Developing a good relationship with your landlord/tenant


Developing a good relationship with your landlord/tenant

Observer writer

Sunday, September 15, 2019

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The relationship between a landlord and their tenant can often times be tenuous.

While most people would want this area of their life to not be eventful, maintaining a professional relationship can be difficult on either side, especially where communication is not clear or consistent.

Just last week, a director of the Rent Assessment Board, Shenese Headlam, encouraged landlords to be duly registered before renting their properties. While some may question why this need for such stringent action, consider that the board advocates the rights of both landlords and tenants, and in that way can be relied upon to protect the interests of all concerned parties should a rental arrangement go south.

But, before a situation escalates that far it's important to note that there are steps that can be taken to foster a good relationship between landlord and tenant which may render than needless.

The first thing is to ensure everything is put in writing. If all expectations regarding the rental are recorded, then it will be easy for both parties to refer to that document should any issue arise. Having an agreement as a resource can minimise conflicts and help to quickly resolve any that may arise. Headlam said, “tenants and landlords should…ensure that a written agreement is [drafted] because sometimes things that were not initially agreed on are brought into play. Both persons should understand what the contract is saying and a formal agreement made before the tenancy starts,” she said.”

Having an open line of communication helps to ensure both parties are satisfied with the other, which aids in addressing any issues which may not be covered under a rental agreement.

Something as simple as paying the rent a couple days late or being unable to fix a leaking faucet could become exacerbated and worsen a relationship when a quick phone call could have mitigated it.

In the same vein of communication, it is important to remember that in any rental arrangement, someone is making a home out of someone else's house. Regardless of the exchange of money and the perceived condition of the property, mutual respect should always be practiced. Just having common courtesy can towards a person and property will help to maintain harmony.

With that being said, there are realistic expectations of each and, as such, care should be taken to see that those are met.

Repairs that need to be effected and the timely payment of rent is not just a courtesy, it's likely a requirement covered under the rent agreement. While people may have competing concerns, the immediate needs of those involved must be taken into consideration. So, faulty wiring which causes the loss of electricity or damage to appliance of a renter is not something can be put off or handled later.

Even with the best of intentions, an open line of communication and shared respect that creates a relatively good tenant-landlord relationship, life happens. Things are missed, mistakes made and this should not automatically mean a parting of ways. Being open to providing second chances may ultimately prove to be the best decision made in a tenant-landlord link.

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