You provide a roof over their head and a set of house rules, and you’re not always their favorite person. However, you are not your tenant’s mother. We have three ways to make that distinction to your renters.
1. They DO have to pay rent
Your rental is a business-always keep that in mind. That means that a late rent or no rent at all is not an option. The relationship between landlord and tenant can be friendly, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be overly flexible. Don’t compromise your business by letting things slide.
2. You DON’T have to pick up after them
At least, you don’t have to do it for free. It’s one thing if your tenants don’t make their beds every day or leave their dishes in the sink sometimes, but any damage done to your property could impact their deposit.
However, they do need to tell you when things do go wrong. Make it clear that you want them to call you when there is an issue, rather than let it go unreported for fear of getting into trouble.
Be clear about what your expectations and state them in the lease. Brush up on your local laws regarding security deposits and what constitutes normal wear-and-tear. Be sure to do a walkthrough inspection with your tenants during move-in and move-out in order to maintain your investment.
3. The stakes are higher for breaking the rules
Your tenants are facing more than a week without t.v. or phone privileges if they don’t follow the rental agreement. Your lease is a contract between you and your tenants where both parties agree to certain rules. If your tenants continue to violate those rules, then you may not renew their lease. If the issue continues, you may have grounds to give them 30 Days’ Notice (Be sure to check with your local laws for guidelines regarding this action).
Make sure you thorough screen your tenants, too, to cut down on problem tenants. You can sign up for free landlord software that offers free credit reports for landlords, so there’s no reason to skip this step.
Having a good relationship with your renters doesn’t mean mothering them. The landlord-tenant relationship is primarily a business relationship, so don’t let emotions guide your interactions. Keep these three things in mind when managing your rentals to make your role clear to you and your tenants.