TIP OF THE MONTH - January 2013

The Presentation of Your Paperwork

Source: Profitably Managing your Rental Properties
             By R. Dodge Woodson

The paperwork involved in the rental business can be extensive.  Some tenants will be intimidated by the mass of papers requiring their signature.  Many property managers lose good tenants by not presenting their paperwork in the proper manner.

If you are forceful and inconsiderate when asking a tenant to sign your forms, they may look to rent some other property where the formalities are not so daunting.  Many tenants will feel that you are tying their hands and putting yourself in total control with all your legal paperwork, and if they feel they are too tightly bound, they may not sign it.  Yet, if they do sign with these “back of the mind” feelings, you can have management problems from the start.  These tenants will feel you are taking advantage of them, and after a while these feelings will fester into resentment.  You are after respect, not resentment.

If you present the forms in the right way, you can convince the tenant they are as much for their protection as for yours.  The presentation of paperwork is important to good tenant relations, successful management, and maintaining control.


In today’s world, there are several forms to be signed in renting a unit or property including but not limited to lead paint disclosures, lease terms with addendums, proof of ID, proof of ownership of vehicles parked on the premises, etc.   Communication skills are an important requirement for a property manager and landlord.

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This web page was updated on 12/29/2012.