June 15, 2017
Building a successful landlord/tenant relationship
Top tips to create a positive relationship with your tenant:
Keep lines of communication open
It may seem obvious, but communication is key between a tenant and a landlord. Before carrying out inspections, you should forewarn tenants within 24 hours of any upcoming visits. You should not enter the property without permission. And you need to listen to tenants’ suggestions about home improvements and try to address these, within reason. To prevent complaints, agents should not put unfair terms in the contract or fail to protect the deposit.
For their part, tenants should raise any issues about the property. Immediately for any urgent problems and when necessary for any on-going maintenance. Furthermore, tenants who want to break their lease need to give correct notice. As per the terms they’ve agreed on.
Fair approach to wear and tear
Wear and tear comes with time; that is unavoidable. Frequent use of household items is bound to lead to chips, scratches or marks, and most insurance companies will not cover this. Even the most perfect tenant will leave a few of them, so any minor repairs should normally be covered by you.
Tenants should, however, treat their rental property as if it were their own. Returning the property to its original condition as much as possible will avoid any additional costs at the end of their tenancy. For tenants renting a property for the first time, many like to believe they are the first people to step foot in the property. So a professional clean can be a good investment for starting well the relationship.
Fix major repairs quickly
If the boiler breaks down in winter or the shower becomes a trickle, tenants will expect it to be fixed as soon as possible. Most major repairs are your responsibility.
Tenants rightly expect major appliances to be in good working order. So fixing it quickly is a good opportunity for you to build trust and confidence.
Above all else, tenants want you to be responsive, approachable and easy to reach. This will increase the chance of tenants wanting to renew their lease or recommending you at the end of their contract.
Safety and security are also a key concern for most tenants, so finding a reputable and reliable contractor to deal with the on-going maintenance of the property is also a good idea.
Better safe than sorry: Have the correct landlord’s insurance in place
As a result of a flood, storm, fire or escape of water incident, you can lose an entire buy-to-let investment. A landlord’s insurance can cover you for the cost of alternative accommodation for the tenant. Or loss of rental income if the home is made inhabitable.
A rental property is a solid investment if tenants pay their rent on time. However, if you are not covered, or have bad luck, it can quickly become a financial burden. Some tenants can fall behind on rental payments. The figures from the Ministry of Justice show that it take an average of 37 weeks to evict a tenant. In these cases, the relationship between you and tenant tends to breakdown very quickly.
A landlord insurance can provide a rent guarantee cover if a tenant is in arrears. It can protect your cash flow, by covering accidental or malicious damage by tenants and legal expenses.
Contents insurance for tenants
It’s important for tenants to consider potential risks as well. Although a building insurance covers your property’s fixtures and fittings, this does not mean the tenant has one.
In the event of a fire, flood, burst pipes or burglary, the tenant is responsible for taking out their own contents insurance to cover any personal items. As a result, tenants should know what the building insurance covers and encouraged to take out further contents insurance to avoid any surprises later down the line.
Home ownership is now at its lowest level since 1985. As the rental sector becomes increasingly important, you will have a crucial role to play in providing an alternative and affordable living solution. By having a good landlord-tenant relationship in place, you will be able to reap the rewards of your investment. Tenants will enjoy a stress-free tenancy, and the private rental sector continues to grow even further.