Good tenants are like gold in the real estate market. Maintaining a good relationship with your tenants has a host of benefits – one of them being that you can rest assured that you will be paid your full rent and on time. They are also more likely to look after your property well if they have a good relationship with you.
And what’s more, you don’t have to spend a whole lot of time and money on finding new tenants every time the lease period ends because the better a relationship you have with your tenant, the better chance that they will want to renew the lease (or at least send a few referrals along your way). As with any relationship, there are no definite rules that say how a landlord should behave – but there are few things that can help pave the way for a bright and enjoyable relationship with your tenant.
Hit the right note from the beginning
Make sure that your property is in good condition when your tenants move in. A well maintained property is going to set the tone of your relationship right from the start. If you’ve promised to do any repairs before the move-in date, make sure that you stick to them. If there any specific rules that you want your tenants to follow while they occupy your property, inform them before the lease is signed so that there is no confusion later on.
A useful tip from an expert in the property manager business: give your tenant a tiny ‘move-in’ gift. It does not have to be anything extravagant – a couple of movie tickets or a gift voucher is good enough –after all, it is the thought that counts.
If you don’t want your tenant to call some shady handyman for repairs, or worse, do it himself, make sure that you remain available at all times. If you are going to be travelling, let your tenant know how to contact you in case of an emergency. Another tip from the experts: check in with your tenants one month after they move in just to find out if everything is okay. It shows that you care about their wellbeing.
Don’t show up unannounced
That said, don’t drop in unannounced and assume that you will be welcome at all times just because it is your house. You may own the property, but you’ve turned over the keys to someone now and you need to make a prior appointment before visiting.
Okay, this doesn’t mean that you have to call your tenants every other day, but don’t disappear for months at an end or show your face only when there is some issue. Try to stay in regular touch with the tenants, even if it is only once a month. Remember to wish them on birthdays and anniversaries. Be consistent with the upkeep and maintenance of your property – don’t wait for any problems to come up to take action.
Kurt Jacobson is a snowboarding enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 11 times in the past nine years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding the mountain, he writes about all things home related for the HouseHunter.co.