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Tenant Relations: 4 Ways You Can Minimize Liability Through Communication

Couple in Santa Monica Apartment Smiling at a SmartphoneGood communication is a key component of the tenant-landlord relationship. Rental property management is built on a foundation of trust and great relationships with others. When carried out properly, effective communication can help you grow your bottom line while helping you minimize your liability. However, tenant relations and communication skills do not usually come naturally. For many Santa Monica rental property owners, to master these skills, they commonly should be practiced over time. To reduce liability and promote tenant relations, here are a couple of straightforward approaches that work when managing rental properties.

1.   Make Yourself Available

Probably the ideal way to encourage effective communication between yourself and your tenants is to show them that you can answer their calls and questions. It’s helpful to demonstrate a willingness to respond to them when they reach out, encouraging them to communicate more honestly and more often. By having consistent conversations with your tenants, you are more likely to find out about developing maintenance and repair issues early on, as well as any other potential risks. In this manner, you can minimize liability proactively and avoid unnecessary confrontations.

2.   Offer Multiple Ways to Communicate

Today’s communications landscape includes a wide variety of methods to encourage frequent, effective communication between a landlord and your tenant. That is why it’s essential to get to know your tenant and offer them more than one way to communicate with you. For some tenants, a simple phone call or email may work best. Others may be more willing to communicate with you via text or another messaging platform. Irrespective of which method you utilize, keep in mind to document your communications and follow any applicable laws when your communications involve the lease or legal issues.

3.   Keep It Positive

One of the primary reasons many tenants avoid talking to their landlord is that such conversations are usually negative. Most landlords only consult their tenants when there is a problem, which causes the tenant to develop negative associations with their landlord, justified or not. To avoid this situation and encourage effective communication with your tenant, try to communicate positive information to them as frequently as you can. Inform them about updates on property renovations or repairs, or give them details about fun local events. Therefore, when you need to tackle more serious matters, your tenants will be more likely to listen and respond.

4.   Build Trust

In the tenant-landlord relationship, it’s imperative to note that building trust works on both sides. You should not only trust your tenant, but they also need to trust you to communicate effectively with you. You can build trust with your tenant by keeping to your word, doing what you say you will do, and delivering promised repairs promptly. You can also encourage their confidence by addressing them and their time with respect. Perform small, respectful gestures such as presenting lots of advance notice for maintenance visits and inspections and being honest with your tenant when they ask questions. In this way, you also encourage them to help you keep close tabs on your valuable investment.


As a Santa Monica property owner and landlord, minimizing liability is always an issue. However, with effective communication with your tenants, you can better manage the risks and build a positive professional relationship with those renting your home. Undoubtedly, communicating with tenants requires hard work and a readiness to be accessible around the clock. If you have other things on your plate, you might consider hiring a property management company like Real Property Management West San Fernando Valley to handle tenant relations for you. We make communications quick and easy, something your tenants are sure to appreciate. Furthermore, you’ll free up your time for your other important tasks. Contact us online today or give us a call at 818-727-0100.

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