What are some of the ground rules you should set up as a landlord for your tenants ?
That is a very big open question! To be very non-specific about it, I tell tenants that we have a no nonsense policy. Pay your rent on time. Don't bother your neighbors. Take care of the property. Communicate with me when you need something.
The specific rules will depend on the property and your style as a landlord. A single family property will have less restrictive rules than a multifamily.
I find it's easier to communicate to tenants right up front that you have a very low tolerance for nonsense (bickering between neighbors, tenant damaging property, pets causing problems, nonpayment of rent, etc).
"Tenants" could also be called your "clients", without tenants you will go broke.
Yes, I enforce late fees, make sure they take care of the lawns, etc etc, but I always remember its a 'two way street', I need them as much as they need me. I treat my tenants they way I would expect to be treated by any company I do a lot of business with, in a positive, friendly manner.
I have virtually no turn-over, unless they move out of the area or get a divorce, they normally stay,,,,
@Precious Thompson totally broad question but here are 4 things I'd do:
- don't call them "tenants" - call them "residents" and I love what @Andy Collins said about them being your clients too
- always enforce late fees
- make late fees cost $ on a per day vs. a flat fee for being late (assuming it's legal in your area)
- do something special for them that's unexpected (can be a simple note of gratitude)
I always tell the residents in my homes that I want to know about problems immediately and I see to it that they are taken care of right away.
I want them to have pride in my homes. I would rather take less profit than let a house show neglect.
This is a business and I always show respect towards my clients. My reputation is my most important asset and I will make sure to protect it.
I treat them courteously and strictly, start not paying rent. Rent notice once or twice...then breach of lease filing and theyre history. Writen warning provided of course. Mess up my places, warned to repair/ pay for repair. Not paid/ done, breach of lease filed. They pay for repair/ court costs or get out circa eviction. Treat these tenants as employees who are paying for a privilege, don't pay..privilege revoked.
I give my simple expectations to any potential tenants several times from initial meeting (phone or in person) through move in: Respect our Stuff, Respect your Neighbors, and Pay the Rent on time.
If there is an issue that arises, I do my best to show that I mean business (using Rental Agreement) and work to show respect back to them in providing a quality place to live.
We do month to month Rental Agreements for all our units (over 50) and have given two 15 day notices based on respect related points and have only had to evict one tenant to date (existing tenant on distressed property purchase). Family business, had 3 units in 2007...
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