First and foremost, congratulations on becoming a landlord! Being a landlord can be a fulfilling and financially rewarding experience. That said, you should not take your new role lightly.
As you probably know, customer satisfaction is the key to any business’ success. As such, as a landlord, a good relationship with your Charleston, SC tenants should one of your top priorities. A good relationship can ensure:
- Mutual respect that may lead to more lease renewals
- Better communication between parties due to trust and reliability
- Reduced tension when it comes to maintenance and repair requests
- Timely rent payments with little to no excuses
- Your tenants will be more likely to care for your property
In this article, you’ll learn 8 proven tips to have a better relationship with your Charleston, SC tenants.
How to Achieve a Great Landlord-Tenant Relationship
Tip #1: Respect Your Tenant’s Rights to Privacy
Respecting the privacy of your tenants is vital to the success of your business. Yes, as a landlord, you have the unalienable right to access the property to conduct important tasks such as:
- Property repairs and maintenance
- Property inspection
- To show the property to prospective tenants
However, before accessing the property, you must first issue the tenant adequate notice. The entry times must also be reasonable. For example, conduct your inspections from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The only exception to providing a notice is during an emergency situation. Examples of emergency situations include:
- A natural disaster which could pose an immediate danger to the tenant
- Flooding at the property
- A fire
- A gas leak at the property
Tip #2: Be Quick and Efficient
Renters appreciate landlords who take care of their concerns promptly. So, if a renter says they have an issue they’d like you to address, strive to remedy it as quick as possible.
If you take a longer time to get the issue resolved, your renter will only feel more frustrated and upset. Such a tenant will, understandably, be unlikely to renew their lease when their time is up.
Tip #3: Communicate Well
Effective communication can make a good landlord-tenant relationship great. The following are some tips to help you be a better communicator with your Charleston tenant.
- Don’t assume anything. If you are wondering what’s going on with your tenant, simply ask. Don’t make assumptions.
- Respect their boundaries. Teach yourself how to be an excellent communicator without crossing boundaries. For example, don’t call them at any hour. Or, expect them to welcome you into their unit without notice.
- Know which communication method your tenant prefers. Some may prefer a text while others may prefer a phone call.
- Put everything in writing. Verbal agreements won’t hold up in court when things start going south.
- Be a good listener. One thing that is sure to kill a good relationship with your tenant is poor listening skills.
Tip #4: Have a Thorough Tenant Screening Process
As a Charleston, SC landlord, you probably know the importance of a good screening process. Don’t simply qualify a renter based on their charisma.
The first step to screening your tenants should be by first having them fill out a rental application form. Next, you would want to check whether the tenant has a good credit score. As a rule of thumb, you want tenants who have scores above 620.
Lastly, you should then verify your prospective tenant’s references and income. Speaking of income, ensure that the tenant is making no less than two-and-a-half times the monthly rent.
Red flags to be in the lookout for when screening tenants include:
- Long gaps in unemployment
- Low credit score
- Eagerness to move in immediately
- Bad or missing rental references
- Unwillingness to give information
Tip #5: Set a Fair Rent Price
Charging the right rent amount is crucial to a good landlord-tenant relationship. On one hand, overcharging your Charleston tenants will only make your tenants resent you. On the other hand, undercharging them will mean leaving money on the table.
To determine the rent amount, you’ll need to make use of various tools. One such tool is the comparative market analysis. Essentially, this helps determine the rent amount similar rental properties are charging.
Tip #6: Be Respectful Towards Your Charleston Tenants
Your renters are your customers and clients. As such, you must respect them if you are to have a successful business. After all, you cannot survive in this business without them.
Renters who have respectful landlords often tend to care for the property and rent for a longer period.
First and foremost, never barge in unannounced. It’s not only disrespectful, but it also violates tenant’s privacy rights. Second, always make sure to respond to maintenance issues as quickly as you can. Slacking on fixes is the quickest way to kill a good landlord-tenant relationship.
Third, charge the right rent amount. No one likes to be taken advantage of.
Tip #7: Make Your Expectations Clear Right Away
This ensures that the move-in process is as smooth as possible. The last thing any renter wants after they have signed the lease and moved into your property are surprises. Thus, make sure to:
- Go through the lease or rental agreement together with your tenant. If they have questions, make sure to offer satisfactory answers.
- Make sure your tenants are fully aware of their responsibilities as stated in the lease.
- Disclose any issues the property may have beforehand.
- Make promises you know you can keep.
- Explain how repair and maintenance requests process work.
Tip #8: Hire a Property Manager
Being a landlord isn’t easy and it sure isn’t for everyone. It requires a number of distinct skills that you may or may not have experience with.
That’s why it pays to consider several things before jumping into this career. Such things include:
- You’ll need to juggle many different jobs. For example, property advertising, rent collection, and repair and maintenance.
- You’ll need to work outside your normal working hours. Problems with your property won’t just arise only during typical business hours.
- You’ll need to screen all potential tenants.
- You’ll need to understand the South Carolina landlord-tenant law.
If this all seems a bit too much to handle, you can hire a trusted Charleston, SC property management company to help you.
These are the 8 crucial landlord tips you need to have a better relationship with your Charleston, SC tenants. A good landlord-tenant relationship will eventually pay off in the long run. To sum, treat them the way you’d want to be treated if you were the tenant!