When you own a Charleston rental property, it’s sometimes hard to remember that your property is someone else’s home. You cannot show up whenever you want. It’s not a good idea to go over and water the grass or drag in the trash bins.
Someone else is living there, and while you retain ownership of that property, it’s not your home.
There are also legal rights attached to your tenants when they’re occupying your property and paying you rent. They’re entitled to the quiet enjoyment of the property. They’re entitled to privacy.
Establishing good relationships with your residents is an important way to ensure everyone has a pleasant and positive rental experience. Make sure you’re respecting the basic boundaries that are required when your property is occupied.
Never Show Up Unannounced
Even if you have a friendly relationship with your tenants, avoid dropping by. You don’t want to arrive without warning. Not only is it inconvenient, it’s illegal. According to the Landlord Tenant Act in South Carolina, landlords cannot show up unannounced without providing 24 hours of notice. And, they can only enter the property at reasonable times.
You might think you’re being helpful when you show up, but it’s never a good idea to surprise your tenants. The only reason you should go to the property unannounced is if there’s an emergency.
Always Schedule Inspections and Maintenance with Notice
Provide at least 24 hours of notice before you go to the property. Whether you have an inspection scheduled or you want to meet a team of vendors there to perform maintenance, include your tenants in the scheduling. They may want to be present when you are in the property or a plumber is making repairs.
Create a Professional Relationship, not a Friendship
It’s important that you have a good working relationship with your tenants. Positive landlord and tenant relationships can lead to:
- On-time rent collection
- Better maintenance partnerships
- Higher tenant retention
But, you don’t want to cross any personal and professional boundaries that should be firmly in place. You don’t need to be friends with your tenants on social media. You shouldn’t be seeing them socially. It’s important to keep those firm boundaries in place so that you’re able to continue treating your rental property like a business.
Enforce Your Lease Agreement
Enforcing the lease agreement is a critical responsibility of any landlord. You cannot let your tenants get away with paying rent late, making changes to the property that they shouldn’t, or violating other lease terms that they agreed to.
If rent is paid late, collect the late fee. If you notice there are dogs running around the property and you did not approve any pets, address those issues with tenants. You need to hold them accountable for damage.
Setting boundaries is not always easy when you’re renting out a property. It’s an excellent reason to work with Charleston property managers. Your management team can create a boundary for you, providing a buffer between you and the residents living in your property.
If you’d like some help balancing your tenant relationship and setting some boundaries, we’d love to provide some direction. Contact us at Charleston Home Rentals.