Should You Text with Your Landlord?


Everywhere you look in America you'll see people on their phones. They're conducting business, talking with friends and family, or surfing the web. Many people have a smartphone now and some prefer using those rather than their home computers, so it's not surprising that many younger renters (and some older ones as well!) prefer to text rather than call or email. It's quick and it's easy, and sometimes your renter might just assume that this is the best way to get ahold of you.

Since texting has become such a popular method of communication you might wonder, as a landlord or property manager, in what ways you may use it with a tenant. It's one thing if a tenant wants to text you a quick note that a repair must be done or use it to alert you that they dropped the check off in the rent dropbox, but can it be used for more biding situations, such as a warning or a notice to vacate? Can a tenant give their notice that they won't be renewing their lease through text?

These are excellent questions in today's day and age of the quick and short text, and it's going to depend on two things: your local laws and your lease. It's possible that neither will directly approach the subject, of course, and while you may bring the subject up to your local government in hopes of finding some clarity through legislation, you can choose to make it clear in the lease. If you are not interested in receiving questions and requests by texts, you may choose to put that into your lease as an addendum noting how you will accept such things.

It may be best, in any case to keep your documentation in an easier-to-store format. A physical note can be delivered by mail (as is required in many cases that written notice must be delivered) and can be scanned into your documents to keep records of. While texts can be kept in a semi-orderly fashion, they may not be the easiest and most efficient way to keep records of conversations between you and your tenant.
POSTED June 24 2014 1:08 PM

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