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Nurturing the Landlord Tenant Relationship

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If you’re an investment property landlord, then you probably already understand the benefits of maintaining solid relationships with your tenants.  There is truly a fine line here, as you need to have a no-nonsense approach yet still be courteous and respectful.  Thus, the purpose of this post is to highlight some tips for optimizing the relationship you have with your tenants.

Importantly, managing this relationship goes beyond simply making repairs when needed.  Conversely, it starts from the very beginning – the moment the tenant moves into one of your apartments.  As such, you can get the relationship off to a good start by providing a welcome package upon move in (landlord welcome letter, your contact information, list of local amenities and service providers, coupons, a small treat, etc.).  It’s also a good idea to ensure that the unit is spotless prior to move in, and to provide some basic necessities for the tenant such as a roll of toilet paper, paper towels, and other items that will be needed from the get-go.

Another good idea is to establish an immediate rapport with the new tenant by showing him the ins and outs of the property.  This includes educating the tenants on the utilities, basic property maintenance tasks that they may be responsible for, the rules of the house, and your own expectations.  By doing this, not only are you showing care and respect for your new tenant, but you are also letting them know what you expect so there is no ambiguity surrounding your expectations going forward.

Maintaining open channels of communication is also critical.  Part of this relies on the initial provision of your contact information, but the bigger piece is the ongoing openness of your communication in general.  Basically, if the tenant calls you, either answer straight away or call him back as soon as you possibly can.  Do not wait for days to respond, or worse yet ignore the tenant altogether.  Yes this is common sense, but I’ve seen landlords ignore tenant phone calls so often that it’s worth mentioning here.   Ignoring tenant calls will not only damage your relationship with the tenant, but you are also putting your property at risk because tenants usually only call if there is some sort of problem or needed repair.  By ignoring this type of call, you can bet that a seemingly small problem will grow into a larger one very quickly.

The bottom line is that people will be living in your property, so it’s important to cater to their needs.  To do otherwise is simply poor business and can put your property at risk from unresolved repairs or even tenant retaliation or sabotage.  So, don’t risk it!

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