How to be a landlord that your tenants love
Owning a property management company, or just renting out one property or two, is a tough business even at the best of times. As a landlord, you have to deal with the problems of other people as well as your own. This can often seem endless and exhausting. You’re stressed and you feel like you’re shouldering way too much responsibility. Now throw a pandemic on top of all this, and MORE regulations. It’s enough to turn any good-natured landlord into a cynical one.
There is a silver lining to all of this - this is the perfect time for you to create goodwill between yourself and your tenant(s). Any show of faith and understanding during this period will create a lasting impression and maybe even cement your reputation as a considerate landlord. Here are a few tips you can make use of -
Be more flexible with rent payments
Your tenant may not be as financially sound as before. Their business might have suffered, or they may have lost their source of income. Unexpected medical bills could have put a dent in their savings. So if they communicate with you about being unable to pay part of, or the full amount - exercise compassion. Talk to them about deferring rent, or make other arrangements that suit both parties. More importantly, do not impose any charges or penalties on late payments.
Limit your visits
Unless it’s an absolute emergency (i.e., house-is-on-fire kind of situation), do not visit your tenant. It may be construed as an irresponsible thing to do when there’s a pandemic raging all around. More so if your tenant or any of their family members are immuno-compromised in any way. If you’re selling a tenant-occupied property, find alternatives to in-person showings. Finally, if you MUST visit, wear a mask and maintain social distancing.
Don’t increase rent
It may even be illegal right now to increase rent, as several local governing bodies have passed legislation to freeze rent at 2020 levels. This is a gesture aimed at relieving the financial burden of the tenant at a time when the economy is suffering a downturn.
Check in with your tenant
Every so often, do show concern for your tenant by reaching out to them in some way. Make sure they are doing okay. Ask them if there’s something you can help with. Not only is this basic human decency, this is also key to building a lasting landlord-tenant relationship by demonstrating that they aren’t just dollar signs in your eyes.
Keep emergency contact information for tenants
It’s wise to maintain an updated list of emergency contacts for all tenants, old or young, healthy or sick. This way you can be prepared for handling literally any kind of adverse scenario, which makes sense considering that the whole world is going through a harrowing period right now. It is always better to expect the unexpected.
With all these points in mind, you can ride out this pandemic smoothly, with an increased status and respect for you as a considerate and compassionate landlord. While times may be tight, it is worth it in the long run as there are numerous benefits to marketing yourself as a great landlord. You are likely to gain more loyal and grateful tenants, and also increase visibility of your property.
If you have more ideas or thoughts to share, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
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