Landlords can follow these top tips to avoid conflict with tenants. Despite best efforts, disputes in a rental unit are inevitable, because landlords and tenants can get into arguments for many reasons. Whether it’s a disagreement over rent, payment delays, a repair problem, or other issues, conflicts can arise between tenants and landlords. However, landlords need to avoid and resolve disputes professionally and minimize disagreements, as the tenant is their customer. Without tenants, you have no income or profit.
Effective communication is key to minimizing conflict. It is imperative to commence and conclude your landlord-tenant relationship with excellent communication throughout. Thorough tenant screening can also prevent future problems from arising. Reviewing the lease is important so that the tenant has no unanswered questions or concerns, to avoid confrontation later on.
That’s why rental property owners need to have the necessary skills to handle tenant disputes, or a reliable property manager to help out. Now, let’s go over some of the more important points to minimize tenant disputes.
Sign-up Your Rental Unit on Your Terms
Sometimes, landlords may face a situation where their vacant rental is impacting their cash flow negatively, so they may be inclined to fill the property at the earliest. Since every day your property is vacant, it’s money out of your pocket, and the need to lease is urgent. However, it is imperative you sign-up a tenant on your terms, and not rush into the first opportunity. You can generate a steady flow of interested tenants with a well-oiled marketing strategy. By showing your rental property to as many potential renters as possible, you can increase the level of interest, and finalize the ones you want to rent to.
Review the lease agreement in detail.
Poorly-worded leases or unclear roles and responsibilities can create conflicts between landlords and tenants. Sometimes landlords may agree on a lease verbally, especially for short-term property rentals, for nine months or less. Rather than go through the lease agreements in detail and make tenants fully aware of what the lease contains, they may take the shortcut.
State your expectations clearly and review the lease before the tenant moves in to avoid lease misunderstandings. If there is a shared awareness of the entire lease agreement, disputes are less likely to happen at a future date.
A Florida lease agreement should include the names of the parties involved. Make sure to include the names of all the tenants of legal age. There are two types of tenancy durations: short-term and long-term. A short-term tenancy runs on a month-to-month basis. On the other hand, a long-term tenancy, known as a fixed-term lease, covers a longer duration, typically a year. Make sure the agreement Indicates what date the lease will take effect as well as the termination date. In addition to the rent amount, the agreement must include the date the rent is due, and the required mode of payment (cash, check, credit, etc.). Security deposit, Occupancy limit, and pet policies are other important aspects to include and get an agreement on, before leasing your rental property. This is important to avoid conflict with tenants in the future.
Maintain a photo record of everything to avoid conflict with tenants.
During the tenure of an occupancy, landlords and tenants should document damages and repairs. By maintaining photo evidence of everything inside and outside of a rental property, landlords can avoid conflict with tenants. Landlords need to take photos of the property before the tenant moves in. By comparing photos, a landlord can tell if the tenant damaged the unit while it was occupied. Or appliances, household items, and amenities were removed by tenants without the landlord’s permission. Similarly, tenants should take photos of maintenance issues or necessary repairs.
Keep all your rental documents handy.
Anytime there is a dispute or complaint, document it. Keep the documentation objective. If the matter ends up in court at some point, this documentation can be admissible as evidence.
Landlords and tenants should keep their lease agreement and all other paperwork handy, as it is another good way to avoid conflict. By maintaining a proper documentation record, arguments between landlords and tenants can be minimized and easily resolved…you know, it’s all there! Securing and centralizing your rental-related documents may sound cumbersome, but it will pay off in the event of a tenant conflict.
Try to resolve a tenant’s disagreement with professional courtesy.
Landlords should do everything they can to resolve an argument civilly since their rental business depends on the unit being rented out with minimal vacancies. Remember, your tenants are your customers as they pay your wage or your mortgage. Without tenants, you have no income or profit.
Hear your tenants out! By keeping an honest and open line of communication, landlords can facilitate tenants in reporting issues. However, if you’ve never met your tenants or spoken with them directly, significant problems could arise without you knowing. By listening, to your tenants, you legitimize their feelings. Be open-minded and ask simple open-ended questions. Try to find the complaint behind the complaint!
That said, if you happen to get into an argument with a tenant, it’s important to stay calm. Although it can be difficult, getting upset with one of your occupants could lead to even more significant issues. Engage with the tenant and attempt to get to the root of the problem. Once you are sure the entire complaint or dispute is out on the table, ask the tenant what they think the solution is.
Often the tenant knows how they would like the matter resolved. Asking for their solution, before proposing yours archives many advantageous things:
- It shows the tenant that you care more about what they think than pushing your agenda.
- Sometimes the tenant proposes a more practical solution to the landlord than the solution you were going to propose.
- Once the tenant has proposed, the landlord can begin negotiating from that point.
How we can help.
When conflicts arise between tenants and landlords, disputes can quickly become costly and time-consuming. And landlords may not have the time or the necessary skills to handle disputes. The reliable team of experts at Real Property Management Premier can help property owners manage tenant disputes.
As a full-service property management company in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Real Property Management Premier provides comprehensive property management services including tenant screening, rent collection, property maintenance, accounting, evictions, and dispute resolution. We work professionally and ensure that all parties involved in the dispute are treated fairly and respectfully.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.