A happy tenant makes for a happy Landlord and when relationships are strong, not much should go wrong at the beginning, during and most importantly at the end of a Tenancy.
From a tenants’ perspective, this means making your property their home and going about their daily life without interference and being left to enjoy the property as if it were theirs. From a Landlords’ perspective, an occupied property, rent payments on time and the knowledge that their property is being looked after is their perfect scenario.
Of course, life isn’t always perfect and as we all know there will be bumps and potholes to navigate. While there is not much you can do to prevent some situations, there are opportunities a landlord should take to help reduce the chance of such events not matter what they end up being.
Knowing your tenant
Although this may not apply to Landlords who use the High Street Agent to deal with the letting process, abstention from dealing with your new tenants certainly can’t apply to the Private Landlord who manages their own property. Taking the time to getting to know your tenant is an important first step. With your first impression, comprehensive references (to mitigate any payment history, job security and previous tenant history) and an informal Q&A with your potential tenant is a step in the right direction. If they fail any of these stages, then relying on your judgement or talking to someone helping you with your property letting will help you make the decision on whether to proceed.
Move in day
You want to encourage tenants to approach you with any issues regarding your property no matter how small. So making yourself more approachable will help them settle into your property. You’ll need to go through the inventory anyway so taking time to fit into their move in day schedule is a good start.
The first three weeks are particularly important to tenants and it is often referred to as a ‘honeymoon period’ where tenants are adapting to their new surroundings. These surrounding are almost certainly not going to be the same as their previous property and even more so if they are moving from their own home. Therefor patience and understanding and listening are going to be important traits good landlords are going to want to utilize.
Giving some landlords have work commitments and other activities in their busy lives to attend to, staying available can sometimes be a challenge. However, being responsive to your tenants and staying in communication plays a key role in keeping the relationship a good one.
By not responding to a tenants’ calls, emails or texts, will not only give the tenants a bad impression, your tenants are far less likely to tell you again in the future something is wrong and will affect your properties upkeep. Something that you may regret at the end of the tenancy.
Although you need to stay accessible to tenants, it’s vital you don’t take this too far – namely by turning up to your rented property unannounced. Landlords can’t turn up as and when it suits them without notice. Note that it’s mandatory for landlords to give 24 hours’ notice in writing before they make a visit. Doing so isn’t only against the terms of your agreement, it could also jeopardise your relationship with your tenant.
Do what you said you would do
All good relationships are built on trust. So if you promise to fix a leaky pipe or replace an appliance that’s on the blink but then fail to do so, tenants aren’t likely to believe your intentions in the future as they have been let down already. If assurances have been given to get something done by a specific time and date, try your best to meet that expectation.
Most Landlords include a clause in their contract to indicate to tenants that they want to visit the property every quarter or six months to undertake a quick assessment of their property and take this time to ensure the tenant is alright. Don’t be that landlord that only turns up when you want your tenants rent money or when things go wrong – if you show initiative and care, you’ll help maintain a far more useful relationship.
There’s no perfect formula for maintaining a good tenant/landlord relationship. Mostly one has to rely on common sense, the before mentioned tips and most importantly manage Tenants expectations. Let your tenants know at the beginning of the tenancy that you’re approachable and contactable and this will give your tenants a sense of re assurance that things will go well.
I would like to encourage our registered landlords to let others know what is or has been useful to them in their landlord/tenant relationship. So please write this down in the comment section below and we will gladly have this on view for others to read.