The COVID-19 pandemic has left many scrambling to find new ways to pay their rent or mortgage and feed their families. On top of that, everyone’s worried about getting sick and keeping their families in good health! When you have Washington DC homes for rent, it becomes part of your regular responsibilities to keep communication lines open during a disaster.
During any crisis, consistent communication is crucial for collecting rent, maintaining a safe and secure rental home, and making sure your renters continue to enjoy where they live.
Of course, if contact with your renters isn’t something you count among your skills, working with the Professional Landlords at Renters Warehouse can provide you the resources and support you need to work with your renters during these uncertain times. From using email to communicate with your tenants about how they are doing to keeping your renters aware of changes when a disaster affects your business, there are several ways to keep communication open during a disaster like COVID-19.
A word of caution: This blog post is not a substitute for legal counsel. When in doubt, consult with your trusted attorney or Professional Landlord for real-time assistance concerning your Washington rental homes!
How to Keep Lines of Communication Open
When you have Washington DC homes for rent and may not be able to make contact with your renters in person, the methods we’re about to describe may not only be useful, but even necessary! Here’s how you ensure your tenants know exactly what to expect during a disaster.
1. Use Email
Communicating with your tenants during any crisis is essential if you want to keep them as tenants.
- Use email to communicate with them and let them know exactly how you plan to address rental payments and other potential issues that might arise as a result of the disaster.
- Email is a quick and easy way to discuss these potential issues and develop a solution that suits everyone’s needs.
- The most important thing is that you remain transparent, honest, and respectful. You’ll be much more likely to get through to your tenants if you treat them the way you’d want to be treated if you were in a similar situation—and much more likely to get paid!
2. Check on Your Tenants
- Checking on your tenants lets them know you care about them and their well-being. Encourage them to be open with you about any issues they might be facing when it comes to paying rent.
- Let them know you’re willing to work with them if they lose their income so that you know what’s going on and so they feel safe confiding in you if something like that occurs.
- Offering a payment plan is not only mandatory, but it helps your renters stay as up-to-date as possible on their rent and avoid falling too far behind.
Approach each tenant according to their unique situation (within mandatory guidelines) instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach to things. Each of your tenants is likely facing unique challenges—so using the same approach may not work for everyone and could ruin the tenant-landlord relationship between you.
3. Partner With Professional Property Management
- Partnering with Professional Landlords like Renters Warehouse DC/NOVA can help you manage things like maintenance and rental payments.
- If you’re going to be working with a property management company, let your tenants know immediately in writing so that if they need any emergency repairs done, they’ll be able to contact the right person. Let them know during a crisis that minor repairs may not be addressed until it’s over to keep everyone safe.
- If you own a multi-family property, keep your renters informed of how you’re keeping common areas clean so they can feel safe knowing you’re doing your part.
4. Explain Your Side Appropriately
Oftentimes, tenants don’t really know what’s going on when it comes to your side of things. It can help to explain your situation so that they understand how important it is that you all work together to make sure that everyone’s happy. As a landlord, you most likely have financial obligations like insurance, mortgage, taxes, maintenance, repairs, and utilities.
Make your tenants aware that, just like them, you have expenses that need to be paid so that they can understand how important it is that they find a way to make their rental payments—even if they’re late. Allowing them to see you as a person—rather than just their landlord—can make it easier for everyone to get what they need.
Finding Ways to Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Keeping communication lines open during disasters like the one we’re currently facing is essential to making sure everyone’s on the same page and that you get your rental payments on time. It’s also important for making sure your tenants feel safe and protected.
We’re all going through the same struggles together—and communicating any issues either of you has with each other makes it easier for everyone to know exactly what to expect. Consistent, professional, and reliable contact is one reason why working with Renters Warehouse can benefit you when you have Washington DC homes for rent.
Even with great communication skills, collecting rent during any crisis isn’t easy—especially when some of your tenants may have been recently laid off and might be living on less than they’re used to. However, our Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook can give you all the details you need to collect rent in a respectful, yet efficient way.