Successful landlord-tenant relationships are built on effective communication.

As a landlord, choosing the right communication method with your tenants is crucial for maintaining transparency, resolving issues promptly, and ensuring a positive living experience for all parties involved.

Landlords frequently struggle in this age of technology with the decision of whether to communicate with tenants via phone calls, emails, or text messages.

Gifford Property Management put together this article, so we can explore the reasons why each communication method is essential, and the legal implications associated with them. Keep reading to learn more!

Reasons to Initiate Phone Calls with Your Tenants

  • Urgent matters: Phone calls are the most immediate way to address urgent matters such as maintenance emergencies or security concerns. A quick call can expedite resolution and prevent further damage or inconvenience.
  • Clarification of complex issues: In situations where explanations may be complex or nuanced, a phone call allows for real-time clarification.
  • Personal connection: Calling your tenants fosters a personal connection, which can contribute to a positive landlord-tenant relationship. It humanizes the communication process and helps build trust between parties.

Best Practices for Calling Your Tenants

a person holding a black pen pointing at something on a a paper next to a computer discussing the content with someone else

  • Schedule calls in advance: Whenever possible, schedule calls in advance to ensure that both parties have dedicated time for the conversation. This reduces the likelihood of interruptions and allows for a focused discussion.
  • Document conversations: Keep detailed notes of phone conversations, including dates, times, and key points discussed. These records can serve as valuable references in case of disputes or misunderstandings.
  • Be professional and courteous: Maintain a professional and courteous tone during phone conversations. Clear communication and respectful dialogue contribute to a positive landlord-tenant relationship.

Are Phone Conversations Legally Binding?

While phone conversations can be useful for discussing matters promptly, they are generally not considered legally binding without written documentation.

It is advisable to follow up important phone discussions with written communication, such as emails or formal letters, to ensure a clear record of agreements or resolutions.

Reasons to Employ Email Communication with Your Tenants

  • Formal communication: Emails provide a formal and documented means of communication. Important announcements, lease updates, or policy changes can be conveyed clearly through email, ensuring that tenants have a written record.
  • Non-emergency matters: For non-urgent matters that require detailed information, such as lease renewals, rental payment reminders, or routine maintenance notices, email is a convenient and efficient communication method.
  • Paper trail: Email communication creates a paper trail that can be easily referenced by both parties. This can be crucial in resolving disputes, tracking agreements, or providing evidence in legal proceedings.

two people with computers in front of them and one is working on a document in between the computers

Best Practices for Emailing Your Tenants

  • Use clear and concise language: Ensure that your emails are written in clear and concise language. Use straightforward terms to minimize the risk of misinterpretation.
  • Maintain professionalism: Emails should be professional in tone and content. Avoid using informal language and always address tenants respectfully. Professionalism in written communication also contributes to a positive landlord-tenant relationship.
  • Attach important documents: When necessary, attach relevant documents, such as lease amendments or maintenance schedules, to your emails. This ensures that tenants have all the information they need in one comprehensive communication.

Are Email Considered Legal Written Documentation?

Emails are generally considered legal written documentation, and they can be used as evidence in legal proceedings.

However, it's crucial to ensure that the content is clear, unambiguous, and conforms to any legal requirements outlined in the lease agreement or local regulations.

Reasons to Utilize Text Messaging with Your Tenants

  • Immediate communication: Text messages provide a quick and immediate way to communicate with tenants, making them ideal for time-sensitive matters or quick updates.
  • Appointment reminders: Text messages are effective for sending appointment reminders, such as upcoming maintenance visits or property inspections. This ensures that tenants are well-informed and can plan accordingly.
  • Accessibility: Text messages are likely to be read promptly, as people often carry their phones with them throughout the day. This accessibility makes text messaging a convenient way to reach tenants quickly.

hands typing on a computer

How to Start Texting Your Tenants

  • Obtain consent: Before initiating text communication with tenants, ensure that you have obtained their consent. Some tenants may prefer alternative forms of communication, so respecting their preferences is essential.
  • Keep messages concise: Text messages are best when kept short and to the point. Convey the necessary information without overwhelming the tenant with excessive details.
  • Use a professional tone: While text messages are more casual than emails, maintaining a professional tone is crucial. Avoid using abbreviations or slang that may be misinterpreted.

Are Text Notifications Considered Legal Written Documentation?

Text notifications are generally considered legal written documentation, but they may have limitations.

While they can serve as evidence of communication, the brevity of text messages may not be suitable for conveying complex or detailed information like lease agreements.

It is advisable to use text messages for brief and straightforward communications and supplement them with more detailed written documentation when needed.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the choice between calling, emailing, or texting your tenants depends on the nature and urgency of the communication. For urgent matters and complex discussions, phone calls are often the most effective.

Emails are ideal for formal communication and creating a documented paper trail, while text messages provide quick updates and reminders.

It's essential to follow best practices for each communication method and be aware of the legal implications associated with them.

Gifford Property Management understands the importance of effective communication in landlord-tenant relationships.

Our comprehensive property management services include implementing communication strategies tailored to the preferences of both landlords and tenants.

Partner with Gifford Property Management for streamlined communication and expert property management solutions tailored to your needs.