As a landlord, there are so many skills that you need to have. You need to be a jack of all trades, so to speak. However, there is one key trait that I think you need to be a successful landlord, and one that most people overlook.
The 1 Key Trait
The number one thing that you need to be a great landlord is respect. I bet you thought I was going to say something else, but I believe respect is truly the foundation of any good relationship, so that includes the landlord/tenant relationship as well.
A Good Landlord is Respectful of his Tenants
A successful landlord does not view himself as high on a pedestal above his lowly tenants. You have to see it as a mutually beneficial relationship. While it is true that a landlord is making money from a tenant, a tenant is also getting a place to live without the risks of owning. If done correctly, the landlord is gaining a valuable relationship. The right tenant will keep your property in working order and help it appreciate in value. They not only pay the mortgage and all of the associated fees with owning the property, but their rent money will give you passive income every month. Respect your tenant for that!
A Good Landlord Respects Themselves
Your job as a landlord is to keep the place safe and in working order for your tenants. It is not your job to be their counselor or their friend. You are not helping a tenant by letting them get six months behind on rent because they are going through a tough time. They might be going through a tough time, but now you have set the expectation that you are not to be respected and people will often take advantage of that.
A good landlord will:
- Give his tenant plenty of notice before entering the property
- Fix issues in a timely manner
- Expect tenants to pay on time every month and work to correct payment issues quickly
- Clearly set boundaries with a tenant early to avoid issues
A Good Tenant is Respectful of his Landlord
A good many problem tenants can be avoided if you do your proper screening, but especially when you are a new landlord, it’s not always easy to tell right away. You will usually learn all that you need to about a tenant in the first month or two.
A good tenant will:
- Pay on time
- If they will be late with their rent for the month, they will notify you well in advance and work out a payment plan with you to get back on track
- Alert you to repairs that are needed in a timely manner
- Not call or text you in the middle of the night for things that they can take care of themselves (like changing a lightbulb, yes, this has happened)
- Make reasonable requests
I hope that you can see how respect is the most important aspect of the landlord/tenant relationship. It really does affect everything that you do, and if you have a respectful relationship with your tenant, your property will be profitable for years to come.