While all tenants will move out eventually, landlords who don’t prioritise establishing a positive relationship with their tenants will soon find that they are looking for new tenants all too often.
Since Letting properties can be costly and time consuming, it’s important that you’re on good terms with all of your tenants, to ensure yourself of tenancy renewals and referrals.
A successful landlord knows how to build such a relationship with their tenants. Here are our top tips on how to do this.
Have a clear tenancy agreement
Confusion and conflict often occur in cases where the responsibilities of the tenants and landlord are unclear. If the tenancy agreement is ambiguous or vague about a certain point, then it is likely that – somewhere down the line – this will cause a problem.
For example, if the tenancy agreement does not make it overtly apparent which party is responsible for which utility bills, there may be an unpleasant disagreement at the end of the tenancy about an unpaid bill. Disagreements like this not only create hassle and stress, but they can cost time and money too – particularly as they can easily turn into legal action.
By having a comprehensive and transparent tenancy agreement, you will be able to refer back to it in the case of any confusion and, hopefully, prevent any escalation of the issue.
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Be approachable and available
Particularly in the early stages of tenancy, renters will likely have many questions and requests. To get off to the best start, make sure that your tenants know that they are welcome to contact you and that you will be willing to respond appropriately to their queries or concerns.
At a minimum, tenants should be able to reach you by email or phone; but, where possible, it can also work wonders to meet with tenants in person. Face-to-face meetings (even if they are online) can be the key to establishing a strong professional relationship that will endure for the duration of a tenancy.
Manage repairs and maintenance responsibly
If and when a problem arises that needs fixing, or some routine maintenance work needs seeing to, it is essential that you let your tenants know when it will be taking place and how it might impact them. By giving adequate forewarning, you enable them to take any steps they need to avoid disruption to their lives.
You should also let tenants know if a repair is going to take longer than expected to fix. Tenants who are forewarned about delays usually turn out to be far more patient and tolerant than tenants who keep expecting something to happen that either never does, or takes longer than expected, without any communication..
Stay up to date with all legal requirements
Keep track of when all safety certificates are due to expire and book in any tests and checks in advance, so that your tenants know you take their safety and security seriously. Since safety requirements are liable to change, make sure that you are always up to date with the latest government regulations.
Inspect your property regularly
You can’t always rely on tenants to communicate with you, even if something is wrong. Some tenants will neglect problems or may assume that you are already aware of them. Inspecting your property regularly will enable you to keep everything ticking over nicely.
Calling in on your tenants can be contentious, but as long as you give them 24 hours’ notice and have reasonable justification you should be fine. If you want to demonstrate your consideration, it’s recommended to give a more extended notice period before a visit and to negotiate a time which will work for them too. You must also refrain from visiting excessively, as your tenants have the right to privacy and ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property.
If you go in with the attitude that you are there to make sure that everything is fit and suitable for them, then a home visit can even increase good relations between you.
The benefits of a good landlord-tenant relationship
From carrying out inspections, to coordinating maintenance work and keeping on top of all the rules and regulations, the life of a landlord tends to be busy. By keeping your tenants happy, you won’t have to waste time and money on managing conflict or advertising frequently for new tenants.
In short, being on good terms with your tenants should keep you happy too.