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Renting your residential home – Treat your tenants right

King-Henry-and-Queen-Anne

All Right! You’ve gotten some tenants, and they’ve moved in, and they paid all that was due, and they transferred the utilities into their name, and they’ve done all of that on time!!! Now what?
Think about how much time, energy, and money you have put invested into getting these awesome tenants in your rental home:
~ The decision to put it on the rental market;
~ The advertising;
~ The cool sign that you put up;
~ The getting it ready to show;
~ The phone calls;
~ The showings;
~ The no-shows;
~ More showings;
~ The weirdo’s that showed up;
~ Taking applications;
~ Checking references;
~ Preparing a lease;
~ Opening a separate bank account;
~ Collecting a deposit and first month’s rent;
~ Doing the walk-thru with the tenants;
~ Turning over the keys;
~ Walking away, looking back over your shoulder saying, “Did I do the right thing?”
Now that all of that is over, do you want to do it again in 6 months? No? Then you had better start thinking right now that these new tenants are your BEST customers and that you better do everything that you can to keep them. Keep them there, happy, safe, comfortable and loving you!
The best way to avoid confrontation is that you should set expectations for them right up front.
~ When is rent due? When do you consider it past due and what are the ramifications?
~ Who is paying what utilities, lawn maintenance, pool maintenance, and what standards you and/or they are expected to keep. Who is paying for light bulbs and smoke alarm batteries?
~ Who is going to repair what? And, what constitutes an emergency and what does not? Many tenants think almost everything is an emergency and should be dealt with within the next hour no matter what the day or time. I usually let them know up front that running water that we can’t stop, electrical sparks or fire constitute emergencies and require immediate attention. A broken sprinkler head, a dishwasher that isn’t completing a cycle, or a screen door that won’t close correctly are things that we can deal with tomorrow during normal business hours.
Having said all of that, nothing will irritate tenants faster than dragging your feet on getting maintenance items fixed. You are going to have to do it anyway, so why not do it the first day the repair request comes in?
~ Do more than expected. You are expected to collect the rent, keep their deposits safe, and make repairs within a reasonable time. I say do more. Give them a break on late rent ONCE. Make repairs today if you can. They will freak out if they come home from work and the broken window is already fixed. Buy them a little something unexpected, i.e. a Christmas door mat, a Thanksgiving turkey gift certificate, Flags in their front yard for Independence day or Veterans day.
REMEMBER, these tenants are your best customers and they are living in your property. It is a REALLY good idea to keep them happy, for lots of reasons.

Posted by: Bill Davis on November 6, 2015
Posted in: Uncategorized