Dear SKY, How Can We Change The Attitude of Landlord vs. Tenant?

Last Updated: September 5, 2019By

The relationship between the landlord and the tenant is a professional and cordial one. The landlord or Housing Provider provides the property, and the tenant pays their rent and hopefully loves their apartment and community in return. The landlord and tenant relationship can be much more complicated than that if one of them does not fulfill their various obligations.  As most of you know many relationships do not always remain steady.  Problems and disputes arise with time, and things can go off track.

The Landlord and tenant relationship is usually stereotyped as a rocky one. Tenants fear their landlord could be too controlling and authoritative, and they might get exploited by their landlord. Meanwhile, the landlords are concerned regarding tenants paying the rent on time and not damaging their property.  It isn’t rocket science to maintain a smooth landlord-tenant relationship if both parties want that. What you need is a certain level of understanding of your rights and obligations.  Here are the following areas to consider to maintain a better landlord-tenant relationship.

Landlord-Tenant Contract/Lease

Perhaps the most essential component keeping the landlord-tenant relation is the contract between them. The agreement must be transparent and shouldn’t have any hidden clauses. The agreement should abide by the state regulations. There shouldn’t be any terms that are hard to understand or do not follow the letter of the law.  It is the responsibility of both the landlord and tenant to stick to the agreement and carry out all their duties.

Professional and Friendly Behavior

The landlord-tenant relationship is a professional one. But it doesn’t mean you can’t be warm and pleasant to each other. Stay friendly and professional at all times when you need to inquire regarding any issues with your tenant and their home or neighborhood.  Occasionally check in with your resident to make sure everything in their apartment is in good and clean condition and keep record (date and time) of all communication with them as well as any issues addressed for future reference.

Residents are obliged to pay their rent even if there is an issue in their apartment.  However, if you neglect to take care of an issue this could turn a good tenant into a bad one so keep good customer service in mind in dealing with your residents.  As a Housing Provider you are required to check the smoke alarms (and other items if you list them out on the 24 hour notice).  Take this opportunity to take care of anything that requires repair and keep good notes of this as well. Be respectful of your residents and their belongings – this includes pets.  Do not photograph their personal items instead only photograph items that you the housing provider are required to repair.

Do not get overly friendly and personal with your residents.

Insurance and Repair Work

The insurance of the property is the landlord’s responsibility; however, you should require all tenants in their lease to have and maintain renter’s insurance. Keep good record of when it may expire and be sure you have been added as an additional insured. This could save you thousands of dollars and tons of grief and conflict with your tenant if a disaster happens.

Apartment repair work is the area where most disagreements come. It’s the housing provider’s responsibility to repair major problems and repair work like plumbing, heating, windows, doors, walls, etc. and those items that should be spelled out in a tenants lease.  Tenants are obligated to report any issues they are having in their home and this should also be made clear in the lease.  Tenants need to know what they are responsible for when they are facing issues especially if they caused it.  It really does take good communication, prompt response and a love and respect for community to make everything work.  Our tenants have to want to be a part of a good community and that should be said right from the beginning.

Your Lease should not allow tenants to do changes to the property or their apartment without your permission; however, if they need to add shelves or cabinets, be reasonable.   This is really the key to any situation – be reasonable and respectful.  Do the right thing and likely it will be reciprocated.

Name any aspect of the complex world of property management and Kari Negri has been at the forefront, forging new ground, fighting for the rights of property owners and tenants alike, adding value, and making a significant difference. With a strong background in management, Kari founded SKY Properties, Inc. in 1997 to offer boutique-level property management at a competitive price for multi-tenant property owners. Kari currently serves as a Board Member for the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) as the Co-Chair of State Legislation.


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