If you own rental property, tenant management is key to a successful venture and happy residents.

Building good tenant relationships is important, and there are some key building blocks that will make the process easier for both landlords and renters.

Read on to discover five important tenets for tenant management so that you can continue to rent your property successfully.

1. Proper Screening will Save You Headaches

Renting to quality tenants is the best way to make sure that the entire process is a success. Don’t be afraid to put a stringent tenant screening process in place, which will save you money and time in the long run.

In addition to the standard rental application, make sure you’re getting the right details from potential renters. Ask if they’re currently renting and if they can provide you with a reference.

Always make sure you get confirmation about the tenant’s current occupation and income. This is the key to ensuring that your new tenants have a stable job and a consistent way to pay the rent on time.

Another question to ask is when the tenants want to move in, which may help you determine who to approve first. For example, if they need a place next week, then they’re likely going to be your first choice if your property is empty.

You should also ask about how many pets your tenants have and what type. Make sure they understand the rules including pet deposits and signing a one-year lease agreement. With the right verification in place, you can weed out tenants who might become a problem for you later down the line.

2. Tenant Management: Be Clear in Your Wording

Good tenant management involves a clear understanding from both parties about the terms of the lease. Make sure that your lease agreement contains the most pertinent information, and that it’s written in an easy-to-understand way.

A lease is a legal document that both tenant and property manager must abide by. If you’re not sure about the wording or what you can and can’t include, it’s always best to consult with a lawyer first.

Write your lease in simple, clear terms that people can easily understand. Be sure to cover all your bases including rules about pets, parking, noise, and subletting.

Finally, the lease should be very clear about the rules regarding late or nonpayment of rent. As long as your lease terms and wording are within the legal guidelines, you can emphasize this in the lease so there are no misunderstandings.

3. Address Issues Quickly

One of the most important property management tips is to make sure you handle problems professionally and quickly. If your tenant calls to inform you of an issue such as a broken appliance or air conditioner, acting fast will help you maintain good tenant relationships.

Hiring a contractor to handle repairs and other tasks is a good option. When someone calls about a problem, your contractor can come to the location and address it as soon as possible.

Make sure you have a 24-hour emergency phone number available. That way, if a problem arises outside of business hours, your tenants can still get the help they need.

The sooner you can fix an issue with your property, the happier your tenants will be. Never make them feel bad about contacting you and always emphasize that you appreciate it when your renters make you aware of problems. Failing to make certain repairs could be in violation of tenant rights, so do your best to get them handled as fast as you can.

4. Keep Your Tenants Informed

If you’re planning to do some major work on your property, it’s important to let your tenants know about it as soon as possible. Giving them a heads up will ensure that they can make appropriate plans and so they know what to expect.

For example, if you’re re-paving the parking lot, let everyone know the dates and times. When possible, you should also give them alternative parking places so they’re able to access the property easily.

It’s vital that you respect the privacy of your tenants. Never show up unannounced unless it’s an actual emergency. Letting your renters know about possible work being done or landlord visits is a key part of maintaining a good, trusting relationship.

5. Keep Things Mutually Beneficial

Renting to tenants is a business relationship, and it’s always better when things are beneficial for both parties. Always let your tenants know well in advance when it’s time to renew their lease so they can extend it if they choose.

You can also try to get new tenants to sign a longer lease term. For people who want to stay in your property for longer periods of time, a long-term, multi-year lease can actually be quite a draw.

As long as you’re happy with your tenants and they’re happy with you, a longer lease term is a great way to keep your property rented out. Talk to your tenants and ask them about their long-term goals so they can make a sound decision.

Managing Tenants Right

With these five cornerstones of tenant management, you can ensure that you’re getting amazing renters. Your tenants will also appreciate you, and will probably continue to rent from you for years to come.

Always enforce a strict screening process and address issues quickly so that everyone is happy with the outcome.

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