When you’re a landlord with tenants living in your rental home, maintaining a professional and respectful relationship is the best idea. You might be a sociable, outgoing person who likes to be friends with everyone. However, when it comes to the people who are renting a home from you – it’s necessary to maintain a bit of professional distance.
Rights and Responsibilities
When the tenants sign a lease, they get the legal possession of your property in exchange for the rent they pay you every month. Your rental agreement will state all the responsibilities of each party, and your duty is to provide a safe and habitable home throughout the tenancy. You are required to comply with all the local, state and federal laws that pertain to rental housing. This includes fair housing laws, which can be quite strict. If you develop a friendship with one of your tenants but not the others, you might be perceived as giving your friends special treatment, and that’s a fair housing violation.
When one party thinks the other party is violating the lease terms, conflicts can arise and you want to be able to deal with those conflicts as a landlord, not as a friend. The tenants might claim that you aren’t fixing maintenance issues in a timely manner and you might need to approach your tenants about late rent payments. A friendship can get in the way of these matters and make things a lot more difficult for you.
One of the best ways to maintain a positive and distant relationship with your tenants is by hiring a professional property manager. That puts a professional between you and your tenant and you can be sure everything is being handled legally and competently. If you’re managing on your own, make sure you respond to tenant issues right away and stay up to date on all the laws and regulations so your investment is protected.
The rental market has grown more crowded and complicated than it ever has been. Developing a friendship with your tenants only puts you at risk, and you don’t want that to happen. Talk to a property manager so you aren’t on your own when it comes to dealing with tenant complaints and questions.
If you need additional help, please contact us at Valley Oak Property Management, and we’d be happy to tell you more.