Why Educating Tenants is Key to Profitable Tenancies

by Chris on April 8, 2011

Does the relationship you have with your tenants feel strained –even adversarial? If so, you’re not alone.

In fact, most landlords complain that renting out a property is an uphill battle, and they have to fight to get tenants to behave, pay on time, or respect the property.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

One way to forge a better relationship with a tenant–and a more profitable tenancy, is to set the stage for  mutual respect.

By offering the tenant a rental property that’s sparkling clean, secure and in good repair, a landlord demonstrates how they feel about the tenant who will choose to live there.

And if the landlord takes the extra step to educate the tenant on their rights and responsibilities, the tenant is more likely to show respect in return.

Teaching a tenant basic responsibilities can be as simple as sitting down together and going over the lease rules, answering questions along the way. 

Here are some important areas to cover:

Assure the tenant they will be allowed a move-in inspection and can notify the landlord if they find anything is damaged.  Otherwise, the tenant will be responsible for damage to the rental during their stay.

Explain when rent is due and how to get it to the landlord, stressing the importance of on-time payments. This is the time to go over how to Report Tenant Pay Habits.

Outline regular maintenance and cleaning duties.  Supplying a checklist that includes windows, window coverings, carpets and flooring is a good start.

Show the tenant how to use gas, electrical, and plumbing fixtures properly and for the purpose intended. Explain that the landlord does not want the tenant to get hurt.

Other rules may include who replaces light bulbs, broken screens, or batteries in smoke detectors.

Explain that the tenant can’t make changes to the property unless they ask the landlord first, and that the tenant can never hamper security lighting, locks, smoke detectors because they are there for the tenant’s safety.

The tenant can’t use the rental for anything but a place to live with the rooms used for their intended purpose.

Only the named occupants on the lease can live there.  The tenant has to come to the landlord if they want to change that or have a long-term guest.

The tenant needs to let the landlord know when something is wrong as soon as possible to minimize building damage, risk of physical harm to the tenant or anyone else.

The tenant or their guests cannot do anything illegal in the property.

In multifamily rentals, point out the need for respecting the rights and privacy of other tenants, and allowing others quiet and peaceful enjoyment.  No yelling, swearing, loud television or music. 

Tenants and guests must park where they are suppose to.

Make certain that the tenant knows how to get in touch with the landlord or property manager.  Don’t bury the phone number in the lease. Hand them a business card or go the extra step and order a magnet for the refrigerator with emergency numbers.   Many disputes start over a lack of communication that escalates.   Assure the tenant that their calls and questions are welcomed and appreciated. 

Landlords and tenants probably won’t ever be friends, but they can still enjoy a solid relationship–if it’s built on mutual respect.  In turn, tenancies can be profitable–and a lot less stressful.

For more ideas on educating tenants, visit www.tenantsinfo.com. The information on this website just may settle many of the disputes that arise. When tenants and landlords know their rights and responsibilities, reason governs.  

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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