Investing the time and money required to maintain and cultivate positive working relationships with your tenants (whether long-term or short-term such as Airbnb) can be the difference between amicable settling differences and costly lawsuits.
Working on the relationship also creates value by maximizing tenant cooperation with timely rent payments, property upkeep, longer lease terms, and repeat guests. Here are some tips for maintaining good relationships and for dealing with difficult tenants and guests.
Screen Potential Tenants
Conducting a background check on a prospective tenant is a wise way to ensure a mutually successful experience for you and the applicant, and it is an effective risk management tool.
Background checks do present some costs, and you may be worried about losing money if the property is going to sit empty for a period of time. However, the risk of not performing the screening on tenants in order to save time and to cut costs could have more serious consequences, resulting in lost income, property damage, and litigation costs as well as jeopardizing the other tenants' safety.
Conducting background checks on Airbnb guests is difficult, however do not allow for "Instant Bookings" and ensure guests understand your house rules prior to accepting the guest. Taking the time to properly screen the guest's reviews could save you problems in the future.
Take Care of Your Property
Taking measures to properly maintain the premises sends a powerful message to tenants. It proves that you take your role as building manager or host seriously and it encourages them to take pride in the condition of their rented space. Visit your property often to stay aware of any issues that tenants may not be aware of or may not bring to your attention.
Furthermore, it could bolster relationships and lessen the probability that they take legal action in the event of an incident or dispute.
Maintain Accurate Records
Along with establishing a procedure for dealing with tenant and maintenance requests, establish a system for documenting these requests and any further communication between you and tenants. Keep copies of all emails and written communication, and record the dates and times of all verbal conversations.
Take Proper Security Measures
Although you may not be expected to guarantee the safety of tenants, guests, and visitors, you must exercise reasonable care to protect them from foreseeable events.
Focus on Customer Service and Be Professional
Taking extra steps to make tenants feel welcome helps to create a cooperative relationship that is unlikely to end in litigation. Small gestures like prompt, polite responses can dramatically improve the relationship.
Resolve Issues Immediately
When receiving a tenant or maintenance request, it is best to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, and fix the problem properly the first time.
Delayed action about an issue may seem unnecessary to tenants, and it could cause distrust and anger to fester.
Even with a positive landlord-tenant relationship, there are potential exposures that must be addressed with well-designed property and liability insurance policies. Coverages to think about include building insurance, contents insurance, emergency assistance, and accidental damage insurance.
Maintaining a positive relationship with all of your tenants is very important for successfully managing property - and it's very beneficial for your business.