It is very hard to find good tenants these days, it seems. Every landlord at one point or another has a horror story about tenants that ruin properties or don’t pay their rent or both. If you are a new landlord then it is only a matter of time, it seems.
The thing is, it is almost always preventable. There are great tenants out there and when you find some you will want to keep them. This requires being a good landlord so you don’t drive the good tenants away.
It even costs you less money to keep your current tenants than to always be looking for somebody to rent your property. In this article, we will go over several of the ways that you can be a better landlord and avoid having to find a real estate lawyer to intervene in conflicts with your tenants.
1 - Always be professional
Of course it pays off to be friendly with your tenants, try to remember that you are not there to be their friend. The relationship is a business one that relies on professionalism from both parties. When you act professionally it sets the tone for how things should go.
When things are too casual and loose, then this is when problems can arise because there are no protocols. Everything should be in writing or an email when there is important communication. Try to avoid asking your tenants to do something in passing, but instead make formal requests for information. It could be to ask them to keep the noise down or remind them that they are late to pay that month’s rent.
Whatever it is, do it in writing. This leaves a paper trail and gives everybody a clear understanding of expectations.
2 - Keep the property safe and updated
Besides the fact that it is the law, you need to make sure the property is safe for people to live in. Some landlords take a lot of shortcuts to save money and the result is a place that is unsafe. Stairs need to be kept in good repair, electrical systems should be working to code and there should be no water leaks anywhere.
You should also make sure that any appliances that are part of the property are in good working order as the tenant has a right to it being so if they are listed on the lease. Even if it isn’t the law, it is always appreciated when you do routine maintenance on the appliances and property to show that you care about the state of the property for your tenants.
3 - Make it easy for tenants to pay
Asking a tenant to pay with a money order is something that would make things difficult for them. Paying should be as easy as possible so they have no reason to not pay on time.
Offer them a way to pay online or through an app like Venmo so it only takes seconds. Or, simply ask them their preferred way to pay so it is easy for everybody.