How to Navigate the Landlord-Tenant Relationship with Your New Renters

How to Navigate the Landlord-Tenant Relationship with Your New Renters

  • David Passman
  • 11/13/18

Develop a Pleasant Working Relationship With New Tenants in Your Rental Properties.

Whether you’re a first-time landlord or you’ve been renting out properties for years, navigating a relationship with new tenants is always a little stressful. You want the renters to respect you and your property. But you also want to warmly welcome them and allow them to feel at home in your place.

To that end, here are three keys to successfully navigating the landlord-tenant relationship with your new renters.

1. Find Reliable Tenants Through a Careful Qualifying Process.

Investing the time in finding the best possible tenants will save you time, money, and energy for months (or even years) to come. 

Run all your applicants through a careful screening process that includes checks on qualifying income, credit scores, criminal background, and rental history. 

For every applicant, you should ask:
  • Can they afford the rent? Do they have pay stubs or bank statements to prove it?
  • Do they have solid credit scores?
  • Is there any history of criminal activity?
  • What do the previous landlords have to say? Were rent payments ever late? Did the landlords ever receive complaints about the tenants? What condition was the home left in when the renters moved out? 
Use these criteria to objectively evaluate all applicants. 

2. Set Expectations Early.

To avoid potential misunderstandings, it’s important to set expectations from the start. 

Make sure your renters understand their obligations. Things like:

  • Rent payment due dates, and what happens if rent isn’t received on time
  • Responsible behaviors (noise levels, cleanliness, utility payments, etc.)
  • Reporting any maintenance issues immediately so they can be addressed before they become a bigger problem
  • The process for giving notice and moving out at the end of the lease
Also explain your obligations as the landlord. Such as:

  • How soon your renters can expect a response when they contact you
  • How much notice you will give before visiting property
  • Your process for holding and returning their security deposit
Many of these expectations should be clearly covered in your lease agreement. Which leads us to the final key...

3. Document Everything.

There are lots of little details to every rental transaction. Having all these details in writing allows both the landlord and the tenants to reference a written record of what both parties have agreed to.

Not only does this minimize confusion and misunderstandings, but it also helps to keep both parties honest. 

The lease and all subsequent lease renewals are the most important documents to your rental transactions. But you may even consider asking your renters to contact you via email instead of by phone. This way you’ll have a complete record of communication for moving parts like maintenance requests or lease renewal negotiations. 

Bonus Key to a Successful Working Relationship With Your Renters: Show Your Appreciation.

When you find renters who pay their rent on time and take care of the property, show your gratitude! Thank you cards and small gifts of appreciation go a long way toward getting these reliable renters to renew.

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