As an investment property owner, communicating with your tenants is key to a successful tenancy. However, there are particular ways you should go about it. If you rent your property through an agency, there is really no need for you to have direct contact with your tenant. Your property manager takes on this responsibility, much like a middle-man. We know communication between landlord and tenant is crucial, but why is it important that you don’t interact with them personally? Well for starters, it’s not exactly professional practice. But most importantly, it sets a precedence that could lead to a number of issues down the track. Here’s why:
This is one of the biggest factors that can easily sour a good tenant/landlord relationship. Sometimes, due to unavoidable circumstances, tenants fall behind in their rent. As sympathetic as you may be to their situation, it’s important to remember that investment properties are a business. Having a property manager mediate between you and your tenants means you don’t have to be emotionally invested in the conversation. Plus, real estate agencies have procedures in place to recover the rent far more efficiently than you can. The last thing you want is to have to play the ‘bad guy’, and your tenant thinking all you care about is the money.
Communicating with your tenants is ill-advised for another good reason: property maintenance. Your tenants may be very nice. You might even think there’s no harm in giving them your private contact information; however, this is a bad idea. When something requires attention on the property, are you really the first person you’d like them to contact? Without a property manager to liaise with, you run the risk of your tenant calling you up every single time there’s a minor issue, and this could mean interrupting your weekend, holiday, or special occasion. To eliminate the potential intrusion in your life, your property manager should be the first point of contact and even make arrangements on your behalf.
It’s not a good idea to become buddies with your tenants for the simple fact that it’s just plain awkward when it’s time to do the inspections. If you find an issue during the inspection, it’s a lot more difficult to address the problem with a tenant who may feel a little too relaxed about the relationship. It’s best to remain unattached, that way you never have to become personally involved in any of the ‘dirty work’.
Lease agreement conditions
Communicating with your tenants blurs the line between business and friendship, and as such, compromises your professionalism. By you staying anonymous, your property manager is in a much better position to negotiate any particular terms of the agreement, meaning your less susceptible to being taken advantage of. It’s harder to say no to someone you’re on a first-name basis with than it is with a complete stranger. Negotiating through a property manager means you can stick to your guns more easily, without the worry of causing offence.
You can still be professional and polite to your tenants – and you should be – but ultimately you should not be communicating with your tenants regularly. Doing so puts you in a difficult position to negotiate or carry out routine tenancy requirements. You are much better off allowing your property manager to handle communication, so you can enjoy your investment.
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