8 Tips to Improve Landlord/Tenant Communication

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on October 19, 2011 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenantscreeningblog, tenant screeningThe landlord-tenant relationship is a unique one. While your tenants are essentially your customers, the dynamic is quite different than in a typical retailer-customer situation. But as with any relationship, communication is the key to a successful landlord-tenant relationship.

Experienced landlords with successful rental property businesses know a few tricks and tips. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 8 tips to improve landlord-tenant communication, from real landlords.

  1. Don’t hesitate to over communicate: More is usually better than less when it comes to communication. Provide checklists, notices, friendly tips and regulations for tenants, so everyone is clear on your expectations.
  2. Don’t make assumptions: If you’re wondering about what’s going on with a tenant as it relates to your rental property, don’t assume you already know the answer. Simply ask.
  3. Respect boundaries: Even in an attempt to be a good communicator, you can’t call tenants at all hours, expect them to allow you in their unit without notice, or stop them on their way to work to discuss an issue. Be respectful of their time and space. And by all means, stay out of the tenant’s personal life, unless it affects your rental property, the lease or any other legal obligations.
  4. Keep the lines of communication open: Let tenants know that you are always willing to discuss a problem or answer a question—and back up your word with your actions.
  5. Ask each tenant about preferred means of communication: It might require a little more effort on your end, but to maintain a high level of communication, you need to reach tenants in the manner they prefer. For some, that’s a phone call. For others, it’s a text. Still others respond best to e-mail. For legal notices, U.S. postal mail is usually required, and would not be subject to a tenant’s preferences.
  6. Put it in writing: Don’t agree to anything without a written agreement. Allowing an extra parking spot, a kitten, or a wall-mounted flat-screen TV is up to you, but don’t let it happen with just a verbal agreement. Most people would be hard-pressed to later recall what the agreement was, and they usually don’t stand up in court.
  7. Clarify: If you’re unclear about something you’re hearing from a tenant, say so. Communicate what you heard and ask if that is what they meant.
  8. Listen: This is the most important of the tips for improving communication. Poor listening skills can kill a landlord-tenant relationship. Listening is challenging in some situations, but with practice, anyone can learn to avoid interrupting when someone is speaking, show interest through active listening and provide feedback.

Add A Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.