Managing tenant expectations is key for a stress-free occupancy.
As we all know, moving is an incredibly stressful time. Everything is overwhelming and nothing is perfect. As a landlord, it is my job to provide a move-in ready home and to maintain the home per local requirements. Unfortunately, because everyone has a different perspective, it is important for the landlord to manage the tenant expectations. This way upon move-in you have happy tenants because their expectations have been met or exceeded.
How To Manage Tenant Expectations
Only Saying Yes if You Can Say Yes
One of the worst mistakes a landlord can make is when they say yes even though they have no intention of performing. While it might diffuse the situation at that precise moment, it will only make that and other situations more volatile. If you cannot or will not do something, say no.
I have a 13-page and growing lease. It is very precise on the landlord expectations of the tenant and what the tenant can expect from the landlord. Reducing the grey areas reduced both sides being stressed because everyone knows exactly what is expected. Questions about breaking the lease, improvement, sub-letting etc., is all covered in the lease. If a tenant asks, then all you have to do is refer them to the lease. No one can get upset because it was agreed upon before the lease began.
House Must be Treated as a Business
This is no longer your home — it is a business deal. You want to approve deals that add market value, increase revenue (rents) and allow you to increase fiscal solvency. If it is a good decision for the house, it is important even if it emotionally doesn’t feel like the right decision.
Know that just because you did the three things above, it doesn’t mean that this will be stress-free. It took me many turnovers until I no longer wanted to shoot someone. Remember it is a learning adjustment for everyone.
As a new landlord, you won’t be perfect. Heck, a tenant and I once wanted to kill each other. I thought we were both back in high school and the funny thing is that we were equally at fault. That the same time, I was filling another house. That transition was also stressful because my tenant on the opposite coast was complaining about dust after I had it professionally cleaned.
The key is to remember you are an adult, and you are getting to know them at their lowest point. Smile and brush it off. Personally, it was one of the reasons why I have a super long spelled-out lease along with a Sight Unseen Clause. That being said it does get better. Just stick through it.4
Charles Marchiondo says
We have a good lease that is constantly being updated with the latest changes but I would really like to take a look at yours for some good ideas we might add.
Check out https://www.reluctantlandlord.net/writing-a-kick-ass-lease/. I write about all the different amendments that I put in my lease.