Landlord Basics: Tenants’ Associations

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on February 3, 2012 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

Tenant screening, tenant background checkWhen tenants don’t feel heard, and want to enforce their right as a group, they sometimes form a tenants’ association. Through a tenants’ association, they may feel they can better make their voices heard and improve their living situations.

If your tenants decided to form an association, how would you react? Would you be surprised? Should you be worried? Or would you be angry?

Tenants who wish to form an association may have common concerns, among them are:

  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Emergency repairs and loss of essentials such as heat, water, electricity or gas
  • Inadequate heating
  • Loss of utilities due to landlord non-payment
  • Privacy violations
  • Abusive behavior
  • Rent increases and security deposit concerns

While the vast majority of landlords treat their tenants fairly and with respect, and take care of their properties (after all, they are investments), there are those who don’t, and who may respond more quickly when tenants exert a little pressure.

So, what can a good landlord do when tenants form an association?

  • Don’t panic.
  • Establish a line of communication with the leaders of the association.
  • Show an interest in their concerns.
  • Listen.
  • Fix what’s wrong. If you can’t make necessary repairs right away, explain why and set a date when they will happen.
  • Attend association meetings, if they allow you. (They don’t have to.)
  • Allow the association to use common areas for their meetings, as long as you allow other groups to use them.
  • Don’t discriminate against members of the association, and don’t offer incentives to new tenant to not join the association.
  • Check your local and state laws regarding tenant associations. You may be subject to specific regulations.

While tenant associations may not be landlords’ favorite groups, they don’t have to instill fear. Talk to your tenants, take care of their legitimate concerns, and you can improve your relationship for the long run.

Protect your rental property and assets through tenant background checks. Proper tenant screening will ensure you are leasing to the best possible tenants.

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