Landlord Blog

Education and news for smart DIY landlords!

How to Be a Good Landlord and Have Happier Tenants

When people enter landlording for the first time, most often they assume that all they should do is collect monthly rent after the lease has been signed. Sometimes the desire to ensure that everything goes perfectly makes you a difficult landlord to deal with. 

This way of thinking is wrong because truth is, being a successful landlord requires that you treat tenants like customers. As much as possible, you’d want to keep them longer and reap the benefits of a healthy landlord-tenant relationship.

In this post, you will learn 10 simple ways to becoming an awesome landlord. Read on.

1. Stick to your rules.

Landlords need to establish clear, specific rules and enforce them - whether they’re about timely payments, pets, and care for your property. Enforcing the rules allows you to train your tenants to be responsible. It also helps you earn their respect.

2. Improve your tenants’ security.

What tenants want more than anything is to feel safe in your rental. Tenants appreciate the fact that you care about their security even in the most simple ways, such as installing stronger doors, quality metal locks, and outdoor lighting.

3. Don’t micromanage tenants.

You feel the pressure of a first-time landlord, but don’t let it allow you to bother your tenants unnecessarily. Give your tenant updates once in a while and inform them about maintenance. Let them feel that they are living in a home and not just an apartment rental.

4. Adopt online rent payments.

Decrease late payments and make them more convenient to tenants, especially millennials, by letting them pay rent online from their mobile device. Collecting rent online allows you to set-up recurring payments and send out reminders.

5. Do a walk-through inspection before a tenant moves in.

After a tenant signs the lease and before he moves in, a landlord has to inspect the rental with the tenant. This important step shouldn’t be missed as this keeps everyone informed about the original condition of the unit. Make sure to document the walk-through process.

Suggested Reading: Doing a Walk-Through Inspection Before a Tenant Moves In

6. Have open lines of communication.

Establish trust between you and tenants by making communication easy. Rather than sticking to one method of communication such as email, provide other options like Skype, text, or phone call. Let tenants know that they should inform you of emergency situations.

7. Keep the rental in good condition.

Landlords are responsible for providing tenants a home that’s habitable. That said, check that everything in the rental is working - toilet, kitchen sink, and electrical systems. If repairs should be made, attend to them in a timely manner. Address mold and pest infestation before a tenant moves in.

8. Document everything.

Anything about the rental should be documented, especially emergencies and repairs. Documentation immediately resolves misunderstandings in the future. I wrote a blog post about basic record keeping system tips for landlords which you should read. Categorize your physical records so you can easily access them anytime.

9. Know the things you should disclose.

You as a landlord should inform tenants of certain things about the rental that will affect future decisions and how they live. These important disclosures, according to the Consumer Affairs CA booklet, include lead-based paint, carcinogenic material, pest-control treatments, and previous death in the unit.

Suggested Reading: Landlord Disclosures: Things You Should Tell Your Tenant

10. Give a reasonable advance notice before entering the unit.

There are very specific times when a landlord is allowed to access the rental. Reasons include emergencies, agreed upon repairs, and when you are to show the unit to future tenants. Give your tenant a written notice 24 hours in advance. The notice should specify the date, time, and reason for the entry.

Learn More About Becoming a Successful Landlord...

Finally, I offer you the opportunity to take a complete DIY landlording course: Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials. Everything you need to know to become not just a landlord, but a successful landlord, is here.