The success of your business largely depends on the professional and harmonious relationship you have with your renter. A good landlord and tenant relationship warrant a lower cost of running the business and positive cash flow. Inversely, being stuck with a poorly-vetted renter makes it very challenging for you to stay positive within the connection.
Homeowners and renters that do not see eye to eye will experience a difficult time dealing with each other the entire lease. There will exist a lack of care, respect, and trust, as well as poor consideration of obligations to one another resulting in painful renting experiences that may send you both to court.
Understanding the dynamics involved in building a good relationship between landlord and tenant not only helps you avoid costly legal actions but also improves your bottom line. So whether you are dealing with an ideal type of renter or are stuck with a poorly-vetted one, you need to initiate cultivating a kind of business relationship that works both ways.
Let’s explore in this article how positive association with your renter creates pain points and impacts your investment profits. If you are experiencing challenges right now, we gave some tips on how to resolve the problem right away.
Why Bad Relationships Exist
As much as you and your renter try to avoid conflicts in your relationship, it is not always possible. Knowing why disagreements happen will make it easy for you to resolve them and help you avoid filing an eviction or for the renter filing housing-related complaints.
Fundamentally, miscommunication is among the top reasons why strife happens in your relationship with renters. When you are already in the middle of a bitter disagreement, it is hard to determine where the miscommunication started and that it can be frustrating to both parties. Some homeowners go missing in action and the renter is left disgruntled.
The quickest way to resolve this problem is to set the right expectations on the get-go, either verbal or formalized in the lease agreement.
Failure to Address Common Renter Complaints
It’s hard to keep track of renter complaints if you deal with multiple renters. Without a system in place responding to their calls and addressing their complaints will cause you delays, frustrating them in the process.
The most common renter complaints include:
Housing discrimination is illegal, and renters — people of color, seniors, disabled, or those who belong to different religions — are pretty sensitive about it. Though it may not be intentional, you may be unaware that you are showing behaviors that demonstrate disfavor with them in some situations like:
- Limiting or not letting them use certain common facilities like parking areas, recreational areas, or lifts.
- Responding faster or giving preferences to “favorite” renters on maintenance requests.
- Quick reprimand for minor lease violations while not punishing other renters who commit the same.
- Experiencing harassing behaviors when collecting rent payments.
- Altering the lease agreement during the lease due to changes in the familial status, for instance, a single renter becoming married or a couple renter having a baby.
- Running unscheduled inspections or barging in the property without advance notice.
Non-responsive to Maintenance Requests
Nothing disappoints renters more than a homeowner that shows a lack of concern for their maintenance needs. Failure to address their maintenance requests on time compromises their living condition.
Sometimes without valid reason and advance notice to enter the property, homeowners do so and go through the renter’s belongings. This is an illegal act. Although you have a right of entry, your renter also has the right to privacy, so entrance to the property must be legal concerning each other’s rights.
The True Cost of Poor Relationship With Renters
Both you and your renter will suffer a great deal of cost when you carry on with a less than ideal relationship. Let’s break them down here.
Disgruntled renters that try to show their feelings would intentionally miss paying on time to spite you. It will affect your cash flow and make it hard for your financial obligations to meet on time. Their unhappy renter experience could also lead to neglect and lack of care for your property, resulting in high maintenance costs. If the relationship eventually turns bitter, you’ll be forced to file an eviction costing you at least $3,500. And as the process takes its course for approximately three to four weeks, your earnings will continue to suffer through the loss of rent income. When it’s time to place your property with a new renter, you’ll pay for tenant turnover costs with a price that’s anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000. If you earned a bad reputation in your locality, it could lead to a high vacancy rate of your property.
Delays in addressing maintenance requests from your renters can cost them security, habitability, or health issues. If they pay utilities directly to the providers, maintenance issues could cost them to pay more. In a survey by Visio Lending, 2% of renter respondents said they paid for rental repairs — a move to avoid-build up of costs. If you evict them, they would have to cover moving costs apart from paying the possible increase in rent price when they move to another home.
These instances prove that in a bad relationship both suffer not only from undue stress but also from financial distress.
How to Improve Your Relationship With Renters
To protect your investment and earn the trust of your renters, make an initiative to build a respectful relationship that will not only prevent complaints against you but also make your renter return that favor through good behavior.
Embody the Traits of a Good Homeowner
Renters also aspire for a peaceful and happy renting experience, hence qualifying their homeowners as well. They are drawn to those that show these positive traits:
- Professional in their manner of conducting business
- Organized in time and rental management
- Respectful and considerate of renter’s space or privacy
- Approachable and not judgmental of renter’s condition or situation
- Trustworthy in exchanges of communication and providing maintenance
- Reliable and quick to address renter issues
- Transparent with no hidden agenda
Regular communication is one of the best ways to build a healthy relationship with renters. It is also a key in managing your property since checkpoints with renters can inform you of impending maintenance issues. You can then address them long before these issues require costly repairs.
Good communication likewise promotes the responsiveness of renters, thereby strengthening your relationship even more. To do this, determine how your renter prefers to receive messages or notifications from you. To be considerate of your time and theirs, set a fixed time of the day when you can take non-urgent calls. And as a good measure, always document your interactions.
Know Your Responsibilities
Not being mindful of your legal obligation to your renters may make you commit acts in bad faith that compromise your relationship with them. Taking the initiative to know what they expect from you and the home they are renting will make you a responsible homeowner.
By simply seeking guidance from legal counsel to walk you through the Fair Housing Act or local rental laws in your state or city, you will be able to prepare a legally compliant lease. Consider joining local homeowner associations where you get benefits like learning more about the rental business, hearing from others’ property management experiences, and getting more information on legal advocacies.
Work With a Property Manager
Enlisting the services of a property manager is a step up to having a professional and strong bond between you and your renter. They have insights on what homeowners and renters are aiming to achieve in the whole renting experience and the systems in place to make that happen.
Tech-enabled Poplar Homes is one such property manager. At the onset, our efficient tenant placement service places your property with high-quality renters in 30 days, reducing the days that you suffer from rent income loss. Vetted renters rid you of the potential stress that could arise disagreements. They ensure that leases are law-compliant and fair between you and your renter. And with our 24/7 Maintenance Support hotline, all maintenance concerns are quickly responded to and resolved.
You are conveniently kept in the loop with all these interactions through your homeowner dashboard while remaining hands-off. Our full-stack services help build trust and rapport with renters on your behalf, gaining their loyalty.
For a successful connection with your renters, you need to consider their emotional and physical well-being. You need to provide them with a peaceful and safe home. As you lead by example and demonstrate this sincere concern, they will also reciprocate your good intentions.
Business-wise, this is also a sound strategy to profit more from your investment. Good, happy renters will keep you in business for a long time and protect your property as their own.