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Problems with Befriending Your Tenant

Olivia Back

Whether you are managing your own properties or working with a property management company, meeting your tenants is never a good idea. Some owners like to know who is residing in their homes, but we’ll explain why this can create problems for you.

If You Hired a Property Manager…

Creates a Triangle of Miscommunication

When multiple parties are involved, the tenant might not know who to report to. The may even tell the owner one thing and the property management company something else. Even if they only report to the owner, the owner could relay incorrect information to the property manager.Beautiful young lady thinking with question marks overhead

Additionally, the tenant usually feels that the owner is higher up on the totem pole. They often won’t bother with the property manager once they establish a connection to the owner. This creates a problem for the owner because they aren’t in charge of tasks and problems for the property manager to get the tenant to communicate with them.

If the tenant and owner have a line of communication, the tenants may try to sway the owner into a smaller rent increase or no increase at all. This is detrimental to the owner because their home needs to rent for market rent (or slightly below) in order to make renting worth it.

You Hired a Buffer

The reason you hired a property manager is because you didn’t want to manage the property yourself. Along with handling maintenance and leasing the home comes tenant relations. The property manager is there to communicate with tenants on behalf of you.

Things are much more efficient when you are hands-off. If the tenant is able to communicate with both you and your property manager, why would they bother running anything by the manager? They will feel that you hold the power and send complaints or requests to you instead.

This is a problem because you might agree to something and then have to report back to the property management company. The property manager should be the one responsible for determining necessary repairs and how to resolve them, not the owner. Things can get messy when these paths cross.

If You’re Managing the Property Yourself...

Befriending the Tenant

If you’re managing your own property, you will likely meet your tenant since you don’t have a buffer person. This relationship should be kept on professional terms so you don’t run into future issues. pexels-photo-1054974

When you develop a friendship with your tenants, they will treat you as a friend and not an authority figure. They may ask for leniency when it comes to late payments or lease violations. You’ll be tempted to give in to their requests as to not make things awkward.

This will only cause more problems for you. You won’t want to cause friction with the tenants, but you could lose out on necessary fees. It’ll be hard to tell when you should draw the line once you allow them to break a rule.

Should You Rent to a Friend?

You might think it’s a good idea to rent to someone you know, such as a friend or relative. However, these situations can quickly turn sour. These tenants might be more relaxed about maintenance issues or repairs, but when it comes to issues involving money, be prepared for problems to arise. 

Let’s say you send them a bill at the end of their tenancy regarding their security deposit. You say that it will cost $500 (taken from their security deposit) for needed repairs and cleaning, but they don’t want to pay that. They’ll likely ask for leniency or a “discount” for being a friend. This will only cost you money and make you resent them for asking for favors.

Keep in mind, you should be treating all tenants the same if you have multiple properties. You could get into big trouble if you're allowing late rent from your friends and being strict with other tenants. 

If you're wondering how you can get the best tenant for your property, check out the blog below! 

Tips for Getting the Best Tenant For Your Rental Property

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