COVID-19 has changed the way of life with lockdowns and curfews in several major nations across the world, including India. 185 countries are now affected by the virus and no end appears to be in sight. In a time like this, everyone is going into panic and desperation mode. Schools and colleges are shut, offices and malls are also shut. For property owners, Tenant management is also getting affected during this crisis.
The rapidly spreading virus has had a huge toll on property owners, delaying rent collections, indefinitely postponing maintenance and renovation work and, even while social distancing is being practised. No landlord wants to risk visiting a tenant and collecting rent.
The pandemic has even put a chokehold on rentals and handovers, making it tougher for landlords who want their properties occupied. If you have tenants, always remember to treat them with kindness as this saga plays out. With the situation changing form almost every day, stay informed on what’s happening so that you can get ahead when it comes to managing your tenants and your properties.
In a time like this, you, the property owner, must rise and prove yourself as an excellent landlord by honing your tenant management skills. With that mind, we are presenting you with six important tenant management tips that can help both you and your tenant during this crisis.
Six Tenant Management Tips In The Time of Coronavirus
- Switch to Online Rent Collection
From net banking to digital wallets, technology has empowered everyone to transact without physical touch. Ask your tenant to transfer their monthly rent via net banking or popular digital wallets such as PayTM or Google Pay or PhonePe to your preferred bank account. Remember that companies are now forced to cut employee salaries due to the crisis. So, if your tenant has had a pay cut, you could consider slashing your rent by 20-30% to make them breathe easier. Being a great landlord means understanding the troubles your tenant might be going through and helping them during that time.
- Check-In of Older Tenants
Do senior citizens occupy one of your properties? They are most vulnerable to COVID-19, especially if they already have health issues. Keep in touch over the phone with your older tenants and check on their health and also ask if you could help them in any way. Older tenants will need help with shopping daily essentials such as bread, milk, eggs, vegetables or even medicines. You can arrange for delivery of these essentials on a weekly basis making the crisis just a little better for them. By doing so, you are not only doing a humane deed but also strengthening your relationship with your older tenants.
- Prioritize Service Requests
With lockdowns being enforced all across the country, it will be impossible to handle maintenance requests as you did before. Sending service vendors to your properties will need to be done with a cautious eye. Firstly, you’ll need to ensure that your service vendors are safe from the virus. While professional contractors stress upon these details, individual workers do not. So, you should consider switching to hiring a service vendor from an agency – one that keeps its employees’ health and well-being at its core.
Meanwhile, you should create a list of all the necessary service requests and prioritize them based on their urgency. A re-paint isn’t the same as a plumbing problem. The former can be handled at a more appropriate time while the latter needs to be addressed immediately. You should also inform your tenants about the situation and ask for their patience. Keeping a clear, stress-free head during this time can in effect bolster trustworthiness as a landlord.
- Enforce Social Distancing
Social distancing and reducing contact with other people are recommended measures to take to avoid the spread of COVID-19. While this may complicate your tenant management duties, it’s better to stay safe. Your actions will also save your tenants and their families from the virus.
Put off any and all maintenance checks and other routine tasks that you’ve scheduled. Once again, if you prioritize your tasks based on its need and purpose, you can protect yourself and others from the pandemic. Inform your tenants to not welcome relatives into the property. If you have property managers working for you, ensure that they also protected from the virus with masks and sanitizers.
- Protect Your Tenants And Your Properties
Coronavirus spreads through contact. Hence, it is necessary to have your cleaning and housekeeping staff disinfect your property daily. If you have a commercial property, you should consider cleaning and disinfecting at least twice a day as commercial properties are visited by more people than residences. By having a sanitization plan in place, you can safeguard your properties and tenants from the virus.
You should also consider shutting down certain amenities as, during a time of crisis, it’s better to isolate the problem into a common area. If you own a commercial property, you can inform your tenants to close or remain open in minimum capacity so as to avoid a larger influx of customers.
- Be Firm With Your Tenants On Social Distancing
One of the unwritten rules of tenant management is to be assertive and inform your tenants to not spend too much time outside or in the company of people other than their household. If your tenants have been to one of the affected countries since January 2020, you must ensure that they have been tested for the virus. Ignoring this could be disastrous. While it is possible for your tenants to assume that you are being controlled, they will nevertheless understand your concerns. Try convincing your tenant to stay indoors and spend more time with their loved ones.
In your role as a landlord, you can do your part by preventing the spread of Coronavirus. While this will affect that your monthly revenues, remember that everyone in the world is taking a financial hit as a direct result of this crisis. It is essential for you to stay informed on the situation and practice flexibility in your duties as a landlord. We hope that you will play the part of the superstar landlord and see yourself and your tenants through this crisis.
With OwnersTown, you can be a smart owner. As you can perform all your tenant management from your mobile phone. From collecting rent to sending important notifications and reminders, finding verified service providers, everything can be done with maintaining social distancing.