Every landlords dream is to have a property that always has the ideal tenant.  Sound impossible and totally unrealistic?  But is it really that difficult to try to hang onto those good tenants and avoid the times when your property is untenanted?   Going that extra mile can make a difference on how long your tenant stays.

Here are six handy hints to help build a good relationship with your tenants and hopefully make them want to stay for longer.  

  1. Welcome pack/gift.  Let’s face it everyone likes to get a gift, especially when it’s from an unexpected source.  Why not surprise your new tenants with a gift like a bottle of wine, a child’s toy or a plant.  You could help ease the stress of moving in with a welcome pack containing some of the essentials like tea, milk, sugar, biscuits, toilet roll.  You could even add a small amount of credit on an electric/gas meter so at least your new tenants will have light and heat for their first day.   You’ll be surprised how a simple gift can make a difference to a tenant’s perception of their landlord and can help get that important tenant-landlord relationship off to a good start.
  2. Flexibility.  If you’ve got a reliable tenant, you’ll want to do what you can, within reason, to try to keep them.  For instance you may want to look at revising a ‘no pets’ policy if a tenant asks to keep a small dog.  You could always amend the terms of the tenancy agreement to include damage caused by pets and increase the security deposit. 
  3. Repairs/problems.  Address these quickly.  Don’t scrimp on repairs – rather than fix old leaky taps why not simply replace them.  Not only does this invest in your property for the future but also sends a message to your tenants that you trust them to take care of your property and improvements could also make their lives easier.  Always try to follow up a few days later to see how the repairs are or if there are any further issues.  If your tenants see that you are willing to invest in the property they may be more receptive to any rental increases in the future.   Don’t forget any improvements you make could help market your property in the event that you need to find new tenants.
  4. Surprise them.  Obviously not in a bad way but by simply providing a casual act of kindness – however small.  You could offer to help with a DIY job like hanging some pictures or clearing some garden rubbish, maybe reduce the rent for a few months during a period of unemployment. 
  5. Communication.  Put your tenant at ease – be friendly and approachable so that if there are any issues they feel they can call you straightaway.  However, this doesn’t mean you should become their new best friend - always maintain a good professional working relationship – you will need to find the right balance after all, you are still the landlord.
  6. Visit them.  Try to establish a regular schedule of visits maybe every two or three months and always give your tenants a minimum of 24 hours’ notice before you turn up. Don’t go overboard with visiting though – your tenants don’t want to feel that you are part of their family.    

Even with the best will in the world there are bound to be times when your property is empty whilst awaiting new tenants.  These periods can be costly so make sure that you have built in some contingency funds to cover these non-rental periods.  Keep an eye on the current property market in your area to ensure that your rent is competitively priced and be prepared to drop the rent level if you need to attract tenants.

 

Will landlord insurance help?

Although having appropiate landlord insurance may not be a selling point, if an incident occurs which requires your insurance to be called upon having the right cover will likely be appreciated by your tenants!

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