As a landlord, it is in your own best interest to do your job well. You can reduce the likelihood that you will encounter problems or issues with tenants by being a great landlord. So, how can you be a great landlord? Be sure to keep the following in mind.
Treat your tenants respectfully. It’s the golden rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. As a landlord, you should strive to always treat your tenants with the utmost respect, even in tense or difficult situations. Treating tenants respectfully means always staying true to your word and honoring your commitments. If you make a commitment to fix something on Monday, fix it on Monday — not Tuesday. Be organized, dependable, and reliable so your tenants know that you respect them and that they can depend on you.
Keep your property in excellent condition. As a landlord, you are also a businessperson, so it is crucial that you treat your properties as your place of business. That means keeping things in excellent condition. Make sure repairs are completed in a timely fashion by qualified professionals, and make sure your properties are generally well maintained. Keep paint jobs fresh and the lawn cut, and ensure furnishings are attractive and function properly. Remember, part of keeping your properties in excellent condition is paying into a maintenance and repair fund every month, so you have the funds to keep up on routine maintenance as well as make any emergency repairs.
Have clear policies and procedures in place. Just like any businessperson, you need to have clear policies and procedures in place governing how you handle the renting process. For example, have new tenants complete a move-in/move-out report, include house rules as part of the lease, and make sure tenants understand every component of your renting policy. Having clear policies and procedures in place, and effectively and clearly communicating them, can help you win the respect of your tenants while helping ensure there are clear mechanisms to deal with any problems or issues that might arise.
Be attentive. Don’t just give the tenants the keys and then disappear. The key to being a great landlord is being attentive. Are the neighbors getting along? Did your new tenants move in smoothly? Are the contractors on schedule to finish that paint job? Make sure you pay attention to what is going on in and around your properties so that you can address any issues that might arise quickly and effectively.
Properly train and manage any employees. Don’t leave employees to figure things out on their own. Always provide all new employees with proper guidance so that they can effectively manage relationships with tenants. This includes an orientation booklet and training.
Be careful about who you accept as a tenant. Don’t let just anyone lease your property. Make sure you have rental procedures in place and have access to a reputable background check service. Choosing your tenants wisely can help reduce the risk that you will run into problems down the line. If you do encounter some kind of tenant issue, make sure you understand your rights as a landlord and are up to date on the latest guidelines from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.