Being a landlord is comparable to being a spouse to your tenants: landlords are relatively easy to find, make big promises to reel people in, and are next-to-impossible to get rid of. Just as no one would want to get stuck with a spouse they can’t stand, no tenant wants to get stuck dealing with a bad landlord, and here are some things most people will do when they are trying to find out what kind of landlord you are:
#1. Ask questions
Tenants ask a lot of questions to see if you’re dismissive of significant issues. You will need to take this very seriously, and provide them with reasonable answers in a timely manner. Dodging their questions could bring up suspicions which will be hard to shake off in the future. They’re entitled to know about pest problems, plumbing issues and anything else inside a house or apartment that doesn’t seem right. If they can’t get that information from you, it’s a strong sign that you are a bad landlord.
#2. Test your availability
If they can’t seem to get you on the phone before they are even officially your tenant, they’ll certainly think hard and long, about what’s likely to happen when they eventually have maintenance requests. Also, if you aren’t willing to give them a phone number but offer an email address or PO box instead, they will know you won’t be easily reached when urgently needed.
#3. Watch your behavior
Even if a prospective tenant gives you a call in the middle of the night, you can’t afford to be rude or overtly display your annoyance. People will likely take their business elsewhere when their landlords treat them rudely, or when they suspect that a prospective landlord might be a bit difficult to relate with.
#4. Observe your compliance with legal procedures
Entering into a legal agreement could be quite complicated, and sometimes it does sound a bit more human and convenient, to avoid getting into the intricacies of “legalese” altogether; but insisting on cash only, is a strong sign of some possibly, illegal activity going on behind the scenes. Even if you mean well, sticking to best practices will be a smart idea.
#5. Background check
It might surprise you to learn that just as employers frequently carry out google searches on potential employees, your prospective tenants may do the same for you. If you get bad reviews or are associated with any lawsuits or scandals, this will be a pretty clear sign that you might be trouble, and they’ll think twice before trusting you.