Despite the often negative media portrayal, a lot of landlords take the time to build a strong relationship with their tenants.
But unfortunately the rental market is extremely competitive, and landlords may find they have to keep upping the ante to ensure their property is an attractive proposition for prospective tenants. Equally, if you have a great landlord-tenant relationship already, it’s in your best interests for your tenant to renew their tenancy agreement - not only will this save you time and hassle finding a good tenant, it’ll also save you money on advertising costs and letting agent fees.
With this in mind, we’ve pulled together some top tips to help landlords keep the tenants they want to hold on to.
1. Set expectations
When it comes to keeping tenants happy, communication is key. This doesn’t mean you have to be on the phone to them every week – it’s more about consistency. It was clear from our survey that both landlords and tenants consider the best way to maintaining a good relationship is communicating effectively and efficiently. Responding quickly to texts, staying in touch and listening to tenants’ concerns and queries were commonly mentioned by landlords and tenants. Depending on what timings work for you, let your tenants know that you’ll drop in once every three months to check how things are going. This will provide some added structure to the tenancy, allowing both parties to discuss things such as property maintenance.
2. Address problems quickly
Tenants and landlords alike recognise the importance of dealing with maintenance issues promptly and fairly, and keeping the property in good condition and reacting quickly to maintenance problems can make a big difference to a tenant’s experience of living in your property.
If your tenant report something or you notice an issue while visiting, try and get it sorted as quickly as possible.
It's also important to make it clear from the outset who is responsible for certain repairs in the property. Go the extra mile by checking in with your tenants after any maintenance work to check that they're happy with the repairs.
Nothing says ‘I’d like you to stay’ better than investing in some new fixtures and fittings. This shows that you trust the tenants to treat your property with respect and will also help make their lives easier. What’s more, you may find that tenants are more responsive to paying a higher rent if you offer to improve the property.
4. Be flexible
When it came to rent increases and redecorating requests, most landlords acknowledge the importance of being fair. Keeping rent increases to within the local market rate and giving prior notice to tenants is important when trying to keep your tenants happy. Being fair in decisions regarding property upgrades, maintenance and redecorating requests could also go a long way to keeping your tenants at the end of the tenancy – a tenant is more likely to want to stay in a property that they’ve put their mark on and made homely.
5. Give them some space
As far as possible, try to avoid dropping in on tenants unexpectedly. Let them know in advance that you’re coming around. Otherwise, they might get a nasty shock if they’re just emerging from the shower when you’re checking the condition of the property. Typically, landlords should let tenants know at least 24 hours in advance that they’re planning to come round.
6. Go the extra mile
Performing a random act of kindness, like providing a bottle of wine or putting credit on the electricity meter when your tenants move in, may seem like a small act to you but it can do wonders for the landlord-tenant relationship.
It’s all well and good keeping your tenants, but what if you haven’t found them yet? Read our top tips on how to find good tenants.