Updated: Jan 10
Tenants have a shaky reputation with property owners. People have been renting for centuries and, understandably, things went south at some points - from damaged properties to growing rent arrears and even criminal activities. A quick search on Google for “tenant horror stories” will show you that there are a few bad apples out there. That’s why tenant screening is used to weed out the unreliable ones.
For the most part, though, tenants have good intentions and want to maintain a healthy relationship with property owners and managers.
Most tenant stereotypes are inaccurate and not grounded in reality. In this post, we’ll discuss four common stereotypes about tenants that should not exist.
Tenants Don’t Like Paying on time
The pandemic may have played a role in exaggerating this stereotype. The truth is, tenants don’t lease apartments they cannot afford. It’s extremely rare for tenants to be late with their payments. But pandemic or not, tenants do have a responsibility to pay their rent on time.
In some cases, it may be a good idea for your bottom line to give some leeway to your tenants when it comes to late payments. Maybe they’ve hit rock bottom, but things may turn around a few days later.
The best way to do this is to set up a meeting with them and create a payment plan that works with their financial arrangement. Most property managers will agree that tenants don’t take pride in rent arrears.
Tenants Always Leave a Mess Behind
This is a common stereotype – mostly because of social media and misinformation. It isn’t unusual to see viral social media feeds of landlords finding their properties used and abused. We recommend checking your property every now and then to ease your mind. Just make sure to give your tenant a heads up that you would like to visit your property for an inspection.
Pro tip: Your property manager should help you draft a lease agreement that also includes provisions for preventive maintenance and scheduled inspections. Ask your tenants to set their calendars accordingly so they’re not surprised when you or your contractors show up for a property inspection.
For the most part, tenants know they have a reputation to keep and will clean the rental unit before handing it over.
Tenants aren’t Good at Communicating
We all lead busy lives and sometimes, people forget to reply. And that’s okay. If your tenant forgot to reply or didn’t answer your phone call, it’s best to wait a few days until they do respond.
But if this becomes an ongoing habit, it will undoubtedly affect your relationship with the tenant and confirm the stereotype.
One way to avoid this is to simply ask your tenant about their availability. You can also reach out to your tenant via phone calls, emails, and even in-person visits (it’s best if they are scheduled).
If your tenant refuses to communicate effectively, you can politely ask them to be more cooperative if they want to continue this relationship. This also reaffirms the fact that you are available through various channels of communication. Your tenants will trust you and feel comfortable talking to you – a key component of long-term leases.
Tenants are Noisy
You can’t dictate how a person lives – but you can specify rules that regulate noise levels. For example, tenants that stream loud music on the weekend can make life a nightmare for neighbors. If this becomes a habit, neighbors will likely ask you to intervene and deal with this issue.
It helps to be proactive and include a clause in your lease agreement that prohibits renters from causing stress to neighbors due to noise levels.
You can do your own investigation by monitoring the noise levels of computers and televisions during the day. Another good idea is to place carpets and rubber mats around the home for some level of soundproofing.
Pro tip: You may encounter neighbors overly sensitive to every little noise that your tenants make. If you believe that a complaint is unfair, make sure to defend your tenant and stand your ground.
It’s always a good idea to hire a property manager to properly screen tenants before leasing an apartment. Get in touch with us to learn more about hiring the best property manager near you.