A happy tenant means a happy landlord (and a happy property manager!).
Maintaining a good relationship with tenants is not always easy, but it causes much less hassle than finding new tenants or dealing with troublesome tenants down the track. Most people would rather put in a bit of effort up front than have consistently late rent payments or damage to their property.
Sometimes establishing a good relationship with a tenant is difficult, and it can be even harder to keep it. It’s about finding a balance between ensuring things are kept in order and not harassing tenants unnecessarily.
Here are a few things you can do to keep the peace.
Hint: a trustworthy property manager will do all of these things for you!
Respond to maintenance issues quickly
Imagine how frustrating it would be as a tenant to put in a maintenance or repair request and not have it attended to for days or weeks. An investment property should be treated as if you, as the investor, are living in it yourself, so it’s important to act quickly when it comes to maintenance to ensure your tenants have a comfortable and safe living environment.
You will often find that tradespeople can’t attend to the job straight away if it’s not urgent. Most people will be quite understanding, but you should still let them know and keep tenants up to date so they don’t stress too much. It’s also a good idea to follow up afterwards to ensure the issue has been completely resolved and so the tenant knows you’re looking out for them.
In addition, from a financial standpoint, the longer you leave some maintenance issues, the more expensive they can get!
Tenants appreciate that landlords and property managers want to make sure their tenants are happy. Inspections are pivotal in ensuring the tenants are comfortable and that property is being well looked after. They also provide tenants with an opportunity to point out anything minor maintenance issues that need to be attended to.
Just be careful of not bothering tenants with inspections too frequently, as they are entitled to the quiet enjoyment of their living space and, by law in Queensland, you can only conduct inspections three months apart at a minimum.
Accidents do happen and even the most trustworthy and responsible tenants can cause damage to a property. It’s important to remain calm when dealing with tenants in these situations. If the tenant has a good track record, there’s no reason to threaten your relationship with them over an anomalous event. After all, that’s what landlord insurance is for!
Always be mindful of the tenant’s rights and needs
Being mindful and courteous will go a long way in keeping your tenant’s trust and respect. It’s important to outline expectations from day dot so that you’re less likely to create unnecessary conflict from miscommunication.
We suggest having an open conversation about what to expect when it comes to maintenance, pets, inspections etc. and keep an open book with tenants.
On occasion, landlords need to or want to sell their property, which can cause significant disruption to the tenant and their privacy. Be open with them and give as much notice as you can when it comes to open for inspections or any paperwork that needs to be done.
The same goes for changing the weekly rent. Not all landlords are greedy and sometimes the market simply dictates that rent will need to go up because of rising costs. When possible, try to explain to the tenant why the rent is being increased and give them as much warning as possible so they are more likely to stay.
Let good tenants know they are appreciated
If you have particularly good tenants, it’s never a bad idea to give them a token of appreciation. Going the extra mile to maintain a positive relationship can make a big difference, so consider writing them a Christmas card or giving them a small gift such as chocolate to encourage their loyalty into the future.
If you’d like more advice on managing a rental property, get in contact with the Red & Co Rentals Team at [email protected] or call 1300 88 73 28.