Managing your relationship with tenants as a landlord can be a fine line between overstepping the barrier, or simply not doing enough. Managing a property is difficult as it is, but adding the responsibility of homing potentially a whole family just adds on extra anxieties and worries. There isn’t necessarily a rule book as to how all tenants would like to be managed as everyone is different, but there are basics that landlords are responsible for that should be covered.
If you are experienced in the property industry, you should have a good idea as to what makes a great tenant. If you are yet to experience a good tenant and keep one, there are some steps that you can take to assure long tenancies from valuable tenants.
Here are our top tips:
Make Your Agreement Clear
If you are hoping for a smooth experience, it is not always guaranteed but making your agreements clear before the tenants occupy the property might just save you in the long run. Hopefully, if you think you have found the perfect tenants for your property, you will be assured by their past landlords that there have been no issues. Despite their old landlord agreements, you need to keep in mind that they perhaps had different conditions for them. For example, if you do not make it clear in your agreement that tenants are prohibited to smoke, a behaviour they were allowed to do in past properties, then you will face some conflict in the future. If they can stick to your terms, then you will find a strong and valuable relationship built with the tenants.
Make The Property Presentable
If you wish to attract tenants who value quality over just a cheap monthly rental, you should invest in making your property look presentable with a home reconstruction. A simple fresh coat of paint and hardwood floors is not a selling point, and although people are desperate to buy their properties they, unfortunately, have to settle for a rental whilst the cost of buying a property is so high. Give them a reason to view renting as a good thing, and make the house feel like a home for them. You will have a lot of creative authority if you offer your home furnished, so try to invest in quality pieces of furniture that are popular and will last for years. Good Tenants appreciate a well-presented house, especially when they get to call it their home.
Allow Them To Make It Their Own
Most landlords do not allow their tenants to make any changes to the home at all, keeping the walls and floors untouched. If you are feeling generous and you want to target tenants that will stay for years, then you should allow your tenants to put their stamp on the home. Perhaps you do have a budget at the moment to freshen the home up. You might allow your tenants to paint the kitchen cupboards if they are outdated, or let them replace the curtains and blinds. Let them make the necessary changes to make the house feel like a home, but maybe put down boundaries to irreversible changes.
Respect Their Space
As a landlord, there will be circumstances in which you will have to enter the property without notice such as emergencies. Some landlords make the mistake of conducting a ‘check up’ without notice to some of their tenants due to their experiences with bad tenants.
As a landlord, you should give at least 48 hours’ notice to your tenants if you are stopping in to fix anything or do a general check-up. Even if you find the perfect, tidy tenants you should still do a general check-up at least every 6 months to make sure things are in order. Weekly check ups will make your tenants feel uncomfortable and prevent them from seeing your property as a long-term home. Allow them their privacy, as we all would appreciate where we live.
Be On Call At All Times
Being a landlord can be a great role, however, it can also be very demanding. As a landlord, you should be prepared to answer calls at all times from your tenants. Any calls that get ignored can be the difference between having no problems and having a fully flooded home. Your tenants should have confidence that you will be able to respond to any of their problems or concerns with the properties. You need to put yourself in the shoes of your tenants, even if you feel as though their requests can wait.
Respond To Requests Quickly
Some of the worst problems tenants face are the wait time they have to face when raising an issue with the landlord. For example, tenants may raise property issues that disrupt their day-to-day life such as the washing machine breaking, or maybe even damp starting to work its way through the building. Landlords that have bad reputations will avoid dealing with issues such as these simply because it comes at an expense to them. As a landlord, you should be maintaining the property as if it was yourself living in it, as it is your property after all. Fix any problems as soon as possible, and if some properties require the tenants to be out of the house for a day or two you might even go above and beyond and pay for them to spend the night in a hotel. Small things such as this can make a huge difference.
Include Additional Benefits
The best landlords give their long-term tenants rewards for things such as paying their rent on time and also maintaining the property to a high standard themselves. At first glance, it might seem useless to give tenants rewards on the basics they should be doing anyway, but a lot of this normal behaviour does not come naturally to a lot of people, therefore, rewarding the best of tenants when you can encourage them to stay for longer periods.
It is cheaper in terms of maintenance to keep the same tenants, in comparison to facing high tenant turnovers and void periods. Rewarding them at your expense is easier to manage rather than needing landlord legal advice after bad tenant experiences. If your tenants renew their tendency for another few years you might send them a thank you letter and gift, or you might offer to pay for a garden feature in the property they have been wanting. It is a win-win situation if both you and your tenants stay happy.
There are so many landlords trying to benefit from the property market, but making your beautiful property and personable services stand out from the crowd will allow you to keep valuable tenants. There is no perfect tenant, but finding the most reasonable and easy to manage tenants are key if you want to keep your property in top shape whilst benefiting from the profits.