One of the hard responsibilities you have when opening your property up for rent is that not all the tenants you’ll be dealing with will be agreeable. From young ones who may not be the quietest tenants to financially struggling adults and families that’ll be behind on rent for a month or two – the problems you face can be endless.
Without a system to handle it, it may all get overwhelming at times. As a landlord, the best practice you have to imbue is balancing your empathy and humanity alongside your business mindset, you did go into this business to make a profit after all.
To keep the balance and still show compassion and understanding as needed, you can try to adopt a few of the policies and suggestions listed below to stop you from having to deal with difficult situations with your tenants.
Rigid And Strict Policies In The Contract
This would depend wholly on the community your property is situated in and personal preferences. Do you not want your tenants to have a pet? How about house parties? Make all these clear and put in a “restrictions” clause in your tenant-landlord rental agreement so that you can refer to it if any of your tenants do violate your terms. Letting them know that they signed and agreed to your restrictions automatically removes any bargaining power they may have had.
Couple Your Grace Period With Reminders
If you are a landlord who will be willing to provide a grace period for financially struggling tenants such as giving them a ten-day window after the due date of their rent before any interest or penalties are applied, couple it with reminders. Send either an email or text (the best option is both) at the three-day, six-day, and nine-day mark.
Giving this kind of grace period is already an act of you being understanding and emphatic of their situation while still being firm on your needs and rights as a landlord. Do not offer the grace period as an option when your tenants move in but have a separate document for this for them to sign should they approach you about financial problems.
To make sure that your property is not being used for any illegal activity, and is not being abused way more than the usual wear and tear and the like, the best thing you can do is to put in your lease that you will be having routine inspections, whatever schedule works for you and tenant, to make sure that everything is in order. This allows you to spot red flags as soon as they pop up and allow you to consider terminating the rental agreement if needed.
Keep Records of Everything
As a landlord, you must be prepared for any possible untoward incident. This can range from tenants claiming they’ve already paid this month’s rent when they haven’t or them saying you allowed them to bring in a pet even if your contract says otherwise. No official decisions or conversation with your tenants about these matters should be verbal. Ask them to submit requests they may have or disputes they have over email so you will always have a copy as well as make sure each payment, routine check, and agreement renewal if they have any is stored and kept safely with you.
It may seem tedious but having a complete record of everything from when they first moved in with you up to the time they will decide to move out of your apartment is the perfect way to protect yourself. You can develop better record-keeping methods as you go along but make sure you don’t take any tenants in without having some kind of record-keeping system in place.
We all know that being a landlord and renting out your property is a lot of responsibility – as long as you do your part, you should be able to cope and handle any difficult situations your way. As you can see from our tips above, preparedness is your best armor against untoward situations. If you have the network or if you’re willing, try to converse and reach out to landlords who have already been renting out their properties for a long time to learn how they’ve managed and learned from certain experiences and gauge what kind of situations you’ll be having to deal with.