How to Be A Better Landlord
Renting out your property can be a wonderful way to supplement your income or even become your primary source of income. However, it comes with tons of responsibility. You are responsible for the safety and well-being of your tenants and the upkeep of the property itself. So what are some things you can do to stay on top of everything as a landlord?
Treat Your Tenants with Respect
Your tenants are human beings, just like you, and they deserve to be treated with respect. That doesn’t mean you need to be best friends with them, but it does mean that you should respond to their concerns promptly and take their feedback seriously. If there is something that needs to be fixed, do it as soon as possible. The sooner you take care of issues, the less likely they are to escalate.
Be Fair and Consistent with Renters
Landlords must be fair and consistent with their tenants. To do that, start by setting clear rules and expectations. Landlords should have a written lease outlining the rental unit’s rules. This will help set clear expectations for the landlord and the tenant from the start. The rules should be simple, easy to understand, and enforced evenly for all tenants.
Also, be available when tenants need you. If a tenant has a problem or issue, they should feel like they can come to you and you will listen to them.
As a property owner or manager, you likely have a good idea of how you like to communicate with your tenants. But what works for you might not work for them. It’s important to be mindful of your tenants’ communication preferences so that you can establish a good working relationship with them.
To do that, when you first meet your tenants, take the time to get to know them a little bit. Find out how they prefer to communicate and honor that preference. If they prefer email, send them emails. If they prefer phone calls, give them a call every now and then. This will show them that you’re willing to meet them where they’re at, and it will make it easier for you to get in touch with them when you need to.
Also, send reminders. No one likes getting calls from their landlord about overdue rent, but it’s important to stay on top of things like this. To avoid becoming the dreaded “nag,” send gentle reminders via your tenants’ preferred method of communication (email, text, etc.). This will help keep everyone on track without putting anyone on edge.
In addition, schedule regular check-ins. In addition to sending reminders, schedule regular check-ins with your tenants. This can be done via phone call, video chat, or even in person (if you live close by).
These check-ins provide an opportunity for you to ask how things are going and address any concerns they may have. They also show your tenants that you care about their experience living on your property and that you’re available if they need anything.
Learn How to Manage Your Property Type
One of the best ways to be a successful landlord is to learn how to manage your unique property type. If you’re renting out a family home, for example, you’ll need to be familiar with local zoning laws and building codes. You’ll also need to understand the basics of repairs and maintenance.
On the other hand, if you’re renting out an HMO or co-living space, you’ll need to be aware of different occupancy rules and fire safety regulations. And if you’re renting out commercial space, you’ll need to know about things like ADA compliance and permit requirements.
One way to gain this knowledge is by attending training courses or finding a mentor who can offer guidance and support. For instance, some businesses offer an HMO mentor service that can help you connect with experienced HMO landlords who are willing to share their knowledge. This service can give you the tools you need to confidently manage your property and help to prevent problems from arising.
Another way to do this is by talking to your tenants about it. Ask them what they think and what areas might need improvement. This can help you acquire actionable knowledge for your specific situation.
Being a landlord doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. By treating your tenants fairly, being consistent in your policies, maintaining open lines of communication, and learning how to manage your property type best, you can become a great one that both you and your tenants will be happy with.