How Can Landlords Keep Tenants Happy?
Property Letting is not a Passive Income
Letting residential property is never plain sailing although many uninformed folks assume it's just a case of sitting back and raking in the rent money. If only! There is a wealth of paperwork and legislation to comply with for the residential landlord nowadays and above all, you will have to keep your renters happy so they prove to be long-standing and reliable tenants who never give you any hassle.
TV viewers are aware of the raw realities of renting to unscrupulous people on programs such as 'The World's Worst Tenants' and there is nothing worse than being lumbered with one of these folks for whom compromise and respect are words that have no meaning. Although such scenarios are extreme examples it's wise to be careful who you rent to and how you manage your properties.
Good renters can be as rare as gold and are worth hanging onto. Of course, there are unscrupulous landlords too but if you take pride in your properties and keep them in a good state of repair, you will need to take steps to minimize rental risks and let your properties to the type of people least likely to cause trouble.
Keeping your renters happy is thus an ongoing concern that you must be dedicated to. This includes a swift response to repair and maintenance issues. The tenant is paying you for the roof over their head so you have a duty to maintain the fabric of the building and ensure all fixed appliances are maintained correctly and are safe to operate.
Ideally, the landlord/ tenant relationship should be one that is beneficial to both parties but disputes often arise because parameters are not made clear from the onset. It's difficult for a landlord to know what's going on in a property he's not living in himself and he's often only alerted to a problem by a neighbouring resident when things go badly wrong. Hence the need for regular property inspections which protect the interests of both landlord and tenant.
Being reasonable with your renters from the onset is one way which will help any tenancy run smoothly although it will not guarantee it. Making yourself contactable at all times ensures there is no excuse for them not to contact you in a crisis.
Communication is the key factor in any smooth-running tenancy. You can be certain that when communication breaks down there is going to be a problem. Being tactful and diplomatic is always the best way forward and maintaining an attitude that considers the welfare of all concerned.
Having a clear list of rules from the start of the tenancy and checking your properties at regular intervals will minimize the risks of things deteriorating. Your apartment renter will have a right to privacy but you also have a right to ensure he is looking after the apartment so the key to this is discussing and implementing an arrangement that suits you both. Be as helpful and informative as you can with anything to do with the property and indeed the general area so your tenant will hopefully appreciate that you've made an effort to assist them.
A good rule of thumb for the conscientious landlord is never to let an apartment to anyone unless he is prepared to live in it himself. Take a good look around your rental property armed with a check list. Have you done everything you can to make it the best it can be before you tenant moves in? Any signs of dilapidation and safety concerns need to be addressed so your renters are happy on key handover and continue that way.
Providing a handy list of the modus operandi of all items and another list of your usual repair men will give your tenant the confidence that others will be on hand to assist if you are unavailable. You could also provide your new tenant with relevant information as to projected heating costs etc.
Establishing a good working relationship with your renters and being fair and reasonable in all your dealings with them will often make a big difference to the way they perceive you as a landlord. This will ultimately affect the way they treat your property so it is wise to respond to all reasonable requests as soon as possible throughout a tenancy.
© 2015 Stella Kaye