For any business to be successful, the clients should be happy and satisfied. Plus, happy and satisfied residents will stay with you for longer. They are also going to be your best source of new clients.
Unlike other businesses, your rental business is closer to home. Consequently, the importance of keeping the clients – your tenants – happy is intensified.
How do you ensure your Charlotte tenants are happy? Build a great landlord-tenant relationship with them. A great relationship will lead to:
- Long-term tenants – Long term tenants will help reduce your turnover costs.
- Minimal rent-related issues – For your rental business to succeed, timely rent payment is vital.
- Responsible renters – These are the kind of renters who will care for the property as if it were their own.
- Respectful renters – Respectful tenants will have no problems working with anyone from your office or maintenance staff.
- Better communication – The key to the success of your rental property is good communication.
- Reduced tension – Your renter will feel comfortable informing you about needed repairs and maintenance.
In this article, we reveal seven tips on how to establish a great relationship with your Charlotte tenants.
Tips on Maintaining a Good Landlord-Tenant Relationship
1. State Your Expectations Clearly from the Start
Tenants hate surprises. It is important to state your expectations clearly from the start. This way, you will be able to avoid conflicts in the future.
So, before a tenant signs the Charlotte lease and moves into your property, make sure:
- They understand the lease agreement.
Many disputes can easily be avoided if the tenant understands the lease agreement.
- They know what their responsibilities are.
For example, tenants need to understand that property maintenance is their responsibility.
- The renters understand how the maintenance and repair process works.
For instance, you could tell them when they should expect property inspections, and with whom they can expect to be dealing with.
- They disclose any problems with the property and offer remedies.
By doing this, you will help reduce misunderstandings and confusion throughout their tenancy period.
2. Respect Your Tenant’s Privacy
A big part of being a landlord is ensuring your tenant’s privacy rights are protected. Although you maintain all ownership rights when you rent your property, they are limited in one condition.
Tenants have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes. You cannot enter the premises at will. If you need to access the property, you must notify them beforehand. If you repeatedly fail to notify them of your visits, they may accuse you of harassing them and going against the Charlotte rental property laws.
In Charlotte, there is no legal requirement when giving your tenants notice before entry. Nonetheless, most Charlotte landlords still give their tenants at least 24 hours before visiting. If the tenant has however been away for an extended period, the notice is, needless to say, unnecessary.
Keeping your renter’s personal information is also key. Typically, rental applications ask for very sensitive information such as financial data, criminal records, job histories, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, and social security numbers.
You must not use this information for any purpose other than which it was given. In addition, it must be treated in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
3. Always Maintain Your Professionalism
As a landlord, you need to stay professional and levelheaded. Set emotions aside and stick to the facts, and your lease terms.
If a dispute arises, and it is getting heated, take a break to cool off. Here are some tips for handling disputes between you and your Charlotte tenant:
- Know the law – Make sure you understand all North Carolina landlord-tenant laws.
- Never lose your temper – Keep your cool at all times. This way, you will represent yourself in the best possible light.
- Talk it out – Many disputes can be avoided by simply communicating with each other.
- Document everything – The best defense you can have as a landlord is a paper trail.
- Go to court – If everything else fails, go to court.
As a landlord, issues will inevitably arise with your renters. Being prepared for them will help you avoid being caught unprepared.
4. Always Respond to Maintenance Requests Promptly
Aside from being a legal obligation, undertaking repairs and maintenance in a timely manner is important. Make sure the tenant understands the lease regarding property repairs and maintenance from the start.
Particularly, make sure they understand their obligations such as lawn maintenance. Also, remind them that you will hold them accountable for any excessive property damage.
To establish a great relationship with your Charlotte tenants regarding repairs and maintenance, ask them questions such as:
- How does the home suit you?
- What fixtures and fittings would make your day-to-day home life easier?
- Are there any features you would like to see added or improved in the home?
- Have you noticed anything that needs repairing or may need maintaining soon?
- Is there anything in the home that makes your life difficult?
5. Set the Right Rent Price for Your Charlotte Rental Property
Another way to build a great relationship with your tenants is by setting the right rent. Everyone likes to be treated fairly. Otherwise, it can be a source of conflict.
Setting the right rent will attract the best, most qualified number of prospective tenants. The result? Low tenant turnover and stable income.
To set the right rent price, you need to consider several factors. Chief among them is to do a comparative market analysis. The analysis will help you see how much your competition is charging.
If you need to raise the rent, make sure you do it properly. For starters, make sure you give your tenants appropriate notice as well as mention the underlying reasons. Also, make sure you do so in accordance with Charlotte’s ordinance.
6. Be Flexible
As a landlord, you most likely have a set of rules regarding roommates, pets, painting, and so on. One way to establish a great landlord-tenant relationship with your Charlotte renter is by being flexible with their needs and requests.
If you have a high-quality tenant who makes timely rent payments, treats the property like their own, keeps the rental property clean, follows their lease terms, and is honest; consider bending some rules.
If you are unwilling to grant the request, make sure to provide an alternative solution or provide a reason why. Despite the refusal of the request from you, it will show the tenant that you care enough to have open discussions with them.
7. Document Everything
The nature of the job of a landlord requires paperwork. If you don’t keep on top of it, the paperwork can quickly become a mess. To keep everything tidy and safe, consider storing electronic versions in Dropbox or Google Drive.
The following is the list of documents you should keep on file for your Charlotte rental property:
- Move-in and move-out checklist
- Rental application form
- Lease or rental agreement
- Lease renewal letter
- List of utilities
- Mortgage information
- Improvements made
- Emergency contacts of your tenant
Regardless of the type of tenant you have, it all comes down to one thing: the property management business is a relationship business. The key to a mutually satisfying relationship is through establishing a great relationship with your Charlotte, NC tenants.