Today, we’re talking about an issue that comes up quite a bit in landlord forums and rental property management in general. It’s how to keep your emotions in check when dealing with your tenant. The best way I found to do this is to manage your rental like a business. It really is a business, and you have to treat it that way. The biggest mistake self-managing homeowners make is to get into personal relationships with their tenants. This is great, outside of the property management field. When it comes to real estate investing, you need to treat your tenants the way you would treat anyone else in a business relationship. This will bring better results and keep you out of emotionally charged situations.

Property Management Seattle: Systems

A good way to maintain emotional control is by creating systems that are repeatable. These become your best practices. You should have some consistent move-in practices, a method for how you take your pictures, and a procedure for getting documents signed. You need to follow these systems and do things the same way every time. Think about how you screen applicants, and make sure you aren’t choosing tenants based on how you feel about them. Verify all the information they provide and stick to your rental criteria. If you screen the same way every time, you’ll have much better results than you will if you choose a tenant by going with your gut.

Property Management Seattle: Documents

Have strong, up-to-date documents. That would include your lease documents, addenda, move-in and move-out documents, and disclosures you’re giving to the tenants. Make sure all of your forms are up to date with applicable federal, state, and local laws. Ask an attorney to review your documents so they are enforceable if anything happens. If there is a problem, your documentation and lease will help you keep emotion out of the situation.

Property Management Seattle: Enforce Your Lease

Enforce your lease. In any business transaction, there’s a contract. For the purposes of property management, the contract requires the landlord to provide safe housing and reasonable repairs and responsiveness. The tenant is required to keep the house in good condition and pay rent on time. So, keep your lease up-to-date and thorough. This is the document that will govern your actions. Enforce it. If rent is paid late and your lease states there’s a late fee, charge the late fee. This consistency will create a much better relationship with your tenants.

If you have any questions about how to exercise emotional control or you need help with Redmond property management, please contact us. SJA Property Management is an industry leader in the Puget Sound area, including Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Seattle.