select
|

Communicating with your tenant

RE/MAX Living Rental Specialist, Grant Rea discusses the importance of an open communication channel between landlord and tenant

“Having been in the rental business for a number of years, I have experienced almost every type of tenant one could imagine from amenable and reasonable, to nightmarish and deplorable," says Grant Rea, Rental Specialist at RE/MAX Living. “One thing is clear, regardless of the nature of your lease agreement, clear and precise communication with your tenant is critical to the outcome of your tenancy arrangement.”

He notes that since communication with your tenant can ‘make or break’ a tenancy, it is vital that the landlord considers what aspects need to be highlighted to the tenant before the tenancy begins. Keep in mind that the motto of every landlord should be ‘fair, firm and flexible’.

“Merging under unreasonable initial demands by the tenant leans the entire lease towards one of excessive leniency and the tenant taking advantage of the landlord’s generosity with untimely payments and extra ‘uncalled for’ general demands,” says Rea.  “It is acceptable and expected for a landlord or agent to clearly outline expectations and guidelines of the tenancy arrangement. The success of tenancies is down to managing expectations.”

Over the years as a rental management business, RE/MAX Living has put together a supplementary document to the lease called the ‘Tenant Survival Guide’. The guide is a crystal clear concise summation of expectations and requirements of the tenant as outlined in the lease. The Tenant Survival Guide further highlights specific scenarios, from how to proceed in an emergency, such as a burst geyser, to what the rules and regulations are for re-decorating and hammering in of nails.

Don’t forget that as a responsible landlord there is an obligation to provide a written lease to the tenant (if requested by your tenant and soon to be law), as well as original invoices for utilities and payment receipts. Rea says that landlords should get into the habit of making sure all communication is in writing. “This type of good practice will see landlords fair well when promises and expectation are misaligned over time. The landlord is also legally protecting both themselves and their rental property if any disputes are needed to be resolved in court,” advises Rea.

Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, agrees, saying that reducing contractual agreements to written will ensure that any unnecessary confusion is put to rest even before the contract is entering into by the parties involved.

Rea notes that if the tenant breaches their terms of the lease agreement, the landlord should pay particular and careful attention to their communication regarding the precise breach of material terms of the lease. The landlord must then notify their tenant immediately of any breach incurred by them. Courts expect accurate written records of the breach and adequate notice communicated to tenants allowing them an opportunity to remedy any breach or infringement of the tenancy agreement. If this is not clearly recorded, courts may delay and even dismiss cases that have not strictly adhered to acceptable processes and communication.

“It is vital for landlords to invest some time in protecting both themselves and their investment with consistent clear communication in writing, to ensure that everyone is in agreement with the tenancy agreement and both the landlord and their tenants know what is expected of each other at all times,” Rea concludes.

For a free draft copy of a ‘Tenant Survival Guide’ please follow at www.facebook.com/propertybygrant


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 22 May 2018
      Extreme weather appears to be the new normal, evident by the volume of insurance-related disputes reaching the industry watchdog’s desk. To avoid a situation in which your insurer refuses to pay up, you should proactively ensure that your home is well-maintained and ready for whatever winter has in store.
    • 22 May 2018
      As the impact of technology on the real estate industry becomes more significant, it is clear that there is a need for an objective look at not only traditional real estate models but also online and other alternative low-commission real estate agencies, to examine what they offer and what their impact might be.
    • 22 May 2018
      According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, dealing with some sort of neighbour dispute is an unavoidable part of life unless, perhaps, you choose to live on a remote small holding for the rest of your life.
    • 22 May 2018
      Buyers feel that they are getting value for money in the Northcliff area without having to compromise on aesthetics and amenities
    • 21 May 2018
      Secure living is one of the growing property trends in South Africa and Nooitgedacht Estate in Stellenbosch certainly ticks the right boxes for buyers who want a secure, exclusive lifestyle in one of the Boland’s most sought-after estates, says Pam Golding Properties.
    • 21 May 2018
      With sectional titles growing in popularity, an increasing amount of homeowners simply do not have the garden space to install a tool shed in their backyard.
    • 18 May 2018
      Home improvements are a great way to add value to your property, but not all of us have bottomless pockets for a full-on renovation. Lucky for us, there are plenty of affordable DIYs that can spruce things up over a free weekend.
    • 18 May 2018
      The need for large office spaces is slowly eroding as more and more employers choose to allow their staff to work remotely. As a result, the home business model has grown in popularity, with many new entrepreneurs choosing to start their business from home rather than in a business district. But, what are the legal implications of operating a business in a residential area?
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK