documenting-tenant-communication-violations

Documenting Tenant Communication During Property Violations

Phil Puccio

documenting-tenant-communication-violations

Among the many tasks of owning a rental property, maintaining tenant communication is one of the most important. After all, communication is the foundation of any great relationship. 

Handling tenant complaints, repairs, or other concerns can sometimes get extremely frustrating. However, landlords need to keep it together and communicate effectively, even during stressful times. That said, let’s go over some reasons why communication is so essential and how landlords and tenants can communicate effectively. 

Why is Landlord-Tenant Communication Important?

As a landlord, maintaining excellent tenant communication is crucial. That said, when a tenant signs a rental contract, they agree to contact the landlord when necessary. 

Landlords and tenants must communicate many times for certain circumstances. As such, interactions should be professional, polite, and productive to resolve issues efficiently. Keep reading as we discuss some ways landlords can effectively communicate with tenants

  • Keep Communication Professional
  • Speak In-Depth and Clearly State Expectations

Documenting Tenant Communication During Property Violations

Keep Communication Professional

As a landlord and business owner, it’s essential to keep communication professional. Whether with tenants, applicants, or other professionals, it’s necessary to be polite and respectful while communicating. 

That said, establishing a respectful relationship with others around you can help you and your rental business excel. So let’s go over some ways you can remain firm yet friendly with tenants, vendors, or other industry professionals. 

  • Avoid speaking negatively
  • Be kind yet firm when speaking
  • Don’t interrupt while someone else is talking
  • Maintain appropriate eye contact
  • Smile frequently
  • Avoid any aggressive behavior or body language

Although dealing with tenants can get frustrating at times, it’s best to keep calm and avoid letting your anger show through. That said, if you have a hard time communicating effectively with tenants, consider hiring a third-party property manager. A property management company can handle the communication for you, making sure all Fair House compliances are met.  

Speak Clearly and State Expectations In-Depth

When it comes to tenant communication, more is best. Clearly stating expectations and answering all tenant questions is critical for landlords. For example, communicating effectively can lessen the chance of misunderstandings or miscommunication. 

That said, when there are issues within the home, keep your tenants updated on how and when you will resolve them. It’s important to never leave your tenants unanswered for days at a time. Instead, let your tenants know what’s going on, even if it takes a while to get a specialist in to fix a maintenance issue. 

Documenting Tenant Communication During Property Violations

Communicate Effectively for All Tenants

These days, landlords have many different ways to communicate with tenants. Whether via email, text, or regular mailings, landlords should figure out the best way to send information to tenants.

According to specific landlord laws, some documents are required to be in writing. However, since not everyone checks their mail every day, it may be helpful to arrange an alternative contact method with tenants. 

What If a Tenant Violates the Property or Lease Contact?

When a tenant violates the lease contract, it can be highly stressful and frustrating for landlords or property owners. However, it’s crucial to remember practical communication skills, especially during these trying times. 

There are a few scenarios where tenants may neglect the rental terms or cause destruction to the property. So with that, let’s go over a few ways tenants may violate their end of the lease agreement. 

  • Failing to Pay Rent
  • Refusing to Leave the Property 
  • Purposely Damaging Property
  • Wrongful Detainers
  • Bringing Pets into a Pet-Free Home
  • Receiving Noise Complaints Regularly

Failing to Pay Rent

One of the more common lease violations is when tenants fail to pay their rent on time or even at all. However, rental property owners rely on monthly rent payments for income. So, landlords miss out on profits if tenants aren’t paying on time. 

That said, if a tenant has only missed one payment, reach out to them first to see why they haven’t paid yet. Perhaps they have a reasonable explanation for one late payment. Then, if it becomes a more common occurrence, re-address the situation appropriately to reach a conclusion. 

Refusing to Leave the Property

When tenants refuse to leave the property after the lease has expired, it’s often called “holding over.” Tenants must leave the property once the lease is up unless they sign a renewal policy with the landlord. 

Holding over can be highly inconvenient for landlords since they cannot quickly get another person into their rental home. Instead, when a tenant refuses to leave the property, landlords should document everything that has happened and file for eviction. 

Purposely Damaging the Property

If you’re a landlord, you may have experienced the disappointment of someone damaging your rental property. So when you go to address the damages, make sure you have the correct documentation and respond appropriately to the situation. 

Although it can be highly frustrating, maintaining a calm composure can mitigate some of the stressors of these interactions. 

Wrongful Detainers

A wrongful detainer is when someone lives on the property but is not listed on the lease. In other words, the person has no relationship with the landlord and should not be living in the rental unit. 

That said, if someone is staying with you long-term, whether it’s a friend, family member, or significant other, they must be listed on the lease. Likewise, if an extra person lives on the property, landlords should document any evidence and approach the situation early on. 

Bringing Pets into a Pet-Free Home

Documenting Tenant Communication During Property Violations

Bringing pets into a rental unit that is supposed to be pet-free can cause unforeseen problems and damages for landlords. In addition, untrained pets can cause structural damages and leave messes, stains, and smells that are hard to get rid of. 

If you notice a tenant’s pet on your property that isn’t on the lease, try to gather evidence and contact your tenant right away. It’s best to address any concerns immediately to avoid damages to your rental home. 

Receiving Noise Complaints Regularly

If a tenant consistently receives noise complaints from neighbors, landlords should promptly address the situation. After all, you don’t want disruptive and disrespectful tenants to others in the community. 

If one of your tenants has received multiple noise complaints in a row, remind them of the policy on the lease and let them know the consequences. If it happens too many times in a row, it may be wise to start the process of eviction. That said, maintaining tenant communication during these times is still crucial. 

How to Improve Landlord-Tenant Communication

When a tenant violates the lease for any reason, landlords or property management companies are responsible for handling the situation appropriately. As such, landlords must know how to effectively communicate with tenants, no matter what the problem at hand may be. 

Landlords should remember to practice active listening, remain confident, and control their tone while dealing with tenants. Now, let’s go over some ways landlords can improve tenant communication. 

  1. Be honest and create mutual trust with tenants
  2. Be flexible and available when tenants need help
  3. Keep up with preventative maintenance within the rental
  4. Schedule repairs and maintenance conveniently
  5. Stay positive and helpful in all interactions

Need Help Managing Your Rental Property?

Managing property tasks and maintaining communication with tenants can be time-consuming for rental homeowners. That said, many landlords who own one or more properties find it helpful to hire a rental property management company. Luckily, the Bay Property Management Group professionals are here to help you with all your rental home needs. 

Our dedicated team of Northern Virginia property management professionals provides excellent customer service to tenants and owners while handling any situation that may arise within the rental. Contact Bay Property Management Group today if you need help managing communication with tenants in your rental property

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