As a landlord or property manager, sometimes you have to be the bearer of bad news. Too often, that means your tenants begin seeing you as the "bad guy." This role isn't fun for anyone to play, but it's a necessary evil at times. Some weeks, though, it can feel as though all you do is deliver bad news. It's no fun playing bad cop all the time, so if you feel like you need some help delivering news in a way that's not so morose, keep reading! Cal Bay Property Management's Scott Safadi says that virtually every property manager can benefit from these tips. Tenants hate to hear:
"We're raising your rent."
Nobody likes paying more money for the same rental home or apartment, but there comes a time when a property owner must raise the rent. Delivering this news is nobody's idea of a good time, but it will be necessary for virtually every property manager at some point or another. The cost of living goes up, inflation occurs and taxes and maintenance costs rise. Even when you try not to pass on this cost to your tenant, it's bound to happen eventually.
Try delivering this news with your reasons for raising the rent. Most tenants understand that you are first and foremost a business person. They get that you need to make a profit, but you should balance this knowledge with compassion. Acknowledge that the rise in price is less than ideal and be willing to work with tenants on alternative due dates if it makes it easier to pay the rent.
"We can't return your entire security deposit."
Even the neatest, cleanest and most conscientious of tenants can cause expensive damage to their rental. When this occurs, it's on the property manager to deliver the news that their security deposit won't be returned in full. The next time you need to break this news, arm yourself with information. Bring the lease along with you for this conversation and highlight important clauses surrounding damage and negligence.
"We cannot approve your application."
Filling vacancies is hard, but breaking the news to an applicant that they cannot move in after all is even more difficult. When informing the applicant of your decision, be sure you are not violating any Fair Housing laws in your decision. Even though the person is not going to be your tenant, it pays to handle the interaction gently.
- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management
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