Should Landlords Treat Tenants Like Friends?

Hi, this is Tanya at Envy Property Management. A good housing provider should maintain a middle-ground when it comes to relationships with their tenants. But does this mean you can’t be friends with them? Some may argue that you should never make friends with your tenants, but there are others that insist that there is nothing wrong with a housing provider being friends with their residents. The bigger question is, how should you manage the relationship with your tenants? Today I’m going to give you 4 tips for how you should keep the relationship with your tenants.

1. Establish a Good Relationship with a Clear Agreement

If you have any agreement with any of your tenants, make sure you put it into writing no matter the nature of your relationship. As a housing provider, you should know that this is a serious business. Don’t allow your relationship with a tenant to cloud your judgment. When dealing with any tenant, make sure you have everything in writing. Avoid basing anything on word-of-mouth only. Things could turn sour tomorrow and you will need all agreements and evidence in writing in order to defend yourself. In most cases, a verbal agreement will end up ruining your relationship with your tenant and it won’t hold up in court. Put your business first, and make sure that you always have your lease agreement as well as any other agreements you may have with a tenant in writing.

2. Don’t Give Tenants Special Treatment

Giving one tenant special treatment because you are friends with them while treating others differently is a move that could blow up in your face. Not only is this considered discrimination, but there are anti-discrimination laws when it comes to housing providers. Don’t get yourself in hot water by giving one of your tenants’ special treatment just because you are friends. This can affect your business and prevent you from placing quality tenants in the future. 

It is ok, however, to offer incentives for tenants, especially when it comes to helping you fill vacancies. As always, be familiar with your local and state laws surrounding these types of circumstances. 

3. Avoid Becoming Too Familiar

If you are the type of housing provider that likes to hang out around the property, you may likely engage in conversations each time you do this. While this can be great for building a good relationship with your tenants, doing it often can end up ruining your professional relationship with your tenants.

It is quite normal for someone to lose their respect for you when you have become too familiar to them. Moreover, engaging in too many conversations with a tenant is one of the easiest ways to cross a line without knowing it. Always be professional and stick to being in the rental property business and not a friend. 

4. Ward Off Resentment

One of the biggest reasons to not be friends with tenants is because of the resentment that might build up on their part. Adding money into any relationship can cause tension, but that tension can build up on either side. You may feel guilty for taking their money and they may build up bitterness when you’re making a profit off of them.

If resentment of any kind begins to build on their side, it can lead to late rent payments and general bad tenant behavior. Spare both yourself and your tenant the drama and avoid becoming friends.

The bottom line is, your property is your business and you should maintain a professional relationship with your tenants. When you develop a friendship with your tenants, they will treat you as a friend and not an authority figure. They may ask for leniency when it comes to late payments or lease violations. You’ll be tempted to give in to their requests so as to not make things awkward. Make sure that you keep your relationship with your tenants at a professional level and don’t ever mix business with pleasure. 

Thanks for watching today, if all this seems too complicated and you are a landlord who needs the experience and expertise of a professional, give Envy Property Management a call. We have years of experience, and can take the headaches of being a landlord out of your hands. Please contact us today, we are a wealth of information when it comes to the professional property management of your investment. You can always ask us for valuable tips and extra resources to make the choice simple and painless. Give us a call today, 801-337-4337 or visit our website at where you can easily view our three-tiered pricing plan, so you can choose the package that best fits you and your needs.