As a landlord, it’s important to build a good relationship with tenants. You want them to feel comfortable in their new home and to care for it, pay rent on time and generally have a successful tenancy period. But what makes a good relationship?
Unless you’re renting a property out to friends or family, it’s likely you won’t have met your tenants before. So, while it’s important to introduce yourself and maintain a good line of communication, there is a danger of becoming too friendly with them.
And once you’ve crossed that boundary, it could cause a lot of problems (and awkwardness).
In this quick read, we look at the do’s and don’ts of maintaining a professional relationship with tenants.
If you used an agent to find the tenants but intend to self-manage when the tenancy starts, it’s always a good idea to contact the tenants and let them know that you’re their landlord. Whether you want to do this face to face or via a call, it’s important they know how to get in touch with you.
This is also a good time to let them know your working hours and how to contact you in the event of an emergency.
If you have more than one tenant living in a property, it may be useful to set up a group for messages or emails. A WhatsApp group is a good way of communicating; however, it may also leave you open to receiving non-urgent messages over the weekend or late at night.
Make it clear when you will be available to respond to queries. Also, make sure you respect their timings. If you have a non-urgent request, contact them during working hours instead of evenings or weekends.
Should you befriend your tenants on social media? While there are no rules against it, it may seem intrusive if you were to add them onto your social accounts, as if you’re trying to keep an eye on them. Similarly, if a tenant adds you, you might want to think twice before you accept their request. You’re not friends, you’re in a business relationship.
When entering a contract with a tenant, you’re in a legally binding agreement. There could be future disputes between you and them regarding issues with the property or rent payments. By adding them on social media, you’re crossing a line between personal and professional, so it’s important to stay mindful of this.
Use your agent
Letting agents are trained and experienced in dealing with tenants, issues that arise with payments, deposits and disputes. They can help maintain a professional distance from your tenant, so it’s a good idea to work with them. Speak to your agent about what they can and can’t help with. They’re also a great source of knowledge if you need assistance with a tenant.
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Managing Director / ARLA Propertymark Advisory Board
Tel: 01394 337590
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