Maintaining an amicable relationship with your tenant

As renting is increasingly being viewed as belonging to the service industry, tenants now are perceived as clients looking for better customer service and better value for their money. Poor customer service, especially in this digital age, can earn the property owner a bad “rep”, which of course is very bad for business.

An amicable relationship between a tenant and a landlord takes the stress out of the arrangement. For landlords, this means a high occupancy rate, maintenance and care of the property, and a return of investment. For tenants, having a good relationship with the property owner means getting a quicker response to requests for maintenance and better living conditions. But having a good relationship and keeping it depends on how well both parties communicate with each other.

Being a landlord has its challenges and running a property management business efficiently means learning how to communicate with people, especially with tenant(s).

‘The 5 Cs: Hamilton Fraser’s key soft skills for landlords’ offers insights on how landlords on how to achieve a high occupancy rate and keep good tenants.

Make yourself accessible
A common consensus among tenants is that it’s difficult to get in touch with landlords, they are at times dodgy or simply unresponsive. Being accessible doesn’t mean 24/7 availability, but at least give the tenants a direct way to reach you in case something really important that needs your attention comes up. A hands on approach, regardless if your property is being managed by an agent, gives the tenant the impression that you actually care, giving them “a sense of trust and confidence in you as their landlord”.

Have an open communication
For a relationship to prosper, the tenant and the landlord should be able to communicate their expectations and find ways to meet them to avoid any potential conflict. It is the obligation of both parties to keep each other informed of any developments on the property that may have an impact on them.

Keeping the channel of communication open allows the landlord to address issues concerning the property before it becomes a serious problem, thus, saving both tenant and landlord from any legal repercussions.

Empathize
There are instances when even the most reliable tenant may face some difficulties, these could be very trying times for both tenant and landlord, especially for the latter whose livelihood depends upon the income generated from the rental property. But being confrontational hardly solves the problem and may in fact aggravate the situation. Consideration and understanding of the tenant’s circumstance is called for.

Be true to your word
As with any relationship, a collaboration based on trust has strong foundations. Tenants expect their landlords to be accessible and respond on the same day especially with matters that concerns maintenance and security. Simple problems should be dealt with in the shortest or most reasonable time possible, however, extensive repairs which would require more time may need some explaining to the tenant that the problem is being tended to but may take some time and that updates will be provided regularly to keep the tenant informed.

Following these guidelines can help ensure success in the property rental industry, because maintaining a friendly and professional relationship between a tenant and a landlord is important.