Don’t leave your relationship with your tenants to just a lease and rent collection. To attract and retain good tenants, it is crucial to build a transparent and positive landlord-tenant relationship.
Why it’s so important to build a good relationship with your tenants
1. Happy tenants are:
- More likely to stay longer so it saves you time and money
- Take better care of the home
- Easier to manage in the event of a problem with the rented property
2. It’s also about building and preserving your reputation as a landlord. You might get references from your tenants.
Meet your future tenants for the first time
3. Engage in a real conversation with applicants when they’re visiting your property. By being courteous, they’ll feel more comfortable sharing about themselves so you can get a sense of their character:
- Who they are;
- What they do for a living;
- Why are they moving out from their current home;
- What they’re looking in their next home…
Discover the 3 profiles of renters who make up a significant portion of the demand for rented properties.
Be upfront with your requirements
4. Setting clear expectations reduces confusion and mishaps. Let the applicants know what you’ll do, as landlord looking to protect his investment property, such as:
- Screen your candidates including checking their references
- Ask for a security deposit (unless your rental is in Quebec)
- Sign a lease
- Ask your tenants to have their own renter’s insurance
- Mention how often you’ll visit your rental (e.g. exterior checks every month, interior visits every trimester…) – Don’t forget to ask permission to access your property once they’ve moved in.
Welcoming them on their moving day
5. Investing a little bit of time on their moving day, you will save several calls from your tenants over the first weeks of their tenancy. Welcoming them in person into your rental is a great opportunity to:
- Build a stronger and more personal relationship
- Walk-through the property to assess any existing wear or damage (so when they move out, you can determine if their deposit is to be refunded based on the condition of your dwelling)
- Show them around: how to maintain the heat to avoid bursting pipes, how to use the appliances, what day is the garbage pick up…
- Answer any of their questions
- Discuss the rent payment: cheques, online payment, cash…
6. Go above and beyond for your tenants and consider:
- Giving them a hand to move in
- Offering them a welcome gift
Decide how to communicate together
7. Decide with your tenants which is the most efficient / preferred way of communication.
8. The best is to give them multiple touch points:
- Your cell number at minimum
- Ideally your work and home phone numbers in case of emergency
- Your email too
Consider organizing social events with your tenants
9. Here’s a great initiative from a Nova Scotia landlord. With his sons, they held a ‘Tenant appreciation day’ . Their tenants and their families were invited to a day of activities (barbecue, karaoke, bingo…) Why not try something similar?
10. Be available, punctual and trustworthy. If there’s an issue at your property (e.g. heating problems or leaking pipe), try to get back to them within 2 hours. Then it is crucial that you take the issue seriously and provide them with an adequate solution. If your tenants witness your efforts to take good care of your property, they’re more likely to do it too.
Obviously your relationship with your tenants would also depend on what kind of landlord you are. Take our quiz to discover your landlord profile.