You’ve heard it before – “the customer is always right”.
What say you, dear reader?
Does this common notion apply to rental situations, too?
Being right should not be the priority in a relationship (including landlord-tenant relationships).
Having the final say to prove your point can often make matters worse and also puff up (false) assumptions that can kill any form of possible resolve almost instantaneously.
Let’s curb this before it even heads down that miserable road!
7 key tips to diffuse landlord-tenant tension.
Don’t wait for matters to explode; apply these tips to help bring peace to your rental situation today.
JOHN HANCOCK FREEZE
Start your relationship off right. READ before you sign. Make sure that what you sign equates to what was agreed to verbally. If there are any question marks, pause before signing and make sure there’s clarity and confirmation within the written agreement.
Do you have an appointment to view an apartment tomorrow? Take someone with you. Do you have a meeting this evening with your tenant about an on-going issue? Take someone with you. Your comrade need not open their mouth to utter words but merely provide a second set of eyes and ears. Sometimes we enter such situations with a one-track mind that we can fail to see or hear what’s really transpiring right before us.
PEN AND PAPER NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE
Document everything. With the fast-track media frenzy world that we live in today, our memories may not be the most reliable when it comes to record-keeping. Keep a notebook and pen handy to document agreements, dates, and maintenance issues throughout the lease period. Email is good too.
‘ASSUME’ and YOU MAKE A FOOL OUT OF YOU, NOT ME
If you don’t quite understand the request/complaint, request further dialogue. Ask the horse him/her self. Try to refrain from outside input, unless no agreement has been reached. Side discussions with others who only hear your skewed side of the situation only adds to the potential foolishness that may develop. Don’t understand their question or complaint? Ask them to explain in another way. Or, request an example; it may help you to understand what they are really trying to say. Just ask!
IT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAY BUT HOW YOU SAY IT
Tone, tone, tone is key. When discussing landlord-tenant matters, conversation tone is important. What may be important to you may not be important to the other party. Yet, you may express such important viewpoints and the recipient acknowledge and respond civilly – minus elevated voices and/or physical abuse/damages. Timing is key too. It may not be too wise to discuss damage costs after a kitchen fire that had life-threatening results. Not cool, at all.
TWO EARS AND ONE MOUTH
Listen more. Instead of rehearsing your reply over and over and allowing it to ferment in your thought life for days, quiet your mind. Waiting for that opportune time to pounce and let them have it may cause you to miss an opportunity for resolve and reconciliation. Maybe, just maybe, they have given the matter further thought and have received clarity about their actions and yours. Genuinely listen to their input – without presumption. A pleasant surprise may await you.
BE OPEN TO NEGOTIATION
You’re not the only smart one in the room. Each of you bring value to the relationship. Be open to hear and apply what the other party is offering. Be willing to meet each other halfway. Be creative in what you are willing to do to make the situation better. A ‘my way or the highway’ attitude almost never results in a healthy landlord-tenant relationship.
These tips should help to provide the foundation for better
Are you finding your situation too far gone?
Consider a mediator or professional advice.
Feel free to contact us for further information.
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