T-Shirts and Calculators: Building Processes for Successful Tenant/Landlord Relationships
by Ekaterina Angert
When a landlord looks to fill vacancies in their buildings, they need to setup the processes that setup the right relationship between them and the tenants. After being in this business for over eight years, I have three processes that will help setup the right relationship.
First thing first. As a landlord, you have to set up your standards for the financial status of your tenants. What will you accept and what you will not? For example, credit scores that can be low for a variety of reasons. Most landlord credit reporting companies will not count medical bills or student loans against the tenant. Income is another important factor to consider. How much do you want your tenant to make? Will he/she be able to afford rent, utilities and other expenses easily? How reliable is his/her job is? How long have they been employed? Figuring out the right financial requirements for your tenants is an important process to establish the correct relationship.
Secondly, do your research! Google, google, and google again. Take a look at the social media account. What is your prospective tenant posting? Are there any pictures of a family members that you are not aware of? Do they have pets? Doing your due diligence upfront is important so you don’t have complications later with your relationship with the tenant.
Make sure you cross reference addresses listed on the rental application with the ID provided and anything else you can find. Look up property tax records to make sure the names of previous landlords match with what is given to you for references. and actually call the references provided. Ask questions that are important to you, like how well did the tenant maintain the property, how did they do with payments and why did they move out. Never rent without doing your research. The nicest family you meet in person may be the most painful tenant.
Third, be prepared and have a rental agreement that establishes the ground rules for the property. Setting your standards and doing your research is not a guaranteed recipe from disaster. Unfortunately , things happen and it’s best to be prepared. Have a safety cushion financially for the times repairs are needed or you have to pay mortgage for a few extra months when the unit is vacant or if you have to pay a deductible on an insurance policy Also, have procedures in place for all of the “what if” elements like partially paid rent or the A/C breaking down on the hottest day of the year.
Setting the right processes in place is critical for the proper landlord/tenant relationship. Failure to do can cause pain and financial loss on both sides.