You may like your tenants, and your tenants may like you, but they don’t tell you some pretty important things. These things may or may not impact the bottom line of your investment, but it really behooves you to know what’s going on.
1 – Repairs
Broken appliances, leaking taps, a broken toilet roll holder or a tile in the kitchen may not make your tenant call you. If it’s not making their day-to-day life more difficult it’s unlikely that you’ll get a call about it. Or what can be worse, is when they try to fix it themselves – without any experience, leading to a bigger problem down the track.
So why won’t they call you? Usually one of two reasons: 1 – They think that the problem isn’t big enough to call you about, and don’t want to become ‘that tenant’ who calls when a lightbulb goes out. 2 – They don’t want to be blamed for the damage. Make sure that when you are dealing with the tenants on any repair/damage issues, you understand how it happened then you can determine if it was willful or not. In my experience, if the tenant has called you to report the damage it’s unlikey that they caused it. Tenants who call are usually (not always, mind you) are the responsible ones.
2 – The price
Yes your tenants grumble about the price they pay in rent. Just like everyone grumbles about paying for the price of petrol. If they do voice their displeasure, make sure you let them know that the price (and the date that rent is due) is non-negotiable.
3 – Their questionable habits.
You probably don’t want to know about these – nor need to know in most cases. Sometimes this will impact your property and sometimes it won’t. Sometimes it’s better not to know that they like to walk around the house naked, or that the clothes dryer is used as a cat bed. But if they are using the vent as storage for drugs – you need to know about it.
4 – Cleaning
There are some people who love to clean and keep their houses spotless and there are some who will only do a mad clean the day before a house inspection. If your tenants fall into the latter category, then that is even more reason to make sure that you hold regular house inspections.
5 – Violations
There will be some tenants who push it, they know the rental agreement but they try and get away with it anyway – smoking, sub-letting, pets etc. Make sure when they move in you are very clear with them what the rules are, and then when you conduct your house inspections pay close attention to areas that may cause a violation.
If you would like your tenants to call you with any issue, then make sure that you don’t over-react when they do. Take a step back and put yourself in the tenants shoes first before laying blame or guilt. You can’t have it both ways . If you want your tenant to call you then don’t get frustrated and lay blame when things go wrong. That’s a sure fire way of making yourself go crazy (and have a high turn over rate).
Also remember that not all tenants are bad. There are great tenants out there who will look after your property and keep you informed when things aren’t going as well as expected. Make sure you keep hold of these ones and treat them with respect – they are the ones that will make your investment worth it.