5 Tips To Help Ensure The Best Possible Tenants
Good tenants are the backbone for any successful rental property. You can have the best property in a great location but if your tenants are poor it won’t make a difference. In many cases the better you are as a landlord the better your tenants will be. There are several little things that you can do that have a major impact on your relationship. With a better relationship is the more likely that your tenant will pay their rent on time and take care of your property. Being a successful landlord is largely about how well you deal with your tenants. Here are five things you can do to help ensure you have the best possible tenants.
- Lay Out All Rules & Guidelines. In your rush to hustle a new tenant in your property it is easy to lose sight of the big picture. Your goal is to not just find a tenant but to find the right one. Before a new tenant signs their lease you need to discuss all relevant rules and guidelines. Most of these may seem obvious to you but you can’t assume your tenant shares your experience. Take the time and go through your lease line by line. Highlight the areas that are of particular importance to you. With your rules you should have clearly defined consequences. Not receiving rent by the 10th of the month could be grounds to initiate eviction. The same could be the case with having an unauthorized pet, smoking or receiving excessive noise complaints. Whatever is important to you it has to be discussed before the lease is signed. Doing this leaves no doubt as far as what is expected of your tenants.
- Deal With Problems Head On. There are times in almost every lease when an unexpected issue pops up. How you handle this will make or break what happens with your tenant. These issues could be as easy as repairing a clogged toilet or as serious as dealing with delinquent rent checks. The first thing you need to do is accept that these problems happen in every lease regardless of the tenant. Instead of looking for someone or something to assign blame to you need to deal with the situation. If something in the house needs to be repaired you need to do it as quickly as possible. By doing so you build a rapport with your tenant and show that you will do everything possible to take care of your property. If the rent check is late you need to find out what is going on right away. Contact your tenant and see what caused the problem and if it can be resolved. Regardless of the issue the longer you let them linger the worse they become. Deal with any problems as soon as they present themselves.
- Be Firm But Fair. There is nothing good that comes from screaming or threatening your tenants. Many landlords fail to understand this. Even though some situations are extremely frustrating you need to keep your wits about you. There is a difference between being firm and overextending your authority. By calling your tenant on the second of the month demanding immediate payment you lose all credibility. You will feel pretty silly if the check is in the mail and sitting in your mailbox. On the flip side you can’t give in to every demand your tenant makes. The best landlords walk the line between firm and fair. They understand that they need to pick and choose their battles. Not only will your tenants respect this but they will be more inclined to take care of your property.
- Don’t Be Overbearing. Tenants want the privacy that comes with home ownership. They don’t want to feel as if their landlord is going to knock on their door any time of day. As a landlord you need to spend more time finding good tenants rather than policing them once they are in the property. By showing up unannounced you completely lose any good will you may have built up. There is nothing wrong with doing periodic property inspections but you need to give your tenants plenty of advanced notice. You may think that you are protecting the property by constantly checking on it but you area also invading your tenants privacy. If you give your tenants a little bit of space they will appreciate it.
- Take Time Screening. Finding good tenants should be treated like hiring someone for a job. You probably wouldn’t hire the first interested applicant nor should you rent to the first interested party. While you can never fully guarantee what kind of tenant you will have screening certainly goes a long way. Don’t just give your tenant an application read through it line by line. Call the previous landlords listed and follow up with their current employer. There is a lot of valuable information listed on the application. The best landlords use this to their advantage. By spending a little time screening through the applications you give yourself the best possible chance at finding your perfect tenant.
A good tenant can make owning a rental property a joy to deal with. Conversely a bad tenant can quickly turn things into a nightmare. As a landlord it is up to you to spend the time and do your homework on your tenants.