawsuits. For example, failure to pay rent on time. The simple act of communicating promotes understanding and respect for both parties. It prevents future problems from happening and current ones from escalating.

Tenants many forget some things, so remind them politely.

Yes, tenants are expected to read and understand all that is written in the lease, from renewal to pets to subletting. But as much as you wish the tenant would remember everything, unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. There are some important things you indicate in the lease that a tenant may honestly forget after a few months. 

Before you get furious over a mistake, approach the tenant in a nice way. State your concern and point out a specific part of the lease you’re concerned about. If possible, give the tenant a copy of the signed lease so they can refer to it anytime.

Don’t be afraid to over-communicate.

Oftentimes a landlord assumes that tenants hear their message loud and clear. When it comes to landlording, more is more. A tenant may not get what you really meant when you sent a text message, email, or stated something in the lease form.

At the same time, encourage your tenants to communicate with you especially if something goes wrong in the unit or if they have any personal concern that relates to their stay.

Be professional, not emotional.

Whether you have tenants that abide by your rules or tenants that cause a lot of trouble, remember not to attach emotion to your words. Emotional landlords are landlords who feel strongly about the rental property maybe because they grew up in it. To them, the property has a lot of sentimental value. 

Being emotionally attached shows when you constantly worry about your property, create rules that are unreasonable or unrealistic to tenants, immediately turn down a tenant’s requests especially if they involve upgrading the property. When communicating, use business-like terms. For example, avoid referring to the property as “my home” or “my old house.” It also pays to be aware of the laws so you would know what and what not to do.

Be responsive.

It costs you more time and money to look for new tenants than to retain the ones you have. One of the ways to keep tenants happy and make them stay longer is to be responsive to any issues they complain about. The earlier you address problems, the more likely for you to avoid major disasters.

There are also tenants that tend to be shy and would hesitate to contact you for the fear of being bothersome. It can also be that they assume that an issue is too small and therefore doesn’t require your immediate attention. It’s important to touch base with them every now and then. This gives them the opportunity to communicate requests and problems that make their stay uncomfortable.

Final Word

Effective communication makes a great business tool. It maintains quality tenant-landlord relationships by creating transparency, preventing misunderstandings, and promoting mutual respect. You would be surprised at how easier managing your rental property business can be by applying the communication tips above.

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