By Stephen Otieno:
Unless you inherited a property, you may not understand the real sacrifice that one makes when they erect an apartment or a house in the city or elsewhere. Once the property is ready for use, no one wants to cross paths with tenants. On the other hand, tenants are also not ready to give their hard-earned cash for poor services. It is important for landlords as well as tenants to be familiar with the Rent Restriction Act and the Landlord and Tenant Act; these will help in making prudent and legal decisions in case of any misunderstandings. Below are six essential stress-free property management tips for landlords and landladies:
Yes, screening a tenant may be quite challenging, but it is as important as your investment. Sometimes affording the rent is not all that a landlord needs to know about the tenant. Character and ability to coexist with other people peacefully is important. However, you must be careful enough not to reject potential and good tenants at the expense of being ‘too cautious’. One of the fundamental features of an investment is that it involves risk. Therefore, the risk of hiring a stubborn tenant may be part of the overall investment risk. In a situation where a tenant does not comply with some important rules even after a warning, it may be important to give them a legal notice for evacuation for the sake of your investment.
Agencies’ main role is to manage property on your behalf. However, this comes with some cost. Every good thing comes with a cost. Most landlords have admitted that managing their property has proved to be difficult than a full-time job. Property management needs adequate time and dedication. Even after hiring an agency, it is crucial to find time and inspect your property and possibly engage tenants in solution-based discussions. Tenants will always have consistent problems where they need the help of either the landlord or the urgency in charge.
You don’t need to do everything by yourself. Hire a florist to plant flowers around your property if you desire. Hire a cleaner and possibly a caretaker to clean and take care of the property. Nonetheless, you are free to clean your property if that’s what you want. This may however take most of your time. You don’t want to be a landlord that fixes electricity problems, connects water pipes, and welds broken doors and windows.
Stress builds up over time, it has a snowball effect. A small issue that remains unattended to may become bigger and have further effects. Do not push tenants to an extent that they feel like protesting with ‘Haki yetu” slogan around the apartment. Deal with repairs as soon as possible, give them precise and accurate details regarding payment and other important matters, and give an accessible and easy platform for communication in case of complaints. Set clear but reasonable and legal rules that govern the relationship of tenants among themselves as well as with the management.
Some landlords are never ready to accept the fact that a tenant has made a decision to leave their property. In turn, they make it quite difficult for them to evacuate the premises when they opt to. Renting houses to tenants is like any other business, customers come and go. However, if you are lucky to know the main reason that made a client leave, it is important to correct it if it’s a negative reason that is within your control.
The first rent is mostly paid with some deposit amount that is refundable in case of evacuation or end of contract. The main purpose of the deposit amount is to take care of possible risks, such as property damage that may be caused by the tenant as they stay in the property. Most landlords are known to refuse giving back this amount with no good or legal reason. This makes tenants to lose hope in asking back for the amount; they simply leave disappointed.