Many people feel that once a tenant is residing in the property all that is required is to “collect the check.” As property managers, we often hear this comment, but know this statement is far from reality. Tenancy starts before the tenant moves in, progresses while the tenant resides in the property, and continues after the tenant moves out. Therefore, it is important to “look at the complete picture” to determine whether the result is a good tenancy.
What affects Tenancy before the tenant moves in?
The very first thing that determines the success of a resident is the condition of the property. Simply put – good properties attract the desired tenancy. Try to visualize yourself as the prospective tenant. Visualize moving into a property in poor condition and disrepair. Your reaction is most likely – no way! A clean property in good repair paves the way toward a successful landlord/tenant relationship.
Next, it is important while showing or discussing properties with prospective tenants that the rules of Fair Housing are applied. It is crucial when quoting rents, security deposits, and terms of the rental agreement, that each party received the “same” information. A Fair Housing complaint and/or lawsuit are not the result desired.
The application and screening process are primary keys to success; once again, Fair Housing is necessary. Proper screening is the same principal as preventative maintenance. Our company knows that it is important to check each person carefully and work to place good tenants in the property. Ignoring this essential process often leads to disaster.
Prior to moving in, a signed detailed rental agreement is an absolute necessity. It is important that residents clearly understand what is required of them, and that all adults sign this important document. This defines the terms and conditions of the landlord/tenant relationship, and must be complete prior to the tenant moving in.
Good landlord/tenant relations must continue once the tenant moves in.
As the saying goes – do not make promises that you cannot deliver. If the property needs necessary repairs, then do them. Ignoring maintenance is probably the foremost reason for a bad relationship between owner and tenant. It also creates great liability for the property owner. Two serious examples of concern in the housing market today –mold and lead based paint. Ignoring them is simply a formula for disaster.
Many issues can crop up besides maintenance, such as unwanted roommates, unwanted pets, death of a tenant, utility problems, job losses, transfers, etc. As your property management company, we are very aware that ignoring them only promotes more difficulties. Facing the challenges with experience, compassion, and common sense, is the way to find solutions to maintaining good tenant relations.
How does good tenancy continue when a tenant moves out?
If you have ever been involved in a security deposit dispute, you know that tenancy is not over just because the tenant moves out. In the perfect situation, the tenant moves out, leaving the property in a clean, undamaged condition. Once again, it is crucial that the rental agreement clearly states the move out terms and conditions, and the resident understands the expectations required.
Then it is crucial the property owner and our property management company complete the final step – correct handling and disposition of the security deposit. A common sense approach is necessary in order to avoid an unpleasant ending to landlord/tenant relationship, and achieving a good tenancy.