Having a good relationship with your Cleveland tenants will serve several purposes. First, you’ll be more likely to collect rent on time from tenants with whom you have a professional, respectful relationship. There’s also a better chance you’ll retain those tenants. Residents who get along well with their landlords are more likely to report maintenance issues and take care of the home they’re living in.
We don’t think it’s a great idea to become overly friendly with your tenants. There’s no need to blur any boundaries that may make it difficult to enforce your lease agreement. But, having a solid relationship in place will contribute to a better rental experience for everyone.
Here are a few ideas on how to build better relationships with your renters.
Make the Move-In Process Easy
Moving is stressful, and the more efficient you can make the move-in process, the more likely you’ll be able to start your relationship off on the right foot.
Before the lease begins, spend some time discussing the lease agreement with your tenants. Typically, the lease is signed electronically and passed back and forth between the tenant and the owner, but you can still make yourself available to answer any questions and discuss expectations and responsibilities in detail. This will ensure everyone understands who should be doing what. You don’t want any confusion about when rent is due, how it should be paid, and who is meant to take care of the snow shoveling.
Collect the move-in funds, hand over the keys, and conduct an inspection together so you and your tenant are agreeing on the condition of your property. Provide any resources your tenants might need, especially if they’re new to the neighborhood or the area.
Be Accessible to Your Cleveland Tenants
Communication is an important part of any relationship, including those between landlords and tenants.
Encourage your residents to come to you with any questions, concerns, or problems. You want them to know that you’re willing to hear them and that you’ll make yourself available to them.
This isn’t just part of maintaining a good relationship – it’s a requirement when you’re renting out a home. Tenants will need to know how to get in touch with you if something goes wrong or there’s an emergency. Make sure you provide your contact information and invite them to call, text, or email depending on the urgency of the situation.
Be responsive. Don’t leave messages unanswered for days. A good relationship allows for communication that flows in both directions.
Make Repairs a Priority
Tenants will grow frustrated if repair requests are ignored.
Put a process in place for how repairs should be reported, and make sure you’re ready to respond to them with a plan and a team of great vendors. Minor repair requests may seem like an annoyance; who cares if the linen closet isn’t closing properly? Well, your tenants care, and if you don’t take their maintenance requests seriously, they’re less likely to stay with you and renew their lease agreements.
Even if you can’t make a repair right away, explain the situation to the tenant and let them know when you will be able to fix whatever is wrong. This type of communication will ease their worry that you’re going to ignore the problem altogether.
It doesn’t take much to have a good relationship with your tenants, and the landlord/tenant relationship does not have to be adversarial. If you’d like some help getting along better with your tenants or you’re not sure you want to deal with tenants at all, contact us at IIP Management. We work with owners in the Greater Cleveland area.