How to covey bad news to tenants?

Property Management Blog

Most landlords find it difficult to break bad news to their tenants. They are fearful of not just reactions of some of their tenants, but they also fear that some of them might decide to leave their property. If you are carrying out repairs in the parking or closing the pool for a while, there is no way you can hide this fact from your tenants.  Yes, it might be an unpleasant experience for you as well as your tenants but breaking the bad news yourself is a much better idea than your tenants knowing about it from other sources. Here are some tips to make it easier for you as a landlord to break bad news to your tenants.

Allow them some preparation time

You always know it whether you are increasing the rent or planning to renovate the the rental  property. It is always a good idea to prepare your tenants well in time so that can adjust easily without experiencing lots of trouble. Announcing bad news early also helps in reducing the severity of the change and gives enough time to your tenants to prepare physically and mentally. In case of rent increase, giving 2 months’ time to your tenants is a good idea to allow them to take an informed decision.

Be a little understanding

If you are planning renovation of your rental property, you know that tenants would experience a lot of inconvenience. Make sure you turn off water supply in the afternoon rather than in the morning when most of the tenants are getting ready for work. Similarly, disconnect electricity after making a prior announcement to this effect. If you are thoughtful to their needs, your tenants will also be helpful and cooperative.

Mode of breaking the news

There are many ways in which you can break the bad news. You can talk personally, make a phone call, or send an email. If your rental property is small, you can break the news personally by requesting tenants to come to your office at a certain time. You can also make a phone call to each of the tenants. If the numbers of tenants are huge, the best way of breaking bad news is to send every tenant an email to this effect. If you are using a property management app, you can send notifications anytime you so desire.

How to create the message?

You can be straightforward and come to the point without wasting any time. Give the reasons for the repairs or the rent increase and the benefits that accrue to your tenants with the changes. Tenants are less likely to resist rent increase when you cite increasing utility rates or fee charged by the authorities.  If carrying out repairs, tell that you are doing it to increase the safety of your tenants and to provide them more facilities in future. You should be smart enough to anticipate the impact of breaking the bad news upon your tenants. You can reduce the disappointment your tenants undergo by saying how much you appreciate their cooperation and how sorry you are feeling to transfer this burden on their shoulders.

In many instances, tenants are happy to learn about the proposed changes as they know that it is ultimately, they who are going to benefit from them. If you give enough time to your tenants to prepare for the changes and also express your indebtedness for their cooperation, they are likely to support you. The timing and the way you break bad news to your tenants makes a lot of difference in how they react to it.

If you’d like to talk more about property management, or you need help with Everest Property Management, please contact us at Everest Realty. 

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