Seven Ways Landlords Can Improve Their Relationships With Tenants (And Why They Should)


Landlords and tenants don’t always have good relationships. In fact, sometimes what is told about some landlord and tenant relationships is downright awful. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a lot that can be done to foster better relationships between the two.

We asked members of Forbes Real Estate Council for their best ideas on improving landlord-tenant relationships. The answers given suggest that just a little elbow grease can facilitate a good relationship between the individuals and not just a business transaction.

Seven real estate experts weigh in.All photos courtesy of Forbes Councils members.

1. Offer Prompt Service 

Quickly replying and fixing repair requests is paramount to having a great tenant experience. One might think that waiting for a less expensive vendor will save money. In the long run, paying a little more for prompt service is going to cause less turnover and give you a better chance to increase rent, rather than lose ROI by having to replace a tenant who is upset over waiting a week for a repair. – Noel ChristopherRenters Warehouse

2. Facilitate Bridge-Building 

I believe the first step would be to open the lines of communication. Landlords must provide honest, up-to-date information, and in return, the tenants would be more receptive when there is a potential issue and possibly work as a team as opposed to in a combative manner. All of this can result in fewer legal notices to tenants, positive tenant reviews and less time going toward tenant negotiations. – Priscilla PorterDixon Advisory

3. Supply Tools For Success 

Demonstrate to your tenant that you value their money and want to help them to be a great renter. I find value in personally reviewing lease agreements and providing additional handouts on important lease terms to remember, that I always tie back to their security deposit — like how to take care of tenant required maintenance. It helps tenants understand that I care about them, not just the property. – Nathan MillerRentec Direct

4. Help Your Tenants Predict And Plan For The Future 

Imagine you’re the renter and create a unique and easy experience for them that addresses the hassles of finding and moving into a new place. Find vendors or resources to help them with moving, renter’s insurance or internet setup. Report monthly rent payments to the credit bureaus to help them build credit. Invest in the beginning of a renter’s experience to set the foundation for a positive relationship, fewer disputes and higher retention. – Chuck HattemerOnerent

5. Be Transparent With Pricing And Charges 

It starts with making sure online listings represent completely accurate pricing, photos, amenities and unit availabilities, and permeates every aspect of the relationship through the refunding of the security deposit. Any opportunity to provide more information to the tenant on price and charges should be taken. It will pay dividends in the future. – Marc RutzenEnodo Inc

6. Communicate Effectively 

We often see cheap landlord with lousy tenants. Prior to leasing the property, landlords inspect and make sure the property is ready for renting. Poor landlord-tenant relationships are often due to the property having multiple issues that could have fixed prior to move-in, such as A/C not properly maintained, water heater not heating or appliances not working. At the same time, there are tenants who call to have a light bulb changed. The solution? Have a detailed move-in inspection with pictures, tenant manual with explanations and signatures of all pages and initials by both parties, great communication between both parties and a policy to resolve maintenance issues in a timely manner. – Rodrigo SchiavoPremier Capital Realty, LLC

7. Don’t Be Hands-Off 

Many landlords lease their properties but want to make minimal repairs to their homes. If you can’t afford to lease your home, don’t do it. Making the tenant feel important is huge and taking little, consistent steps to constantly be improving the property not only will keep your resale values high, but allow you a better long-term relationship with your tenant. – Kase EllersMainframe Real Estate

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