5 top tips for happy tenants
Every landlord knows that finding tenants costs money and time. This is why it is so important to keep your tenants happy, ensuring they stay in your property, and all your hard work acquiring them doesn't go to waste.
To help you in your quest for happy tenants we have compiled 5 top tips for you to try:
1. Deal with property maintenance issues in a timely manner
If your tenant has raised a maintenance issue, it’s important to deal with it as soon as possible. If the issue is only minor, make sure they know the time-frame in which it will be fixed and why it’s not an ‘emergency’. Keeping the tenant informed from the outset will help to manage their expectations.
If the maintenance issue IS an emergency, get it sorted as fast as possible, and keep your tenants informed of what’s happening at every stage. Even if it can’t be fixed immediately, at least they’ll be up to date and able to see that you’re doing everything you can to resolve the problem for them.
Simple tip: Be prepared for emergencies by taking out Home emergency cover with your landlord insurance. This provides you with access to a 24-hour emergency helpline and also covers the cost of contractors' emergency call out, labour, parts and materials following an insured event.
2. Educate your tenants by providing a comprehensive moving in package
Knowledge is King! If you can provide the answers to questions your tenants may have in their moving in package, you not only reduce the amount of queries they may ask you, but also become a thoughtful and caring landlord in their eyes.
Here’s a few examples of what to include:
- Contact details for local services such as Doctors surgery and local Council; for some tenants this may be the first time they have lived in the area and these details may be useful to them.
- Your availability - let them know the hours you will be available for them to contact you and a couple of different contact details such as email address and telephone number. Try and be as flexible as possible.
- Deposit protection scheme - provide them with information on the process involved and the regulations in place to protect their deposit.
- FAQs section - this should include any previous queries/problems past tenants have had and the resolution.
3. Provide a clear and comprehensive rental agreement
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to provide the documentation and an explanation of all the regulations and procedures that are in place between yourselves and the tenants. Whilst the rental agreement and any inventory need to be comprehensive, it’s really important that your tenant understands what’s included. Keep everything clear and concise, and don’t just leave it for them to read - it’s worth talking through in person. That way you can answer any questions and make sure they’re happy with everything up front.
If you have instructed an agent to have full management, make sure that you follow up with them to check this has been done and the tenant is happy.
Simple tip: Include photographs with your inventory listing and make sure these are signed by both parties at the beginning of the tenancy. These will act as a point of reference at the end of the tenancy to compare to and should help prevent any disagreement. See our Simple guide to inventories for more details.
4. Keep in contact with your tenants
As well as your official inspections, it’s worth contacting your tenants periodically throughout the year to check if everything is okay with the property. They may have a small issue which they haven't got around to raising - and by being proactive you could resolve it fast. Aim to build up a good rapport with your tenants whilst still maintaining a professional approach.
Simple tip: By staying on top of all the small issues like a slight leak or broken sealant around bath/sink/shower - and fixing these immediately - you could save money. If the problem persists and escalates into a larger job, you could end up paying to replace lino, treat mould, or repaint the room.
5. Respect your tenants privacy
Although you still own the property, whilst your tenants are living there it is their home, and it’s important to remember that they have a right to privacy whilst they are living there.
In accordance with the Housing Act 1988, you must notify the tenant in writing at least 24 hours before you enter the property. If you can, it’s well worth giving them even more notice. Try to keep visits down to a minimum throughout the year and if possible agree these at the start of the tenancy.
Simple tip: Schedule a quarterly review of the property where both landlord and tenant can discuss any issues.
Keeping these tips in mind will hopefully help you to keep your tenants happy and encourage them to renew their lease for another year, therefore saving you the time and costs involved with finding a replacement tenant.