For both parties, a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship is great for everyone involved.
For tenants, this means going about your daily life without unwanted interference. In terms of landlords, this means an occupied property and a steady stream of rent. Indeed, what could possibly go wrong?!
Of course, the day to day pressures of life means that this isn’t always possible. But while there’s nothing you can do as a landlord to prevent a missed payment, there’s plenty you can do to help reduce the chance of flashpoints along the way.
1. Get to know your tenant from day one
This doesn’t necessarily mean going on a candlelit dinner, but taking the time to meet your tenants is hugely important.
Take the time to go for a coffee with prospective tenants, or something similar before you take them on. If you get a particularly bad feel for them or you sense a bad attitude, it’s worth thinking twice before agreeing to let them sign on the dotted line.
2. Be there on move in day
You want your tenant to be able to come to you with any problem they might encounter in your home. As part of making yourself seem more approachable, why not be there at move in day to help them settle into your property
3. Stay available
If you have more than one buy-to-let property, staying on top of things can seem tough. But staying available to your tenants and staying communicative plays a key role in keeping the relationship cordial.
By not returning a tenants’ calls or texts, not only are you likely to be unaware things may need repairing in your property – tenants are far less likely to tell you in the first place. Something that could come back to bite you come their leaving day.
4. But not too available
Although you need to stay open and accessible to tenants, it’s vital you don’t take this too far – namely by turning up to your property unannounced.
You may well own the bricks and mortar, but with tenants inside, you can’t turn up as and when you feel like it. It’s mandatory for landlords to give 24 hours notice before they make a visit. Doing so isn’t only illicit, it could also seriously harm relations with your tenant.
5. Keep your promises
All good relationships – even those with your tenant – are built on trust. So if you promise to fix a leaky pipe or replace an appliance that’s on the blink but then fail to do so, tenants aren’t likely to believe much that comes out of your mouth.
If you promise to do something by a certain date, try your upmost to do it.
6. Be proactive.
Don’t wait for things to go wrong with your property – try and stay as proactive as possible when it comes to problem solving.
Be actively seeking to sit down with your tenant and seeking to understand problems before they develop into something more sinister, you can help save yourself money later down the line.
7. Make the effort
Although it’s not practical to be asking to visit your property every other week, or sending out daily texts to your tenants, always try to reach out to tenants as often as you can.
Even if this is just once a month, it’s far better to be over communicative than under communicative. Don’t be that landlord that only turns up when they want their money or when things go wrong – if you show you care, you’ll help sustain a far more enjoyable relationship with tenants.
There’s no perfect science for maintaining a good tenant/landlord relationship. But if you’re viewing your buy-to-let investment as a side-project rather than a full-time occupation, the chances are your relations with tenants may suffer.
Always look to be as open, amiable and honest as possible with tenants from day one. By doing so, the likelihood is you won’t have to be looking for new ones come the end of their tenancy – allowing you to enjoy a fruitful, long-term relationship with tenants that care for your property.