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The first rule of Tenant Relations is not to involve friends or family. Tenants involve a very special relationship. Here are the few basic things involved in a Landlord - Tenant Relationship.
The most important thing is to know the laws in your State. Try to get a copy of the Tenant - Landloard handbook for your State. If your State does not have one the Rhode Island Landlord - Tenant handbook is a great guideline to start with.
The main thing to consider is being reasonable. Your job is to provide a space that is; safe and affordable, to a tenant that will fit the property, pay the rent and not trash the place.
If you are doing your job, then it is up to the Tenant to pay the rent and not trash the place.
Nobody likes it when the rent is late. The Landlord does not like it, and the Tenant does not like it. Many Landlords would say "I do not care what the Tenants problems are, I just want my rent". Well both parts of that statement are true, but you have to be careful how you deal with it. I would say to both the Landlord and the Tenant that the reasons or excuses do not matter. The Landlord should ask the Tenant when they expect to have the rent. The Tenant should state when they expect to have the rent with minimal explination. Anything much beyond that should make both parties consider weather they picked the right Tenant or property to occupy.
If there is a repair issue, you need to handle it properly. Determine the importance of the repair, in regard to providing safe and affordable housing. If the repair does not involve a safety issue, it can wait for the convenience of the Landlord for, either scheduling, or financial issues. If there is a safety issue, you must at least find a way to make it safe, as soon as possible. The Landlord must then continue to keep it safe, while you either, obtain financing, &/or complete the repairs.
Service issues are another story. The Landlord must always provide the services that are included to the Tenant. Things like Heat, Hot Water, Electricity & Cooking are services that must be maintained. The issue in regard to ownership of appliances and payment of utilities are determined at the beginning of the Rental period. After that, the Landlord must make sure that they provide the services they are responsible for, regardless of the rent payment status.
So, for the best Tenant Relations you need to provide a space that is; safe and affordable, to a tenant that will fit the property, pay the rent and not trash the place.
E-Mail: Scott Ehrenberg
The Berg Company's
21 Alexandre Road
Coventry, RI 02816