Historically speaking, landlord tenant relationships aren't always the easiest scenario's to deal with. There is a lot of emotion that drives both sides. But it doesn't have to be that way. Property managers and owners want the relationship to start out good and keep it that way. Some tenants, due to previous experiences or 'advice' prepare for a fight, long before it becomes one.
As property managers and/or landlords most of us have all been tenants, either in the past or currently. We understand the rental situation you are in better than you think. On the other side though, not many tenants have a true understanding of what the laws, regulations & rules are associated with rental properties. It isn't as clear cut as home ownership. Here are some great tips from owners, property managers and management companies that may help to keep a good relationship going.
- Pay your rent (on time): This seems like a fairly simple thing to do. Pretty easy to understand. A main part of our job is to collect the rents and pay the property bills. When the rent is not paid on time, that prevents us from doing our job to the best of our ability. If someone came to your work and stopped you from doing your job, most people would get in some sort of trouble. Please remember that, it can get very frustrating and can destroy a 'good' working relationship.
- Talk to us: Life happens, we have all been there. On that rare occasion that you find yourself in a bind. Talk to your manager. Don't wait till you are served an eviction notice. When a manager or owner has to take the time to track you down, it may be too late explain the situation without consequences.
- Follow the rules: We all learned this one in Kindergarten. Follow the rules! While living in a property we want you to feel at home. Please remember that it is still someone else's investment. If there is a no smoking rule, follow it. The owner of the property has the right to set rules and guidelines which you agreed to when you signed the lease. If you don't like a rule, you still need to follow it.
- Be Nice: You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. This is an old saying with a lot of truth to it. Try to put yourself in our shoes. If someone calls you and instantly starts with yelling, threatening, blaming or insulting. Are you likely to listen intently and fix a problem?
- Be Honest: Is there a small leak in the bathroom that gets VERY annoying in the middle of the night? Please don't tell us that the bathroom is flooding. Or are we just taking over management on the property and you want us to know your side of the story. Most things are very easily seen for what they are. Please be honest, it will go along way towards a good relationship.
- Help us help you: Do you constantly hear water running and have turned in a maintenance request. Thank you! We appreciate that more than you know. But it is increasingly difficult to do our jobs when a tenant refuses to allow access (and it is a direct evict-able violation of the lease) Do you have dogs that need to be contained for maintenance staff? Please do so. Did a vendor come out and fix something, only to have it 're-break' the following week. Give us a call. Help us help you!
- Leave a message: There is nothing worse than having someone call repeatedly for something that could easily be handled with a short message and a call back. True emergencies in property management consist of FIRE, FLOOD OR BLOOD. We do understand that everyone has their own time frame. Please remember that as managers many of us handle 100+ properties and even more tenants. Not everything can be handled 'right now'.
- Be understanding: While it would be nice if property managers and landlords had unlimited funding. In most circumstances that simply isn't the case. We abide by habitability and fair housing laws. Unfortunately, aesthetic touches don't always apply to those laws. It is also hard to fund repairs that were caused by someone else. Sometimes, it is the tenants responsibility to pay for repairs, and sometimes it is the owners. As managers we are continually trained in these types of situations, please be understanding when we try to explain them to you. We also have read and fully understand the lease that you have signed. Sometimes there are misunderstandings when you read a lease. Please be understanding when we try to explain to you what it means if something is misunderstood.