Landlord-tenant relationships can be a point of serious contention. Since the nature of the relationship centers on money, it’s only natural to see conflict. However, landlords who use certain computer technologies to make life easy for tenants tend to avoid the bulk of those common confrontations.
- Electronic rent collection
Collecting rent electronically is one of the biggest conveniences landlords can offer their tenants. Now that it’s common for every business to have a website, including property investors, it only makes sense to create an online rent payment portal.
Online rent payments reduce a tenant’s struggles
Tenants struggle with life just like everyone else. Each person’s struggle is unique, but there are commonalities. For example, many tenants struggle to make ends meet financially while others struggle with a physical disability that comes with limitations and/or pain. People who are struggling will appreciate any break they can get, no matter how small.
By providing tenants with the option to pay rent electronically, landlords automatically make their tenants’ lives easier. Manually paying rent might not seem like a big deal, but it can be a huge task for many people.
For example, mailing a rent check is a time-consuming task for someone without a car. Even when the post office is walking distance, it takes time and effort to get dressed and leave the house, walk to the post office, wait in line, and walk back. Anyone with a disability will have an equally difficult time manually paying the rent.
Some landlords haven’t gotten on board with electronic rent payments due to security concerns. However, there are plenty of rent processing systems that strictly adhere to the PCI standards as required by law. Landlords have plenty of options to collect rent online while keeping their tenants’ data secure.
- Smart programmable thermostats
At first glance, it might seem like a smart thermostat is more of a novelty than anything else. Technically, a tenant can just as easily program a standard programmable thermostat to several different temperatures throughout the day. However, a smart thermostat is useful in other ways.
Like a standard programmable thermostat, you can schedule a smart thermostat to switch up the temperature throughout the day, but you can also control it from your smartphone.
Smart thermostats help tenants take care of pets
Tenants with pets want to make sure their furry friends stay warm, but sometimes that’s hard when the weather is unpredictable.
Say a tenant leaves their dogs at home with the thermostat set to 65. If an unexpected bout of cold weather or snow hits, they can use their phone to turn the thermostat on to make sure their dogs stay warm.
If a tenant doesn’t have dogs at home to worry about, a smart thermostat will save money if they make a last-minute decision to stay at a friend’s house for the weekend. Instead of letting the heater run on its programmed cycle for two or more days, they can turn it off completely without having to set foot in the house.
Other conveniences smart thermostats provide includes:
- A smart thermostat collects data and will generate energy usage reports based on run times
- A smart thermostat will provide an alert when it’s time to clean or replace the air filter
- A smart thermostat can learn a tenant’s preferred schedule and program itself
- A smart thermostat will save a tenant money on heating and cooling bills in the long term
Smart thermostats can help keep the HVAC system in good repair
For tenants who pay for their own electricity and heat, a smart programmable thermostat will make their lives easier. A smart thermostat might even encourage tenants to notify their landlord more promptly about filter replacements so they don’t get a call in the middle of the night when the system is clogged.
Currently, the most popular smart thermostat on the market is the Nest Thermostat E, but there are other Nest models that work just as well.
- Smart lighting systems
Like smart thermostats, a smart lighting system helps tenants control their energy usage without having to be in the house.
The lighting throughout an entire house can be programmed and connected through an app so that each room’s lighting can be turned on, off, or dimmed remotely. When a family goes on vacation, lights can be programmed to turn on and off at various intervals to make it look like someone is home.
Smart home technology is still evolving
Currently, smart home tech gadgets make life fun and easy to a small degree. It’s only a matter of time before the convenience of home automation is kicked up another notch.