Landlord-Tenant Relationships are Critical

There have always been some issues and conflict between landlords and tenants over the history of the USA.  However, if expectations are set correctly at the beginning of the relationship and if it is clear as to how issues and conflicts will be resolved than that would result into a better housing situation for both parties.  Nonetheless, in recent history the country was struck by several large hurricanes and Harvey in particular has caused big landlord-tenant issues.

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 even 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.

Conflict between landlords and tenants can be avoided if the situation is handled properly from the very beginning of the relationship, which means when the tenant screening process begins.

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 as well as clearly define the process of how disputes, grievances and any other housing issues will be handled if they should arise.

This mentality may seem easy in words but implementation is another thing…  But for sure a clear outline of rules and requirements for a tenant is essential in starting off the housing relationship on the right foot.

In the initial application phase of the apartment renting process the landlord or apartment manager needs to conduct the same vetting procedure with each perspective tenant.  This continuity goes a long way in creating a positive relationship with future tenants and assists in maintaining a fair and compliant applicant selection decision making system.

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.

Every state is different in recording conflict but a general rule of thumb is communicating in written form; generally through US Postal mail or email, where copies can be maintained and reviewed as needed.  And it is wise to 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.

The landlord tenant relationship always begins with the applicant vetting process.

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

To learn more about how landlord and tenant relationships can improve and why it is important to review this information from the very beginning of the housing relationship which starts with the applicant screening process read recent press release:

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