The landlord and tenant relationship can be fickle, and it needs frequent tending to. Many investment property owners think that this is not something they need to be concerned with once they hire a property manager, but the opposite is true.
If you've experienced tenants breaking the lease early, extended vacancies or losing great tenants due to wrongly priced rents then you're right for suspecting that your property manager isn't pulling their weight to contribute to a healthy relationship between them and the tenant. By extension, the relationship between you (the landlord) and the tenant turns sour.
If you don't take some steps to check if your property manager facilitates a good landlord-tenant relationship, you'll find that your tenants will rarely ever renew their lease, break it early, or come to you with the problems you pay your property manager to handle.
Keep reading if you want to know how you can make sure that your property manager is keeping your tenants happy, and how to prove the property manager-tenant relationship.
If you're a self-managed property owner (DIY landlord) trying to improve the tenant-landlord relationship, read our tips on how to keep tenants happy. This article is more about the role of your property manager in this regard.
So, why do happy tenants matter?
If you've tried finding a good tenant in the past you'll know that good matches are hard to come by, so you want them to stay as long as they can. We talk about this all the time on our real estate blog: keeping tenants happy is one of the best ways to maximise the returns on your investment property.
Happy tenants mean lower vacancies, which means you have a secure source of income for larger parts of the year and don't have to go through the hassle and costs of advertising your property every 6 months.
Put simply: a happy tenant is a long-term tenant who takes good care of your property and pays their rent on time. It's a cornerstone of good property management.
Happy tenant, happy landlord!
4 ways good property managers contribute to a healthy landlord-tenant relationship
Your property manager can make or break the rental experience for everyone involved, and owners know the influence they have as your first line of defence.
36% of property investors we surveyed indicated that their trust in a property manager's abilities is a big fear when they're looking for a new agent.
When done well, the property manager-tenant relationship becomes good through 4 key aspects.
1. Consistent communication
Most relationships fail due to a lack of communication, and the relationship between landlord and tenant is no different.
Staggeringly, 44% of tenants in a study find their property managers to be unresponsive. As a result, tenants don't bother reporting things like necessary maintenance or reach out with questions when they need help. Bad news for you as the property owner!
But when property managers respond promptly, handle issues in a reasonable time and are good at giving acknowledgements, your tenants feel heard and get the sense that you care about their needs.
This doesn't mean that they need to respond to every call and text the second it pops up, but as long as they have good systems and habit in place to let your tenant know that they're looking into it, then that helps make a world of difference.
2. Handles maintenance and property issues in a timely manner
Property maintenance and repairs are two of the most common reasons why tenants break a lease early or refuse to renew their lease.
If things like mould, clogged sinks and faulty locks stay unfixed or at the very least not addressed for weeks on end, the tenant won't be happy, and with good reason. No one wants to live in such a rental!
Even if the issue is not able to be fixed right away, tenants appreciate acknowledgement and responsiveness to let them know something will be done about it.
Not only does this help keep your tenant staying long-term, reducing your vacancy rates, but it also helps keep your property well maintained and costs at a minimum.
3. Respects your tenants' privacy
Any surprise inspections or unannounced visits could land you in some serious legal trouble.
Not only this, but if you’re asking how to keep tenants happy, it’s a general rule of thumb to respect their privacy. You don’t want to show up unannounced to accidentally walk in on them on the sofa in their underwear!
Feeling like you're being watched and that your property manager is snooping around can seriously hurt the landlord-tenant relationship, which is why good agents know to respect the tenants' privacy.
4. Keeping friendly but professional
Good property managers know that the key to a healthy landlord-tenant relationship is really a balance of being personable and getting along well with tenants while keeping things professional and treating the investment property like a business.
A good property manager helps tenants feel comfortable and confident approaching them with any issues they may have, which over time helps build a trustworthy relationship and good reputation.
Tenants are not looking for a property manager to be overly friendly and someone to go out drinking with. Rather, someone they can trust who is firm, reasonable, and respectful who simultaneously preserves their boundaries.
How to check the property manager-tenant relationship
Knowing if your property manager is contributing to a healthy landlord-tenant relationship can be tricky. After all, if things are rolling smoothly, you won't hear too much, and that's a good thing. That being said, it shouldn't be too quiet, and it can be good to ask your tenant directly how things are faring if you have any concerns.
Some warning signs to look out for include:
- The tenant has reached out to you directly because an issue isn't being addressed.
- Tenants never sign lease renewals.
- Tenants break the rental agreement early.
- The property manager keeps you in the dark about how things are faring with the tenancy.
If this seems familiar, it might pay to take a step back and evaluate the quality of service you're getting, and consider switching property managers.
Remember that the landlord-tenant relationship is one of give and take. You need to look after their needs.
As long as your property manager generates a long-term goal of cultivating loyalty from your tenants, offers consistent communication, and serves their needs well through timely management from maintenance to rental appraisals, you'll end up a happy landlord in return.
Like what you just read? There’s a lot more where that came from.
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