While landlords’ guides are usually thorough about explaining holding deposits and taxes; they often miss the importance of being a good landlord.
These 5 questions help you consider how good you are at striking a level of engagement with your tenants that encourages a profitable property business and a reasonably easy life for all involved.
1) Have any of your tenants ever threatened to withhold rent?
Tenants generally only threaten this if an agreed action hasn’t been taken on the part of the landlord, such as the internet not being repaired as agreed.
Fix: Handle snags quickly and if there’s a delay, explain to the tenant what’s happening. People are more likely to accept delays if they’re kept in the picture.
2) If your tenants were to give notice, would they tidy up before viewings?
Or would that pile of pizza boxes stacked on top of the gym equipment in the middle of the lounge be hoping to pass as an ironic art installation?
Fix: These are one of the times when having a good relationship with your tenants makes things easier for you. Talk to them, ask them politely to leave the place in good order and be specific about what you’re expecting.
3) Would your tenants recommend you to other tenants?
When happy tenants move on because of a change in their circumstances, they’re often able to cut out some legwork for you by putting a word in with people they know who are looking for a property to rent. You’ll obviously still need references verified from previous landlords, but would you be recommended?
Fix: This not only saves your time, but it’s also a good negotiation point between the two parties: if the tenant needs a bit more time to move out because they’re entering a chain, for example.
4) Have you set out house rules for your property?
Aside from health & safety regulations, where do you stand on putting pictures up and decorating? Having a list of rules for the property is fine, but if the tenants want to make a change it may be adding value, and at least shows they’re making a home there. It’s a good thing.
Fix: Give them as much freedom as you can: research shows that, generally speaking, happy people are often tidier people. Always be honest and upfront about damage or issues with the property, but at least allow a discussion about what they want to do.
5) Are you saving enough money managing your property, to make up for the hassle of it?
Like everything it comes down to time, money and to what degree you want to be involved in the day to day stuff. If you’re considering going for full management in the future, tenants prefer it, because it runs like clockwork.
Fix: Talk to the Lettings Management team at Estates East, it may be for you it may not be, but we’re happy to chat it through and give you a clear picture.
If you’re reading this, the chances of you being a good landlord are high! Basically, get off on the right foot, then drop back until you’re needed and keep mutual respect high on the agenda. You don’t want to be friends, aim to achieve a professional but friendly relationship with your tenants, and that’ll be a win. A win: win.
Estates East Team
Call us >> 020 8520 9300
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