If you’re leasing your residential property for the first time, perhaps you’ve made it through the difficult first steps – preparing your property for rent, choosing and vetting your tenants, and making a deal with one of the many Houston property management companies.
Now that the difficult part is over, you might be inclined to sit back and watch the rent money roll in. However, you’re job isn’t over. You’re now a landlord, and it’s your responsibility to take proper care of your property and maintain a good rapport with your tenants.
You should work to sustain a quality relationship with your tenants – a relationship that will benefit everyone involved. If you’re a good landlord to your tenants, they’re more likely to stick around for another lease. Because attracting new tenants is costly and time consuming, persuading current tenants to stay longer is a wise financial choice.
If you’re unsure how to be a good landlord, property management companies in the Woodlands offer these tips for getting started:
Choose the right tenants.
Your ability to be a good landlord is partially decided by the tenants you choose. At the outset, if you choose unreliable, unruly tenants, your relationship is likely to be short and unhappy. Vet your tenants properly to be sure they can pay rent and will follow reasonable behavior rules, like not doing illegal activities on your property. Meet your tenants personally before scheduling the lease signing. You should have a good impression of the people who will be living on your property. Choosing bad tenants can mean legal trouble, lost money, and even evictions. No landlord wants to go through that.
Your tenants should know the rules of living on your property. These rules were likely outlined in the lease, but saying them out loud in plain speech helps them be more easily understood. If you’re renting to good tenants, they want to avoid trouble from you, and will follow any reasonable rules you give them. However, they can’t follow the rules if they don’t know them. Communicating your rules clearly and early in the relationship is good practice for happy tenants.
Have a clear lease.
In the same vein, the lease you sign with your tenants should be clear and specific. All local laws and regulations should be addressed in the lease. Concerns such as penalties for late rent, tenant behavior restrictions, and maintenance responsibilities should also be in the lease. Houston property management businesses can help you customize a lease for your specific needs.
Stay on top of repairs.
If you’ve ever been a tenant, you have probably experienced how frustrating it is to have a landlord who refuses to make repairs in a timely manner. Having the help of Houston property management companies can be incredibly helpful in this area, as your property management company can do the repairs for you. For non-urgent repairs, complete them as soon as you reasonably can, and communicate to the tenant the timeline for the repairs. Tenants dislike having to wait for fixes, but what’s even worse is having no idea when the fix will occur. If the tenant is experiencing an emergency requiring repair immediately, this repair should be at the top of your priority list.
Reward tenants for good behavior.
If you give your tenants a reason to stay around for another lease or perform some property maintenance for them, they’re going to appreciate it – and be happy about it. Giving tenants rewards like carpet cleanings or minor appliance installations is a great way to maintain a good relationship.
Tenants don’t want a landlord who is overbearing and hanging around the property. However, being impossible to contact is just as bad. Emergencies happen, and you must be reachable when they do. Tenants should have at least a personal phone number in which to contact you. Supplying an email address and more than one phone number is preferable. If there is a day or days you can’t be in contact, give your tenants somebody else to contact during those times. Also, understand for many tenants that contacting the landlord is stressful. If your tenant is contacting you, they likely have a pressing concern and need your help. Listen carefully and thoughtfully to what your tenant says to be sure you address his or her needs. In the cases where a tenant contacts you with something you can’t help with, listen to them thoroughly before telling them so.
Respect tenant privacy.
Whether or not you feel it personally, you have power over your tenants. They can easily become uncomfortable if you drop by unannounced. Letting yourself into your tenant’s home without their permission is against the law. If you are going to stop by to speak to your tenants or drop something off, give them a few days warning so they know to expect you. Make sure to schedule these times at a reasonable hour of the day, not too early or too late.
Your tenants should pay their rent on time. However, life sometimes gets in the way. If your tenant forgets to pay the rent until a day late, or accidentally gives you a check that bounces, be understanding. Repeated problems of this nature become a financial issue for you, but trust your instincts and exercise basic kindness and understanding when a tenant makes an honest mistake. The tenant will remember your understanding when the time comes for renewing the lease or increasing the rent.
The tenant-landlord relationship is a business relationship. You should understand federal and Texas laws for tenant rights, landlord and tenant obligations, and evictions. These laws are easy to find online. Your Houston property management company can help you understand the important facts.
Being a good landlord requires some work, but it is rewarding personally and financially. Choosing a quality Houston property management company can help you on the path to becoming the landlord your tenants deserve. Green Residential has helped landlords of all kinds create solid, rewarding tenant-landlord relationships.
Contact Green Residential to find out more about what it means to be a good landlord and how you can best profit from leasing your property.