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As a landlord, you may think that you are in the real estate business. While this may be partially true, you are also very much in the business of communication and people. You are providing a service in the form of housing to a person, and it is your job to ensure that the contract that you have between the two of you is upheld, that you are paid on time and that property is not damaged.

This can be easier said than done, especially when you are the landlord of several properties and when your tenants are not easy to work with. However, having healthy and clear communication methods can play a huge role in preventing and diffusing disputes between landlord and tenant. The following are some tips for improving your communication with a difficult tenant.

Respond to requests quickly

If you expect your requests to be answered quickly, you should treat your tenants how you wish to be treated and set the standard. Try to be quick to respond but also thoughtful, clear and diplomatic in your response.

Have an open-door policy

Making your tenant feel that they should only contact you in an emergency is a recipe for disaster because it means that they will not feel comfortable getting in touch when they have minor concerns or when there has been minor property damage. Letting them know that you are approachable from the offset will help to build trust and honest communication.

Rely on logic, not emotion

Having a well-written contract means that you will never have to get angry or frustrated; you will only have to refer back to what was agreed upon in the contract. Try to always rely on facts rather than emotion or interpretation.

If you are dealing with a particularly difficult tenant, you may find yourself in a dispute. In this situation, you may want to take action to understand more about how the law applies to you.