Considerable time and effort is put into finding the best fit tenant for a given rental unit. Once the tenant signs the lease a break in period tends to occur. This is a critical time in establishing how the rest of the occupancy of the unit will unfold. Don’t completely panic if the renter begins to discuss concerns about the rental unit, this is typical.
If you have ever purchased property you are well aware of the little things that pop up after the sale, that might have been overlooked during the walk through and inspection process. Renters can experience much the same and unlike a purchase, where you are pretty much stuck with the shortcomings of the property, the renter will expect a response to these concerns. This is an excellent opportunity to establish a positive relationship with the tenant.
No matter how ‘knit picky’ you think there concerns are, address them with concern and understanding and you will likely calm their move in anxieties. Inwardly you might be thinking some fairly negative thoughts about having to cater to there every concern, keep it to yourself. Don’t grumble or complain and you will soon find that these first few projects will fade away to a normal ‘occasional’ call about a clog in the sink.
I go out of my way to outline what my responsibilities will be, both in conversation and in the lease, well before the tenant occupies the unit. I sometimes have to remind them a few more times after the move in date, but I often pitch in with help on items that are clearly not part of our rental agreement. Doing so makes the rental period go very smoothly. I even get concerned because I have not heard from a renter in over six months, (other than receiving the rental check).
One recent example of pitching in involved a washer/dryer install. I clearly stated the hookups are provided but the tenant would need to provide/maintain and install the washer/dryer. The tenant had concerns about the install and asked if I could take a look and correct any issues. I took the time to correct a few issues and while working on the project she discussed extending the lease for a two year period, (I am not exaggerating this). That simple project which was not my responsibility, landed two more years of steady cash flow!