How to Set Appropriate Boundaries with Your Tenants

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Having a great relationship and building rapport with your tenants is essential to your rental property success. No one wants to rent from someone they don’t like. But much like parenting, you don’t want to blur those professional lines too much, or you’ll risk tenants walking all over you or overstepping. So, what are those fine lines today’s rental property owners need to maintain? And more significantly, how can you be sure you’re setting appropriate boundaries as you build tenant relationships? Today, we’ll share insights to ensure you develop and maintain healthy relationships with your renters, including where to draw those boundaries.

Communication Up Front Regarding Availability

Being available to your tenants when they have questions or need repairs is paramount. But don’t go overboard with how “available” you plan to be for them. Instead, be concise with your communication about exactly when they can call you, how they can get the quickest response for repairs, and what defines an emergency call. Establish separate channels for general conversations or suggestions. And let them know that for non-emergency inquiries, there may be a window of time when they can expect a response. 

Be Transparent About What You Will and Won’t Do

Another key aspect of any great relationship involves managing expectations. You can avoid unrenewed leases and high turnover by being transparent about what you will and won’t do as a property manager. Set the right expectations about what maintenance is your responsibility and what falls into their care. Outline exactly what types of wear and tear might cost them a deposit and what you define to be damage. It might be tedious at first to run through a full list of “here’s what I do” and “here’s what you do,” but trust us. It’s worth it, and it will serve as a foundation for a healthy tenant-landlord relationship.

Protect Yourself and Your Assets

With tenant relationships, it’s important to protect yourself, meaning don’t hesitate to stand up for yourself. With your tenants, it’s equally important to not be a doormat. Some renters can be aggressive, passive-aggressive, or downright bullish. Don’t let anyone or any circumstance put you or your assets at risk. Keep records and document everything. Consult your lawyer and take action when you feel the risks far outweigh the rewards of any tenant engagement.

Be Helpful and Resourceful, Not Just Friendly

Of course, you’ll engage each new renter with professional courtesy. But when you define a relationship on small talk and friendly conversation, you can inadvertently convey to your clients that you want to be friends. Instead of being friends, consider defining your position in the relationship as the helpful and resourceful party. Create a welcome package, for example, which is a friendly way to welcome someone into your property. But this package includes community contacts and information, like utility contacts, local restaurants, nearby maps to parks, and other attractions. 

Create a Professional Layer of Separation with Tenant Relationships

Instead of trying to walk the tenant relationship line on your own, you could hire a rental property manager to create a professional layer of separation for you. Let the property manager handle all the communications, lease discussions, repair requests, and tenant questions. You can then step in on occasion to professionally check in with your tenants and verify their satisfaction. It’s the best solution to the renter relationship dance and reduces your risk of overstepping those relationship boundaries.

Keep these insights and tips in mind as you sign new renters and build those tenant relationships and boundaries. And let PMI JCM Realty Group be your property management partner!

At PMI JCM Realty Group, our team is always sharing the latest in rental property tips and emerging trends happening right here in Tampa’s market. If you’re ready to start improving your landlord-tenant experience, relationships, portfolio performance, and bottom line, sign up right now for our free webinar. There you will learn relevant strategies for rental investment success. It’s a must-watch webinar with real-world advice and actionable tips, like How to Streamline Your Rental Portfolio for Maximum Growth! Local property investors, both in Tampa and abroad, who are just like you, will always find something useful to apply.

Don’t forget to connect with us on social, too! There are always great answers to the most pressing rental management investment questions among professionals in our Facebook group. Join the latest conversations and collaborate! Feel free to reach out to other rental property owners who are looking to achieve similar portfolio ROI objectives with their rental property investments. Exchange suggestions and ideas with fellow owners and talk about challenges with other rental property investing professionals. And should you have other questions requiring a more in-depth or tailored solution, schedule a meeting on my calendar; let’s connect!