Whether you are handling a single property or a portfolio, being a landlord has its share of ups and downs. However, one thing remains constant - tenants. You need them if you want to survive as a landlord, and yet so many property investors fail to see the importance of looking after those who have chosen to rent their property.
Keeping your tenants happy is paramount to your success as a landlord, but how do you go about ensuring that they are? No one gave you a ‘How To Be A Good Landlord’ manual when you first invested in property, so what do you need to do? Hopefully this article will shed a little light on how to keep your tenants smiling, and why it is vital you do so!
By far the easiest way to ensure your tenants are being looked after is to hand the reins over to an experienced property management team. I know this may sound a bit much coming from a company that provides such a service, but it really is your best option - especially if you are new to the job of being a landlord.
Allowing a reputable firm to handle your rental takes all of the stresses away from you and makes certain your tenants will be well looked after. Of course this comes at a price, but it really is worth the money.
Not only will most of the points below become irrelevant (as your property management company will handle them for you), you’ll also have a better chance of keeping your tenants in place for longer too. Happy tenants are more likely to stay put, and that means money in the bank for you.
Be there when your tenant needs you
One of the key bugbears of any tenant is having difficulty contacting their landlord. To get over this, make sure your tenant has several ways to get in touch with you should they need to. You don’t need to provide anything elaborate, just an email address and a phone number will suffice.
The biggest thing to remember, though, is that you need to respond when they do reach out. I know, who’d have thought! Well, you’d be amazed at how many tenants leave numerous voicemails without hearing back. Don’t be one of those landlords. Respond immediately wherever possible.
Leave your tenant in peace
As much as being attentive is important, being overbearing is a major cause for concern too. This happens a lot with first-time landlords, especially those who are renting out an inherited home that means a lot to them.
Remember, once you’ve let your property it effectively “belongs” to the tenant for the duration of the tenancy, so leave them in peace. Hiring a property management team to look after your interests can be a huge help here, as it brings a degree of separation to the situation and lessens your direct personal involvement.
Look after your property
While your property may effectively be someone else’s home during the tenancy, it’s still your responsibility to keep certain parts of it maintained. Too often landlords try to scrimp and cut corners, but it usually comes back to haunt them in one form or another. If something needs fixing, get it down as soon as you possibly can. Your tenants have to live there, after all. Would you like to live in a property in disrepair?
Some things will be your responsibility, others will be down to the tenant. However, being flexible here can go a long way. If there’s a small job that should be down to them to sort out you could always consider fixing it yourself. Going the extra mile for those living in your property will not go unnoticed.
Show a little faith
No, we’re not getting all evangelical here. What we mean is show a little trust in your tenant. Far too many landlords are automatically suspicious of anyone they let their homes to. Maybe they’ve been bitten before, or maybe they just can’t help but think the worst of people. Whatever the reason, it’s not a good way to run a business.
Treat each new tenant as a clean slate and give them the trust they deserve until you have a reason to behave otherwise. This will not only make your new tenants feel more welcome, it’ll also decrease your stress levels too!
Treat all tenants well, but treat great tenants better
Excellent tenants can be worth their weight in gold to a landlord, so look after them. By following all of the above pointers you will be way ahead of the pack anyway, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing a little more whenever you can.
Even a silly thing such as Christmas or birthday card can really make your tenants feel appreciated, and they cost you very little. Being a landlord is as much about people as it is about property. Show your tenants respect and you’ll have a better business as a result. Simple as that.
For more information about our property management service or how we can help let your property quickly and fuss-free, contact one of our offices today.