Property management is more than conducting routine maintenance and collecting rent from tenants every month. If all the moving parts don’t work harmoniously, you are in for a challenging ride. Some of the critical responsibilities of a property manager include paying bills on time, communicating with tenants, handling disputes and other issues that arise from tenants and conducting safety and security checks. Talking about handling your tenants, here are some practical tips to help you manage them and make your job far much easier.
Make your expectations clear from the onset
Your tenants will be the most receptive to you at the beginning of your relationship. Therefore, you must make your expectations of them clear from the get-go. If you let them get away with late payments or fail to take action when they don’t report a maintenance issue, they will continue with their bad habits.
The best way to reinforce your expectations is through repeated verbal communication, writing policies and including them in the lease agreement. Making your expectations known from the onset will demonstrate that you mean business and will not tolerate a bad tenant. You can always go back to the agreement whenever they violate the terms and insist they suffer the consequences of their actions.
Consider a rigorous tenant screening process
Stellar tenants are not a pain to work with, pay rent on time, adhere to the rules and maintain the property. However, you can’t tell that someone will be a good tenant just by looking at them. A rigorous tenant screening process will help you choose high-quality tenants who will not make your job any harder than it already is.
Your screening process should include credit checks, a history of crime, eviction reports and bankruptcy. Since traditional methods of obtaining such crucial information are tedious and take too long, we suggest you use property management software. Digital tools help you centralize all your databases and retrieve your reports quickly to save time.
Automate collection of rent
We cannot dispute that the rent from your clients is the lifeline of your property. When you tolerate late rent payments, you might not settle crucial bills on your property, such as utilities and repairs. The worst scenario would be dealing with tenants who don’t pay rent. Well, you can use a bespoke tenant software to automate the collection of rent without a hassle. A good tenant management software will centralize all your payments and help you easily track all accounting information. It is also easier to gain visibility into who your high-quality tenants are in your property.
You shouldn’t have to deal with the additional fees that come with online payment tools and dropbox methods that force you to collect rent manually
Establish concise and practical communication channels
Since property management primarily involves dealing with people, communication is critical. You will need to communicate with your tenants about policy changes, rent collection, and maintenance requests, among other things. A smartphone with all your tenants’ phone numbers won’t cut it.
An effective communication channel such as property management software will help you manage the massive text strings from your clients. It also makes retrieving information more effortless if you need to prove any misconduct, payments or breach of contract.
An effective way to manage your tenants better would be to gather insights from the past and determine what problems you experienced while dealing with previous tenants. We also suggest you consider the issues you anticipate with your current tenants. The next step would be to adjust the lease agreement to offer solutions to these problems.
You can be proactive by prohibiting activities that could cause harm or inconvenience and outlining the repercussions of engaging in the prohibited activity. The rules and regulations in your state will guide you on what you can include in your lease agreement.
Understand state laws concerning evictions.
No matter how hard your tenant has been pushing you against the wall, evictions are never easy. The reasons for removal could range from repeatedly breaking the rules to accumulating rent arrears. However, the state has laws stipulating how long you should allow your tenant to stay on the premises after issuing an eviction notice. The last thing you want is for a tenant to sue you, yet they are the ones who forced your hand.
As a property manager, you might also have concerns over dealing with difficult tenants, especially if you are new in the business. Fortunately, property management gets easier with time as you gain more experience. However, you cannot guarantee that the written policies and regulations will tame a lousy tenant. You can only hope they will put them in line and make them easier to handle.