Being a good landlord won’t just make you feel virtuous: building a sound relationship with your tenant could be seriously better for your bank balance. Good landlords are not always easy to find and if your tenant is happy with you, you can reduce tenant-turnover, promote prompt payment and you may find they’ll return the goodwill by being extra careful not to damage anything or even do minor repairs themselves. Tenants who are happy in your home are also more likely to invest in doing things that can add value to your property, like painting.
Find out how to be a good landlord with our three top tips:
1) Deal promptly with issues
What all tenants want is for matters to be dealt with urgently. If you have an issue there is nothing more frustrating than someone who won’t answer their phone or get back to you. Being a good landlord means making sure you are available to speak to your tenant, and if you miss their call get back to them. If you can’t always be available, use a managing agent who can to ensure your tenant can always speak to someone if they need to.
Forge links with individuals or companies you trust to deal with maintenance issues promptly and effectively: For example, if there is a leak, you need to know you can get someone to sort it quickly. Small problems that are ignored because you don’t think they are important can quickly become large ones, and it can be costly to find a replacement tenant if they decide to leave because of it.
Try and see off problems before they arise by making a plan for the small maintenance and upkeep jobs that every house needs. Create a schedule for boiler and electricity and gas checks and make sure your landlord insurance covers you for the emergencies.
2) Respect your tenants’ private space
You may own the property but your tenant is paying you to call it their home. If you do need to go into the property always give plenty of notice and try to minimise these visits as much as you can. By law you have to give at least 24 hours’ notice and make sure your visit is at a ‘reasonable’ time of day, unless it’s an emergency. Being a good landlord means showing respect: and if you respect your tenant they are more likely to show respect to you and your property.
3) Have a comprehensive tenancy agreement
A thorough tenancy agreement is essential if you want to build a successful relationship with your tenant. That’s because it sets out exactly what you and your tenant can expect from each other. It makes it clear where responsibilities lie, for example with maintenance and repair issues, and can avoid unwanted tension. If responsibilities are not clear it can lead to misunderstandings, which can result in your tenant vacating or even expensive legal action. It is important for you to have a plan in place if you do find yourself in dispute with a tenant and you should check your landlord insurance to make sure your legal expenses are included in the policy.
Hopefully these tips will help you to be a good landlord and enjoy a successful relationship with good tenants, who respect your property, pay their rent on time and stay put. Even if they do move on, happy tenants often refer your property to their family and friends, which could mean even longer term benefits for being a better landlord. For more information on the legal responsibilities between landlords and tenants, read the landlord and tenant act of 1985 .