Some landlords govern their rental properties more like wardens of a prison, treating tenants as their inmates. Some operate like slumlords, degrading their tenants by extensive neglect and failure to maintain and care for the property and tenants. Some landlords play it too close, spending every waking hour and day at their properties.
As a property management company, we know the importance of striking the right balance between caring for tenants and caring for the property – creating a profitable venture for owners and a pleasant living experience for tenants.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at the roles involved on each side of that relationship between tenant and landlord, so that as a property investor, you have your cake and eat it too…make profits and enjoy the ownership experience.
Plus, the more clearly defined your roles are, the more assurance you can have that you’re doing a good job with less stress.
Role of a Landlord:
Let’s start with the landlording role. The tasks involved in being a good landlord for your tenant are clear. After you’ve selected a good tenant, here is how you keep them.
Task 1: Deliver the premises at the beginning of the lease term – It’s pretty easy to start the relationship with your tenant off on good terms. All you have to do is make the property available and rent-ready when you mutually agree to a date and time.
Task 2: Maintain the premises in a habitable condition – Before your new tenant moves in, you want to be sure they are moving in a rental property that looks and feels rent-ready. Be sure the home or unit is in perfect condition because if it’s not, you’ll either leave a bad taste in the mouth of the tenant, or set the bar of property care low for the tenant.
You should also have clear roles set with the tenant on what they are to maintain and what you, as the property owner will maintain.
Task 3: Provide for the tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the premises – If you own an apartment home, town homes or multi-family homes where multiple tenants live in close proximity to each other, one of the biggest problems that can spring up is noise. If this is the case for you, you’ll know the importance of setting firm boundaries around noise level, curfew hours, etc.
Task 4: Supply essential services, including heat and hot water – Depending on whether you are renting a high end or lower-end property unit, you will add or subtract standard services provided by you, the landlord.
Task 5: Give proper notice of changes to rules and regulations or a change of ownership – Great communication is the linchpin of any great relationship. The same holds true in property management. Give advance notice of rules that you will change before the rules go into effect.
It’s not uncommon to send notifications of rules and policies that will be changing 30 days or more in advance and in multiple formats. This may include e-mail, mail, text, phone call and are voicemail notifications.
Task 6: Notify the tenant of any changes to the terms of the lease (including rent increases) – Here again, when you intend to make changes to the terms of lease, such as rent increases, it is important you give clear and advance notice.
For an increase in rent, you may give three or more months notification.
Task 7: Notify the tenant before lease expiration – When their lease is close to expiring, or it’s time to renew their lease, you want to make it very clear that this date is approaching. 92 to 120 days advance notice, or more, is a good time frame for tenants to be thinking about what’s next for their housing situation.
Task 8: Return the security deposit within the prescribed period after a tenancy ends – It needs to be spelled out lease agreement, when the tenant can expect their security deposit back as well as the condition of the property that would warrant using some or all of that security deposit. Don’t be a shady landlord that keeps security deposit of tenants even if the property is returned in great condition. Word spreads fast about such landlords.
These are some of the main duties and responsibilities of a good landlord. If you can do well at these, you’ll be well on your way to rocking your role as a good landlord and Westminster property manager.
Now let’s look at the responsibilities and duties into need to spell out for tenants in your lease contract.
Task 1: Comply with the terms of the lease – It’s important when you are renting out a property to a tenant to verbally go through every area of the lease agreement. Most people are not going to read lease agreements closely, so even though you can hold him liable if they fail to act on a certain portion of the lease agreement, it would be smart, for the sake of a good relationship to go over each aspect and make sure they understand all aspects of what is expected of them.
Task 2: Maintain the dwelling unit in a clean, safe condition and use the fixtures and appliances
appropriately – You may go over how to use certain appliances during your property unit walk-through, to ensure they know how to operate appliances and features of the property.
Task 3: Respect the privacy and right to quiet enjoyment of other tenants – Once you have outlined clear rules and policies of online noise, curfew for common areas and the like, it makes sense to review this.
Task 4: Abide by the rules and regulations of the premises, provided their purpose is to promote the welfare of all the tenants and preserve the property from abuse – make sure that none of the rules and regulations that you set remote anything opposite of what you want, which is a well-maintained property without incidents.
Task 5 – Grant the landlord reasonable access to the dwelling unit to make repairs or show the unit to
prospective renters, purchasers, or lenders – you must respect the privacy of renter at all times. So, when their lease expiration is coming up and it’s time to get a new tenant in the property, you should communicate with the tenant to see when good times are open to show the property to new prospective tenants.
Task 7: Give proper notice before vacating the premises – when it’s time for the tenant to leave the premises, be sure to provide clear instructions on where to leave keys, how to lock doors and how the property should be left.
If you’re a real estate investor looking for a good Westminster property manager to help you by manage your growing portfolio of properties, growing profits and minimizing the headaches, schedule your free PROFITABLE PORTFOLIO STRATEGY SESSION today.