Does it ever seem as though you and your tenants are on a different page? If so, the problem could be due to ineffective communication. More than one landlord has encountered problems where tenants continually break rules because they claim they either did not know what the rules were or because they thought they had an understanding with the landlord. Whatever the case may be, it all comes down to poor communication. As the property owner, it is incumbent upon you to ensure that your tenants understand the rules. Good communication sets the stage for ensuring that rules are followed and misunderstandings are kept to a minimum. The following tips can help you to establishing and improving communication with your tenants.
First, never make any assumptions. This is one of the most frequent mistakes that landlords often make. Regardless of what you may think you know about your tenants, the truth of the matter is that you can never know what a tenant is planning to do.
Also, never rely solely on verbal communication. If you ever played the telephone game as a kid, you know how words can be mangled and misunderstood. When it comes to managing your property rental business, there is simply too much at stake to leave it to chance. Put all of the terms of the lease in writing. This should include all terms regarding payments, rules, and penalties for not following the rules of the lease. You as well as all tenants should sign and date the lease. If a change is made to the lease, put it in writing and have everyone sign the updated lease.
Keep in mind that it is not possible to communicate too much with your tenants. Thankfully, you have a wealth of tools and platforms available at your disposal. While some tenants will prefer to communicate over the phone, others may prefer to communicate via text or email. Take the time to find out how your tenants prefer to communicate and try to meet them on their preferred platform. Remember; however, that if you are sending any type of legal correspondence, it will still need to be sent via U.S. mail.
In the process of communicating with your tenants, try to avoid the common mistake of talking too much and not listening enough. It is crucial that you make an effort to be an active listener and really hear what your tenant is saying. Show interest in what your tenant is saying and make an effort to make eye contact. Avoid interrupting, as tempting as it may be.
If you are not certain or believe there may be some misunderstanding, do not be afraid to ask questions and have your tenant clarify what they have said or even reiterate what you have said to ensure that everything is clear.
Establishing good communication with your tenants takes time, patience, and effort. It is worth it in the end; however, to ensure the maintenance of a positive relationship and avoid problems in the future.