How to Be a Great Landlord: 7 Top Tips

How to Be a Great Landlord: 7 Top Tips

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It’s so important to keep a smile on your tenants’ face. Why? Because replacing tenants costs money and it requires that one thing everyone hates exerting; energy.

Every landlord dreads the idea of having an empty property. Do you realise that data has shown that this is the biggest cost for landlords? Each time a tenant disappears, you’re more than likely going to take a financial hit as a consequence. Who wants that?

Landlords need to have a standard operating procedure in place in order to keep a tenant happy. Always be prepared for anything that might get thrown your way.

It may drive you a little insane but it’s so important that you think of your tenant as a customer. And remember, the customer is always right.

Keep your tenants happy, give them a reason to remain faithful to your property, and you’ll definitely reap the benefits. Trust us 

1] Don’t ignore your tenant

If your tenant attempts to make contact, don’t be the stereotypical landlord and ignore the reach. Be responsive, it could be important. What we have found is that communication is the key to a happy tenant/landlord relationship. This will allow space for you to build that all important relationship. If you are contacted at 3 am just make sure you have a procedure to follow it up if you can’t take that call.

2] Maintain your property

If anything needs fixing, FIX IT and promptly. We guarantee that the one thing that’s sure to annoy your tenants is a landlord that is either too cheap or lazy to maintain their own property. Now, this may not be the case but we can guarantee that’s probably what your tenant is thinking. Even if it’s not your legal obligation to make the repair, try to be as accommodating as possible. Something that could be very important to your tenant (like a blown light bulb) could seem trivial and unimportant to some landlords. Put yourself in their place. Don’t dismiss things! Re-assure them that you will get someone out to check it. Or, as we do at our lettings agency in Newport, go that extra mile and visit the property to see if you can fix it yourself. That shows commitment and understanding. They definitely won’t forget it.

3] Give your tenants space

Tenants don’t want to be hassled by their landlord. You’re not their friend or neighbour, so don’t try and be one. Leave them to enjoy their home in peace. Although you do need a good rapport with them, just keep it on a professional level.

4] Trust your tenant

Trust your tenant until they give you reason not to. It’s a simple rule, and it won’t go unnoticed. We’ve found that most tenants don’t trust landlords, so give them a reason to. If you start looking through letterboxes and appearing through bushes to see what your tenants are up to, that’s not going to help your case, right?

5] Be compromising

Don’t automatically dismiss every request your tenant makes, even if it sounds totally absurd. Listen to what is being said, take every suggestion on board and take appropriate action. Whenever you choose to be declining, make sure you give valid and understanding reasoning behind your decision.

6] Don’t be tight-fisted

If you’re fortunate enough to land yourself with a great tenant, then treat them like a great tenant. A great tenant is priceless, and you may need them more than they need you. Remember, they pay for your mortgage and for your lifestyle.

Refusing to repaint, re-carpet, or upgrade necessary appliances for a great tenant makes no sense. If you don’t do it for the great tenant you already have, you’ll have to do the work when they leave in order to attract new tenants anyways. 

7] Think before increasing rent

Landlords may need to increase rent, for obvious reasons. Trying to increase rent is a dangerous game and shouldn’t be attempted unless you’re certain you know what you’re doing.

If your tenant refuses to pay the new amount, you’ll either a) Look stupid for backing down in an attempt to keep your tenant. b) Spend more money on trying to find new tenants, even if you manage to get the new rate from someone else. If you are going to increase the rent, make sure it’s very clear to the tenant from the outset of the tenancy. It could be due to inflation or a number of other reasons but always make it clear to them. Once again, this is where those all–important operating procedures come into play.

It’s an old assumption that people believe landlords have lots of money in their pockets, so why shouldn’t they do the things requested by their tenants. However, we know that this is hardly ever the case. So our advice to you would be to be communicative with your tenants. If the job is not an emergency and you would rather wait another month, just be honest and it will probably go a long way. This will give you happy and content tenants that will stay with you longer, saving you money in the long run. Just remember those all-important operating procedures you need to put into place and all of these tips will come easily to you. Then everyone’s happy.

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