09 Jan 6 Landlord Tips for a Better Relationship with your Tampa Tenants
As a Tampa landlord, you probably know just how detrimental a high tenant turnover can be. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that the relationship between you and your tenant is healthy.
When you have a healthy landlord-tenant relationship, issues are less likely to occur. And more, a good relationship will directly impact your finances, comfort, and lifestyle.
Below are 6 proven tips to have a good relationship with your Tampa tenants.
Tip #1: Determine the Right Rental Price
Overcharging tenants is no way to build loyalty or earn lease renewals. Conversely, undercharging tenants will only make you feel frustrated.
For you to achieve a good landlord-tenant relationship, the rent must be fair. That is, neither too high nor too low.
Now, there are different ways of determining the rent amount. Perhaps the most popular tool is comparative market analysis or CAM. Essentially, the tool helps determine what the acceptable rent is in your area.
Tip #2: Screen Tenants Thoroughly
This is a no brainer. Screening tenants help avoid leasing your Tampa, FL property to the wrong group of tenants. Generally, the screening process looks at things like proof of income, rental history, creditworthiness, and criminal background.
When screening a prospective renter, it pays to look out for warning signs such as:
- Dishonesty: Prospective renters who lie to you aren’t worth your time. If you discover the renter provided inaccurate income estimates, fake references, or false employment history, cut them loose.
- Scattered Employment History: This is a major warning sign. A renter who can’t seem to keep one job for long is a relocation risk.
- Eviction History: It goes without saying that eviction is one of the biggest red flags a tenant can have.
- Bad Credit: Rent is the lifeblood of the rental business. As such, you want to find a tenant who will be able to pay their rent on time each month. The only way to guarantee this is by running a credit check on all of your prospective tenants. Seek their consent first before running a credit check.
Tip #3: Communicate with Tenants
In life, effective communication is key to success. In fact, the cause of many landlord and tenant relationship problems is related to someone’s inability to focus and listen.
When landlords communicate well with their tenant, it helps eliminate misunderstanding and can encourage a healthy and peaceful relationship.
Below are some tips to help you in this regard:
- Don’t make assumptions. Are you wondering what’s going on with your renter lately? If so, simply ask. Don’t assume.
- Respect their boundaries. Don’t call your tenant at any hour, or expect them to allow you in their unit without notice.
- Ask your tenant what their preferred method of communication is. For some, that’s a text. For others, it’s a phone call.
- Know when to talk and when to listen. One way to kill a landlord-tenant relationship is to have poor listening skills.
Tip #4: Respond to Repair and Maintenance Problems ASAP
As a landlord in Tampa, the law requires you to keep your rental property in habitable condition. There is nothing that frustrates renters more than landlords who are slow on maintenance issues.
Tenants have the right to basic maintenance and repairs. Non-responsive maintenance is, in fact, one of the main reasons for high tenant turnover.
If you repeatedly fail to respond to repair and maintenance issues, Florida landlord-tenant law gives your tenant the following options. To:
- Make the repairs and deduct the costs from the next month’s rent.
- Withhold the whole rent amount until you agree to fix the problem.
- Notify the local building inspector, who can order you to make the repairs immediately.
- Break the lease without further responsibility to continue paying rent.
Tip #5: Respect your Tenant’s Right to Privacy
You must let renter live in their home without interference. You cannot just barge in on your renters any time you want. Your property is now their home. If you need to access the property, make sure you notify them well in advance.
In the state of Florida, the rental law requires that you give your tenant at least a 12 hours’ notice if you plan on doing any repairs. For all other situations, like property inspections and property showings, the law simply says the notice must be “reasonable.”
Entry times must be reasonable, too. For instance, keep your visiting hours to 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. during weekdays and 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. during weekends.
Tip #6: Enforce Lease Terms
To demand respect and reliability from your tenants, you need to create strict rules and stick to them from the moment they set foot on your property.
To ensure all your bases are covered, your rules should cover things like:
- Rent-related Issues: For example, when it’s due and when it’s considered late.
- Security Deposit Information: Let your tenants know that they risk losing all or portion of their security deposit if they cause excessive property damage.
- Right of Entry: Let them know that you reserve the right to access the property so long as you serve them reasonable notice.
- Pets and related policies: Have a ‘no pet’ policy? If so, let your tenants know from the beginning. But if you allow them, then state what kind of pets are permissible and which ones are not.
- Cleanliness Guidelines: A dirty home is a health hazard not only to the renter in question but also to the neighbors. As such, make sure you establish and enforce clear cleanliness guidelines.
A good relationship with your tenant is key to the success of your Tampa rental business. It’ll enable you to reap the rewards of your investment, and your tenants will be able to enjoy a stress-free tenancy.