Keeping Your Tenants Happy
Article Posted - 28th February 2019
Developing a good relationship with tenants can only be beneficial for landlords. Getting on well with your renters can lead to higher occupancy rates, receiving rent on time, and the likelihood that your tenants will keep the property in good condition.
Online letting agent and NLA Recognised Supplier Upad conducted a survey of experienced landlords who vetted prospective tenants themselves. 12 per cent of the participants regretted not taking the time to evaluate tenants face-to-face. Meeting tenants personally can establish a good relationship from the off and can give you a better understanding of their character.
So how can you get the best return on your investment?
Top tips on keeping your tenant happy
1. Give clarity on all points of the tenancy
Ensure you are clear on what your tenancy includes. All-inclusive tenancies can be an attractive option for tenants. For landlords, it could make it easier to find tenants as renters are more inclined to choose a tenancy where they know exactly how much, and what they are paying offer. For tenants, this type of tenancy will allow them to forecast their monthly outgoings around these fixed costs.
Processing applications quickly and talking tenants through the process can build trust.
2. Make your rental feel homely
- Take pride in your property by offering it in a condition where the tenant will feel at home. It is a legal requirement under the Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Act 2018 that landlords should keep the property in a ‘maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation; and for connected purposes'. Tenants are also likelier to maintain the property and keep it in good condition if they feel comfortable in it.
3. Provide clear communication
- Quickly addressing any issues tenants may have will not only avoid further problems but will show you're an efficient, trustworthy landlord. Even if you cannot immediately address the issue you could make a phone call, send a text, or email to let them know you're aware of the issue and you are doing everything in your power to rectify the situation.
4. Consider the use of gifts
- Giving a gift on a festive occasion or a birthday would be appreciated by the tenant. A kind gesture could also build more trust, which could go a long way when they're deciding whether to renew their tenancy or not.
5. Consider a renewal incentive
Before the current tenancy is ending, landlords could offer the tenant the same rental price for the upcoming year as an incentive to stay. This will ensure there won't be a void period where the landlord is not receiving rent, and will likely save money by not having to look for a new tenant.
If the landlord does want to increase the rent, they could offer to do some cosmetic work to the property to keep the tenant happy.
6. Consider offering a longer tenancy if you find the right tenants
With an ever-increasing number of London households now renting, many tenants crave the security of being able to stay in a property knowing that they can be there long term. If you've found high quality tenants, then consider offering to sign a longer tenancy with them. This will give them a sense of security while also reducing your risk of a void period in between tenancies.
You can never take your tenants for granted! It is important to consider if furnishings or decor need updating. You can retain good tenants by asking yourself this question: Are these things which would be done if the tenants moved out?
7. Make sure you and your tenant are covered!
Last but not least, good insurance is vital! Sometimes things go wrong, and as a landlord, it's critical that you have the right property insurance in place to ensure you and your tenant receive the best coverage. For example, what if there's a flood, fire claim or other issue? You should make sure that your landlord insurance covers alternative accommodation for your tenants. The NLA offers property insurance for landlords; find out more here.
- Likewise, it's best to let the tenant know that landlords insurance won't cover everything; tenants should make sure they have their own contents insurance as well so that personal items are covered in the event of a fire, flood, burglary etc.
Ultimately, clear communication, honesty, and clarity should warrant a good landlord tenant relationship. Whether you have a single property or a large landlord portfolio, keeping your tenants happy is the key to a trouble-free tenancy for both landlord and tenant.
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