Many of the property owners we work with don’t really know what to expect from their tenants. Landlords would love for the house to come back the way it was given to a tenant and they would like the rent to be paid on time every month. Beyond that, they don’t really think about what they want from renters.

There is a lot more to the landlord/tenant relationship. Take some time to think about what you expect from a tenant, and when a lease is signed, tell the tenant exactly what you want and need. Be courageous and tell the truth. You have to be willing to tell your tenants what they need to know.

For example, if you have a zero tolerance policy for late rent payments, explain that. In addition to having an open conversation with your tenants, put it in writing. The lease is a good place to state your expectations clearly. You should also address maintenance procedures and limitations. At Aborn Properties, we do not allow tenants to do their own maintenance under any circumstances. We sometimes get tenants who want to know if they can cut down their rent in exchange for maintenance work. Our experience is that the maintenance will rarely get done well and then you’re still not collecting the rental income you wanted. You might as well pay the price you’re going to pay in order to have a qualified contractor who will stand behind the work.

We always suggest you keep your motivations in check when you are determining what you want from your tenants. Have a maximum late fee if you don’t want any rent to come in late, and charge the tenants if a 3 Day Notice is required. This will help the tenant understand from the start the importance of paying on time. You have to know what you want and you can’t say one thing then do another thing. Be consistent and fair. Before you enter into a business relationship with your tenants, you need to have your goals and expectations clearly defined and communicated. It will save you a lot of time and frustration.

If you have any questions about maintaining a good relationship with your tenants, please contact us at Aborn Properties, and we’d be happy to help you.