Whether you have one property or many, being a landlord can be rewarding – or a big headache. The best way to ease the potential stresses, especially if you are doing this long distance, is to be great at it. Half of the equation is getting and retaining the right tenants; the other half is about actually being a terrific landlord – and marketing yourself as such – to draw the best tenants to you.  

Use your instincts with people. For example, not all young kids are partiers or irresponsible. Listen for cues when meeting potential tenants. Those with pets do increase the potential for damages, but you can attach a pet addendum and take extra security deposits to cover yourself.  

Letter of the law

Do your research! Remember this is a legal situation – your rental agreement needs to be in full compliance with your town and state. Make sure your agreement spells out exactly what your expectations are and that it is legally vetted so it’s in compliance with your state municipality. You can put anything in, but keep in mind that if something should happen, you can only go to court for what’s governed by law.
Things like the requirements for holding security deposits and how they’re to be held, criteria for safety features like alarms and fire extinguishers, what you can hold back from a security deposit.

Be clear and upfront

Educate your new tenants as to what you expect in terms of cleanliness, notification, recycling and garbage, if repairs are needed, if there is an emergency, as well as the terms of their lease.  This way everyone is on the same page. 

Stay on top of things

Give good tenants what they need when they need it and they will not want to leave. Respond quickly when contacted for repairs or problems. Have a list of reliable handy men prepared, as well as a budget set aside.

Go the extra mile if you are hoping to keep a tenant for several years.

When you're a good landlord, it almost guarantees happy tenants! Everyone wins this way. Finding the right people and setting  the stage for everything to be positive from the very beginning goes a very long way to creating a great experience for you both.

Good Luck!- Fred Grunewald

Here are a few helpful tips for co-existing happily with your tenants:

Make a good first impression

When you meet a tenant for the first time, dress neatly and speak professionally so you can build trust and set the tone for a good relationship. You’ll also need to make sure your property is clean and in good shape when you show it.

Enforce clear rules

Create strict rules and stick to them to demand respect and reliability from your tenants from the moment they move in.

Educate your tenants on what is expected of them and explain their lease to them in detail so they understand your rules and terms clearly.

It may be tempting to let your emotions come into play and cut them some slack, but remember that you’re running a business. As the saying goes, “Give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile.” Stick to your rules to avoid more of a hassle later on.

Keep a healthy distance

While being a landlord means you should form positive business relationships with your tenants, don’t get so close that you become intrusive. No matter how comfortable you feel with your tenant, it’s important to give them at least a 24-hour notice before you plan to enter their home.

If you fail to do so, your tenant could become annoyed with you or even take legal action against you for invasion of privacy.

Address problems quickly

Think about it – if you were a tenant, what things would you value most about a landlord?

Chances are, one of your answers is prompt problem resolution.

So be available when your tenants need you.

If you miss their phone call, get back to them as quickly as possible.

Make sure you keep a list of trusted service providers handy in case you need to call in some help to resolve an issue at the property. Doing so will show your tenants that you care about keeping them happy and safe.

Copyright 2021 FRED GRUNEWALD

Setting the tone in your property management business is important

Setting the tone with tenants early on is vital in property management. A tenant will quickly pick up whether you’re going to be strict or lenient with them. Or if you’re even interested or care very much about the tenancy.

In turn, this will then dictate how the tenant treats your property: will they care for it? Or will they damage as much as they can possibly get away with? Setting the tone in property management is important: if you get it wrong, it could cost you dearly!

The Property Inspection Report helps to set the standard

As the Property Inspection Report is undertaken at the start of a tenancy, it will create a strong impression with the new tenant. This document will set the bar as to what will be checked in future inspections, and the level of detail surrounding inspections. My initial "move-in" checklist includes photos, which I review with the new tenant.

 If the property inspection report is very detailed, the tenant will be thinking, “Yikes, this guy’s strict, I’d better look after his property!”

Part of getting great tenants is doing your part to make the property as appealing as possible: clean, organized, a groomed outdoor space, with everything working and up to code. This sets the example of the quality you’re about – and expect from them!

Setting the Tone