How to Have a Good Relationship With Your Tenants
Landlords moan about their tenants and tenants moan about their landlords. There certainly are good and bad landlords and good and bad tenants but it’s possible for a landlord and their tenants to have a harmonious relationship where both sides are happy for the term of the arrangement.
Being a landlord isn’t just about making a profit. Sure, that’s a big part of it, after all, being a landlord is a business, not a charity, but to really get the best out of being a landlord you need to maintain a good relationship with your tenants.
Being a good landlord will give you a better chance of attracting and keeping good tenants who pay their rent on time, look after your property and not annoy the neighbours with wild parties.
Bad landlords attract bad tenants and that could end up costing you money if they damage your property or stop paying the rent.
Whether your tenant found you through an estate agents in West London or through word-of-mouth from friends or family, let’s have a look at a few ways of how you can be a good landlord and maintain a good relationship with your tenants.
Ditch the ego
First of all, don’t think you’re better than your tenant just because you’re their landlord and they’re paying you rent. They’re not just your tenant, they’re your customer and any business person knows they need to keep their customers happy. If you had a shop and a customer came in waving money around, would you treat them like a second-class citizen? No, you’d respect them and not only hope to get their business that day, you’d hope they’d stay loyal and come back. A happy, loyal tenant is a tenant who will keep giving you money and that’s what you want.
If you’ve got a letting agent looking after everything, that doesn’t mean you can disappear and let them get on with it. The agent can look after the day-to-day stuff but if there’s anything big and urgent that needs your attention, you need to be readily contactable.
It’s a good idea to give your tenants your contact details anyway so they can contact you in the middle of the night if the property is burning down when the agent’s office is shut. Your property probably won’t burn down in the middle of the night but knowing they can contact you if they need to will give your tenants peace of mind.
Don’t keep checking up on your tenants
There will be times you need to visit your property but keep these visits to a minimum and always give your tenants notice and arrange a time when it’s convenient for them. It may be your property but it’s still their home and they have the right to enjoy it without the fear of someone coming in at any time.
Timely repairs and maintenance
As mentioned above, if you’re with an agent, they’ll look after any minor repairs and take the cost out of the rent due to you. Anything major will have to be cleared with you first though and your tenants have the right to have everything in the property safe and in working order, so don’t delay with giving your consent for any essential work to be carried out.
Have some understanding and compassion
Even the best tenants can be the victim of unfortunate circumstances that means they can’t pay their rent for a while. Maybe they lost their job with no notice or they had a big personal expense such as a funeral to pay for, leaving them short when it came to the date the rent was due.
If they’ve always been a good tenant and haven’t defaulted on their rent in the past, give them some leeway. We’re not saying let them off the rent completely or to let them stay there for free for a few months, but show some compassion and let them make up what they owe at a later date, or in instalments if necessary.
If you follow the advice above, you’ll get a name for yourself as being a good landlord, which will earn you respect and ensure you attract good tenants in the future as well as making it more likely your current tenants will be good ones and stay long term.
We’re not saying be a sucker and let your tenants walk all over you, but a bit of mutual respect goes a long way.