The Contract to Cultivate High-Quality Tenants

In my blog post on “Renting and Pets,” I suggested that you increase monthly rent if your tenant has a pet, but if the tenant and pet successfully complete a good dog training program like Zoom Room you can reduce that increase in rent.

On their home page, Zoom Room states that “We don’t train dogs. We train people who love them.”


What if we take that approach with our tenants? Instead of “training” tenants, we need to think about changing the rental environment, preventing problems before they ever happen.

As a supplement to the rental contract you should have rules for easy renting that every tenant will sign. These rules are extensions and clarifications of all interactions you will have with the tenant. If they comply with the rules, then the property is kept clean with minimal damage and there are no misunderstandings.

Clarifying responsibility for damage, repairs, and property costs must be done at the beginning, before a tenant moves in. Some owners like to have a home warranty and the tenant is responsible for the service call fee for all calls and you will reimburse them if it is determined that the repair was not the fault of the tenant. That minimizes small repair calls.

Though other landlords like to maintain control of their repairs and don’t want the tenant managing any repairs and the handyman will be called to take care of everything. This way the handyman can also inspect the property to notice if anything else is going wrong and can ask the tenant if there is anything else that might eventually need repair.

Landlords are as diverse as the tenants they rent to. The bottom line is that I help you think through the leasing process and how much control you want to have and where do you want to take responsibility vs leaving it to the tenant.

We always have the 3 day notice to correct any bad behavior, but with the new rent control laws of 2020, the eviction needs cause. If the item is written into the lease with a time period for correction, you have all the “teeth” you need in your lease to ensure the tenants are properly trained and don’t cause problems.

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