Landlord-Tenant Relationships are Critical to a Successful Housing Relationship

In September of 2017 Hurricane Harvey ripped through Houston, Texas causing countless millions and billions in damage as well as displacing tens of thousands of people.  Winds from Harvey caused significant damage but the record level rainfall created greater damage.  Homes and apartments were rendered uninhabitable and could remain so for month’s even years.

In a recent article from the Huffington Post (Sep 05, 17):

Under Texas statutes, either a tenant or a landlord can break a lease for residences deemed “totally unusable.” If a property is partially useable, a court would have to determine if rental costs could be reduced.

Meanwhile, hundreds of residents who were forced to evacuate a flooded apartment complex in Katy, Texas, have been given eviction notices, The Houston Chronicle reported.

The residents have been given less than a week to retrieve whatever property they can, a letter from the property manager said. The letter also said rental charges for the last few days of August will be refunded, according to the Chronicle.

Disputes between landlord and tenants are among the first conflicts to emerge in the wake of a hurricane, lawyer Saundra Brown, a disaster manager at Lone Star Legal Aid, told the newspaper. (1)

Conflict between landlord and tenants can be avoided if the situation is handled properly from the very beginning of the relationship.

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com states:  “From the point of the initial application through the tenant check landlords and property managers need to be very clear as to the exact expectations they have with the applicant.”

Certainly easier said than done in certain instances, but a clear outline of rules and requirements for a tenant is key.

“Landlords need to conduct the same vetting process with each perspective tenant, “Almeida states, “and this continuity goes a long way in creating a positive relationship with tenants.”

Other than the general niceties of an interview process a landlord should explain what each document in a background check covers, what information is drawn, and how it is used. And an agreement should be in place as to conflict resolution, should it arise, and how to communicate any form of grievance.

Almeida states:  “Every state is different in recording conflict but a general rule of thumb is communicating in written form; generally through US Postal or email, where copies can be maintained and reviewed as needed.  And always keep copies of written communication.”

As the housing crisis in the US continues to grow, greater pressure is placed upon tenants and landlords.  Tenants worry that if they bring forth an issue they may face some sort of penalty or potential eviction and landlords are always looking for long-term stable tenants.  Each party has a vested interest in creating an amicable living arrangement and tenant-landlord relationship.

It all begins with the applicant vetting process.

“There are a number of documents reviewed as part of a tenant background check,” Almeida adds, “from consumer credit reports, criminal background checks to eviction records and sex offender registry review, and others.  Each is unique and should be explained to the applicant. Creating a comfortable environment goes a long way in creating a comfortable landlord-tenant relationship.”

TenantScreeningUSA.com is a third-party tenant screening company that provides tenant checks to landlords and property managers for all sizes and types of rental complexes, including self-storage.  From the single-unit to the large community, TenantScreeningUSA.com has the ability to customize a tenant screening package specific to a managers unique requirements.

Notes:

(1)    huffingtonpost.com/entry/harvey-landlords-rent-flooded-properties_us_59ae18a5e4b0354e440bfa95

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