As a busy landlord, the last thing you want to do is spend time and money finding a tenant. That is why it is so important to keep your tenants happy.
A happy tenant means a happy landlord.
Here are our top tips that will help you retain your tenants – saving you time, money and effort in the long run.
Handling maintenance issues
1. Have a system in place for reporting maintenance and for all tenant communication. This way, all calls will be logged should they need to be referred back to, and maintenance can be dealt with promptly.
The GoTenant! App is easy to use for both landlords and tenants alike – and saves those late night ‘phone calls from a tenant to report a clogged sink or broken shower.
2. Have a clear maintenance policy, something that the tenant understands. This will categorise the level of importance in each report.
Maybe use a traffic light type system – red for urgent; amber for important; and, green for routine.
Keep your tenant in the loop as to when you expect repairs to be carried out and make sure you carry out the works on time.
Setting mutual expectations
3. Have a clear set of house rules – these must be explained to the tenant when they move in and given to them (or refer them to a copy online if you have a property management system). Ensure that they include your guest policy and any action that will be taken in the event of anti-social behaviour etc.
The rules can also include things such as no smoking indoors, policies regarding pets, not putting grease down the sink, no loud noise after 11 pm etc.
While some of the house rules may seem like common-sense, if they are written into the rules together with details of any action that will be taken in respect of non-compliance, your tenant is more likely to take notice.
4. Now the tenant knows what you expect from them, let them know what they can expect from you. Make it easy for them to communicate with you – the GoTenant! App can come in handy for this.
Confirm what your responsibilities are as a landlord and what they aren’t.
Don’t forget to remind your tenant that they will need their own contents insurance for their personal possessions. In the event that their property is damaged (such as leak from a flat above), they will understand that it is not your responsibility to replace these items and that their insurance will cover the costs.
Privacy and safety
5. Respect your tenant’s privacy. Remember, you are not allowed to let yourself into your rental property without the tenant’s permission.
Unless it’s an emergency and you need immediate access, you have to provide at least 24 hours’ notice and visit at a reasonable time of day.
6. Have a Police-approved key safe. Tenants very often lock themselves out, which puts a significant demand on your resources. A key safe can prevent those late night call outs. Find out more about key safes and where to site them here.
7. Tenants like fast WiFi. (Recent research highlighted how 61% of residential developers reported that with good digital connectivity services,
they can rent their properties at a higher price and/or with a greater yield).
Installing the very fastest WiFi will make the tenant happy and keep them from calling you about the connection speed.
If your property is an HMO, then make sure you have a strong WiFi connection throughout the entire property – this may mean providing plug-in boosters in several locations.
Keeping it clean
8. Employ a cleaner. Tenants do sometimes forget to clean, which may cause others in or around the property to become unhappy. Employing a cleaner at least once a fortnight will address this issue. It may also highlight any maintenance concerns that may have gone unnoticed.