Both landlords and tenants have a responsibility to each other to communicate clearly all expectations and talk when issues arise. Tenants should be aware of much more than just what the rental rate is when they move in to your property, going the extra mile from the start can save you time and money in the long run!
Below are a few things that landlords should make sure tenants know when they move in.
When your tenant first signs the lease, be sure that they fully understand when the rent payment is due, the grace period if you will allow one, and if a late fee will be applied. Do your best to avoid giving tenants the impression that they can pay their rent on different dates, be clear with your expectations from the beginning to avoid issues in the future.
If your tenant doesn’t know how to shut off the water in an emergency situation, you could end up with severe water damage to your property. Make sure you show every new tenant how to turn off the water in case of an emergency.
If you have a gas stove or furnace, your tenants need to know how to shut off the main gas line and at each appliance. In any emergency situation, such as a suspected gas leak, your tenant should know to dial 911 first! However, there are other circumstances where they may need to shut off the gas. Help them be prepared.
If you’ve ever had a tenant who doesn’t communicate, you can surely appreciate the ones who do. Your tenants need to know that concealing information from you is not the right thing to do. They need to know you’ll have more respect for them, and be willing to work with them, when they make the effort to communicate.
North Texas winters can come with some very cold temps! Insulating your pipes and the areas they run through is something that every landlord should think about before the cold months hit. It is good practice to communicate a friendly reminder when the temperature starts to drop that they should wrap hose faucets and know what they are responsible for as a partner in keeping your home safe during the winter months.
Your tenants may not think certain things are a big deal when they break, especially if they are used to landlords who don’t bother with major repairs. Communicate to your tenants the importance of reporting everything that gets damaged or breaks. What’s minor to them may not be minor to you. Not everything will require fixing, but it should always be your call.
Life happens, and tenants get themselves into situations they’d rather not discuss with their landlord. That’s fine when the situation doesn’t affect their ability to pay rent or involve property damage. However, sometimes it does. Tenants aren’t usually trying to be dishonest; they hide the truth when they’re embarrassed to tell you what actually happened. Let them know realize that you understand, that you are there to help arrive at a solution that is best for both sides.
Tenants and landlords will have a much more satisfying experience if they work together and foster a relationship of trust and communication. The more you show your tenants that you care about the condition of the home, the more they will tend to treat it as their own.