Real estate is my side passion, and I’ve had a little experience with being a landlord. I also spend a good chunk of time hanging out on investment real estate websites. One thing that always makes me a little crazy is when landlords think that they don’t have a responsibility to take care of their tenants. In my opinion, happy tenants are the key to happy landlords.
Happy Tenants Take Care of Your House
Everyone knows that there is a huge place between “house looks like it has just been remodeled” and “house needs a complete redo.” Somewhere in that space falls the “reasonable wear and tear.” Unfortunately, no one has yet come up with an objective way to determine what constitutes reasonable when it comes to the amount of wear and tear that is placed upon a house. To some extent, a landlord has to cross their fingers and hope for the best.
Landlords that take care of their tenants are more likely to find their house in good condition at the move-out inspection, and houses with happy tenants require fewer repairs at turnover. I like fewer repairs, and I like houses in good condition.
Happy Tenants Will Be Nice To You
Let’s imagine a tenant with a semi-serious issue; maybe a clogged toilet that isn’t overflowing and isn’t the only toilet in the house. If you’ve been a good landlord, that tenant is likely to wait until daytime to call you, and they’re also likely to be patient if something prevents you from attending to the issue immediately.
And if you have a disaster, like a tree falling on the house or a major water leak? You really want your tenants to be thinking fondly of you before you venture into that situation.
Happy Tenants Stay Longer
A bad landlord is a recipe for high tenant turnover. Some moves can’t be helped, such as military Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves. Some moves, however, can be prevented just by being a good landlord.
Happy Tenants Do A Great Job Of Showing Your Property
Even the best tenancy has to end someday. Ideally, you’ll have very little time between tenants. This usually requires you to show the property to prospective tenants before the old tenants have moved out. If you’ve been a great landlord, the old tenants will be more willing to cooperate with showings, more likely to have the house looking good, and infinitely more likely to recommend you and your property. This will save you money in vacancies, and decrease the time you spend finding the new tenants.
Happy Tenants Talk More
Good landlord-tenant relationships mean that the landlord and the tenant are talking to each other somewhat regularly. It is just more fun to talk to someone who is happy with you. As a bonus, the more you and your tenant enjoy your conversations, the more often you’ll chat. And more chatting means a higher likelihood that you’ll hear about things that need attention, whether it be a drippy faucet or a drug dealer living down the street.
Obviously, being a good landlord isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. However, landlords that keep their tenant’s (reasonable) happiness in mind find that they have better landlording experiences. They often make more money, too.
Photo by: tinyfroglet
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