Establishing a good relationship between the landlord and tenant is key for a mutually beneficial professional relationship. Put simply, the tenant wants to feel at home in their own personal environment and the landlord wants to receive a hassle-free stream of rental income.
What’s more, it’s not as though you just have to put up with each other for a matter of days or weeks. Most relationships between landlord and tenant last for at least a year – and can last much longer than that.
From the tenant’s perspective, a difficult relationship with your landlord can seriously affect your day to day comfort.
Just by establishing a healthy relationship with your landlord can go a long way to helping you live in the best conditions possible, getting you the fastest responses to maintenance problems requests and even keeping your rental rates reasonable.
On the flip side, it’s important for a landlord to form a positive bond with the tenant as they’ll be more incentivised to look after the property as though it really were their own. This will lead to fewer damages and minimum wear and tear. You’re also more likely to receive your rent on time.
However, it’s all very well simply saying “form a good relationship”, actually doing it is something else. At Townends we can do this because we’re experts in property management – making landlords’ and tenants’ lives easier for 25 years across London and Surrey.
Be realistic about the limitations of the property before you decide to move in. If your requirements aren’t practical at a particular rental property during the viewing, then move on.
Don’t expect a landlord to add an unreasonable number of amenities or upgrades once you’ve moved in.
Be honest about your details
When completing the paperwork, be sure to submit completely accurate rental applications regardless of your shortcomings. Do not overstate your income or lie about credit problems.
What’s more, if you have a pet, be upfront about it from the start. A staggeringly high number of landlord disputes with their tenants are based on whether pets are allowed into the property or if a pet has been sneaked in during the tenancy.
Try to get everything in writing
Getting things down officially on paper will reduce the inevitable “but you promised” conversation at a later date.
If a landlord has promised that something will be repaired or a new appliance will be delivered soon, then be absolutely sure to get it in writing. If not, you open up the possibility for miscommunication.
Promises don’t get things done. Written agreements do. By letting Townends manage the communication for you, you’re eliminating any possibility of future issues – as we’ll document every piece of official correspondence between landlord and tenant.
Be reasonable with your requests
Another common issue that can arise between landlords and tenants is when the tenant feels that a maintenance request is not handled adequately.
Although there are examples where the tenants genuinely have a case and landlords have neglected their duty to provide clean, safe housing, in many other instances the requests made by tenants are completely unreasonable.
Handle very minor issues on your own. As a tenant, you can replace a light-bulb or smoke detector battery without phoning the landlord.
Pay your rent on time
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the main thing that will keep your landlord satisfied with you as a tenant is by supplying him or her with rental income on the agreed date.
If you’re struggling with cash at any time, the worst option is silence. A non-paying, non-communicative tenant will not induce much sympathy.
Think of your own comfort
Above all else, it’s important to remember that you are ultimately dealing with another human being.
By being an honest tenant, educating yourself on the terms in your contract and making reasonable requests, it is likely that you will have a happier and more successful relationship with your landlord as well as a more pleasant stay in your rental property.
Run through the contract with the client
You’d be surprised at the number of people that skim read the first page of the contract and then simply sign it without thoroughly reading the rest of it.
Although it is not technically your role to dictate all the small-print of the contract to each and every tenant, if you take the time from the start just to make sure they understand and are willing to agree to all the terms and conditions, there will be fewer surprises later on and less chance of a dispute.
We understand that drawing up contracts and running through them with the tenant can obviously be time consuming. The staff at Townends are fully-qualified in dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s on every piece of legal paperwork that needs to be read through and signed. Let the professionals at Townends handle it and make misunderstandings a thing of the past.
Listen to your tenants and act quickly
As a landlord you’re essentially in the customer service industry. You’re responsible for the comfort and well-being of another person and as a result, it’s fundamental to listen to your customer’s problems and be respectful to them.
If there’s a maintenance issue in the property, ignoring it won’t make it go away. Try to get it resolved in the most practical and rapid way possible – after all, imagine if the leak or the broken washing machine were at your own home.
Keeping the property in good condition will ensure that your tenant becomes invested in it and the chances are that when the lease comes to an end, the house will be in a better state at the check-out inspection.
Landlords who opt for our Fully Managed Plus service need not worry about maintenance issues cropping up though.
We’ve invested in Fixflo which is a service that enables the tenant to send out for professional help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in any one of 40 languages. It even informs the tenant of the minor repairs which they can undertake themselves.
There’ll be no more midnight call-outs with Townends.
Respect the tenant’s privacy
Yes, it’s technically your property, but after the contract is signed and the tenant has moved in, there are strict rules which you must adhere to regarding the tenant’s right to privacy.
Keep routine inspections to a minimum as this portrays a lack of trust in the tenant’s lifestyle, and whenever you do wish to schedule a visit – even if it’s for a viewing when the tenancy is coming to an end – you are obliged to notify the tenant 24 hours in advance. Even then, you may not just enter with a key. Knock, and wait until they let you in.
Stay up to date with compliance
The most important aspect is not the rental income in your pocket. It’s the safety of another human being.
Never cut corners when it comes to keeping your rental properties in full compliance with the law. Make absolutely certain that all gas and electricity certificates are up to date, that checks and inspections are carried out annually by reputable professionals, and that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working.
Failure to stay compliant will result in heavy fines, prison sentences and the loss of your property.
Choosing Townends to run your property is a huge benefit for landlords as our compliance team are experts in keeping up to date with all the intricacies of the changes that regularly come into effect.
For extra peace of mind, let Townends take care of your compliance obligations.
Fix an appropriate rent price
Finding the right rent amount is crucial for a landlord. It must reflect what the property is worth and the work the landlord puts in to keeping it an attractive property. Because of this, as a landlord, you logically won’t want to fix a low rental price. However, overcharging your tenants will only lead to an empty property as it’s not in line with market comparables.
To determine the rent amount, it’s helpful to use the Townends Rental Price Index. This monthly report gives you the latest property transaction numbers and averages all across London and Surrey. You’ll be able to see the rental price changes over the last twelve months and the demographics of tenants renting in our core areas, thus allowing you to set a fair price.
We also offer a free property valuation service which will get you the best price possible for your home. Our property analysts will look further than simply how many bedrooms you have. We’ll factor in all the unique aspects that make your property one of a kind.
Landlords should set out a clear protocol of communication, letting tenants know the best way to contact them. This should specifically determine what to do in the event of an emergency.
What’s more, be available. If your tenant is trying to contact you and three days pass by with no sign of any response, they’ll be more reluctant to pay the rent on time and the whole relationship could deteriorate.
Choose Townends as your letting agency
If the tenancy term goes well, the tenant may well want to stay in the property for another year and the landlord therefore avoids the hassle of searching for new tenants, drawing up contracts, referencing, and re-letting.
While there will no doubt be some trials and situations that require careful communication, overall, the effort you put into developing a great relationship will certainly pay dividends.
In addition, by choosing Townends as your letting agency, you’re choosing to make the whole process much easier still.
We have over 25 years of experience in letting out rental properties across London and Surrey. We’re your local experts in removing the stress from being a landlord and handling everything so you don’t have to.
Need to find a tenant? We can do that for you. Need all the reference checks done and the contract drawn up? Leave it to us. Worried about staying compliant? Let our fully qualified compliance experts deal with everything. The tenant has a maintenance problem that needs fixing? Don’t get up, we’re already on it.
Townends is the best choice for landlords regarding property letting management and the well-being of both landlord and tenant are our main priority. Contact us today to find out more about our Fully Managed and Fully Managed Plus property management services and you’ll see how we take the stress away from your landlord obligations leaving you to focus on the advantages of your property portfolio.