How often should I speak to my tenant?
Updated: Aug 16, 2018
I have been on both sides of the coin, as both a paying tenant but also a landlord. I have, as I'm sure you have, wondered how often I should be checking in with my tenants. Obviously if you employ the services of a rental management company, the answer is not at all. But if like so many you are a "hands-on" landlord, it's important you manage the tenant/landlord relationship well.
From a tenants perspective, you hope to not give your landlord a reason to call you accept when vitally necessary, as we all live such busy lives. Spending 20 minutes of your day answering 101 questions about the conditions of the walls, extent of the damp in the hall-way or the strange noises coming from your neighbours, isn't my idea of time well spent and tenants do not like it!
But there needs to be a level of understanding and your tenant must appreciate that their home means a lot to you also. When I started building my portfolio I was very hands-on. The thought of letting an "unknown" live in my property, did not sit well with me, especially when I look back at the hard work and sacrifices that went in to saving for my first deposit. As my portfolio went from 2 to 5 properties, I had to step back and remove the emotion as best I could.
Weekly calls are not cool. You need to have faith that the impression that the tenant made on you during the initial viewing, is enough to help you sleep at night not worrying about how they are treating your property/investment/savings/nest egg.
I have learned that you need to strike a balance. There should be no real need to contact your tenant unless you are wanting to gain access to complete work, conduct viewings, discuss renewal terms or if you have some kind of inspection pre-arranged. Oh, and if their rent hasn't arrived on time.... but that's another story!
In an ideal world, once your tenant has moved in, the next contact shouldn't be for another 9 months. But, as a landlord, you need to prepare yourself to be contacted by your tenant more frequently than this. Your tenant is paying rent to you and they are generally very quick to report the slightest of issues, that may be affecting their stay in your property.
So don't worry too much about frequently calling your tenant, the relationship works a lot better when the contact is minimal. Spend the time finding the right tenant for you and your property to reduce the risk of taking on another full-time job.