Despite any problems you may encounter with a tenant, the most important thing you can do from the start through finish is be professional. This is the golden rule to follow through all dealings with your tenant which will instill your tenant to trust you. Check out: A Happy Tenant is a Long-Term Tenant.
Be aware. Visit your rental property occasionally to stay updated on any maintenance or neighbor related issues as they come up. It is a good idea at the signing of the lease, to let your tenants new tenants that you will be stopping by periodically to check on the house. Of course, you must provide 24 hour notice to enter the house, but checking usually just involves a drive by, to make sure the lawn is well kept, and that there is no debris or excess trash in the front yard. See: Ten Tips for a Healthy Landlord-Tenant Relationship.
Keep accurate records. Always keep records of any financial transactions with your tenant, as well as any communications. If you can, try to keep contact through e-mail. While the phone is more convenient, e-mail allows for you to have written documentation that you can use to your benefit if needed. Written documentation can include any maintenance issues you’ve dealt with, or any warnings or requests you’ve issued.
Maintain good relations. It is important to begin the relationship with mutual respect. If maintenance problems arise, be fix them promptly, and properly the first time. Another good reason to be cordial to your tenant, is that some disgruntled tenants intentionally damage property upon moving out. Don’t give them a reason to take out their anger on your property. See: Best Practices to Prevent Tenant Lawsuits
Techniques for resolving problems. For minor matters, a polite verbal or written request is best. It is best with anyone, including tenants, to “choose your battles.” You don’t want to become the overbearing landlord who complains about everything.
Avoid problem tenants altogether. The best way to avoid problems altogether is to thoroughly screen your tenants from the beginning. While renting quickly is important, you’ll save time and hassle in the long run by being diligent in your screenings. Make the effort to be acutely aware of your tenant’s rental, employment and credit history before you enter an agreement with them. Any prospective tenant should be able to provide solid references. For further reading: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Tenant Eviction Process.