It’s easy to see why so many rental property owners have trouble avoiding conflict with tenants, municipal governments and various contractors. After all, the larger a property you oversee and the more tenants you have, the more likely you are to draw the ire of one of the aforementioned parties. Fortunately, avoiding conflict isn’t nearly as difficult as some property owners make it look. As you’ll find, a little bit of effort and some careful planning can go a long way in keeping conflict to the barest of minimums.
Don’t Go Overboard with Rent Increases
There are many reasons for which landlords raise rent, with rising utility costs and property taxes being chief among them. And to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to generate more rental income. After all, that’s presumably the reason you opted to invest in a rental property in the first place. However, at the same time, it’s important to avoid going overboard with rent increases and making tenants feel as if they’re being taken advantage of.
In recent years, a growing number of landlords have taken to raising rents to an excessive degree for no reason other than to get as much money out of their tenants as possible. Needless to say, this isn’t going to do you any favors with your renters and is highly likely to damage your professional reputation. No one wants to rent from a price-gouger, and if you become known for exorbitant rent increases, you’re likely to have trouble attracting new renters in the future, regardless of how nice a property happens to be.
So, the next time you have cause to raise rent, make a point of giving your tenants ample notice and clearly explaining why this increase is necessary. This doesn’t mean that tenants are going to be happy about paying more in rent, but they’ll at least be aware of your reasoning.
Promptly Address Maintenance Issues
There are few things renters hate more than landlords who routinely ignore maintenance issues. As the owner of the property, it’s your job to ensure that maintenance problems are dealt with in a timely and effective manner, so a general indifference to maintenance constitutes a dereliction of duty. Furthermore, placing maintenance issues on the backburner can lead to a wide range of undesirable consequences. For example, in addition to drawing the ire of tenants, ignoring seemingly inconsequential maintenance problems can lead to much larger – and costlier – maintenance problems down the line.
To help ensure that all maintenance issues are handled in an expedient and professional manner, make a point of recruiting dependable maintenance personnel. When it comes to properties that contain dozens – or hundreds – of units, full-time maintenance staff are absolutely essential. While landlords are often responsible for making these individuals aware of maintenance requests, it’s important that they be able to efficiently manage their time and prioritize requests by level of severity. In addition, given how often they’ll need to interact with renters, make sure that any maintenance personnel you hire are polite, personable and obliging.
Alert Tenants About Renovations Well in Advance
Whenever large-scale renovations are set to take place, it’s in your best interest to notify tenants well in advance. The more advance notice renters are given, the more time they’ll have to prepare and adjust their daily routines accordingly. For example, if renovations are set to take place in large common areas – like the laundry room – tenants are likely to see their regular routines shaken up.
Furthermore, to ensure that renovations are completed in a timely and efficient manner, make a point of only working with contractors who are fully licensed and insured. In addition, make sure your contractors have pulled the necessary permits before commencing work. This process can be conveniently simple in a municipality that utilizes a dependable request tracking software system.
To say that many landlords have trouble maintaining favorable relationships with tenants would be an understatement. Furthermore, there’s no shortage of reasons for which tenants become upset with landlords – and vice versa. From late rental payments to ignored maintenance requests to simple miscommunications, there are a variety of things that drive wedges between landlords and their renters. Luckily, cultivating friendly relationships with tenants is much easier than you may think, particularly if you’re equipped with the pointers outlined above.