Barely a day goes past without another story of ‘nightmare tenants’ or ‘rogue landlords’ appearing online or in the papers. Yet in a survey of over 2,600 landlords and tenants, we found that, for the most part, the two parties coexist very happily.
We know things are not always easy, however, so here a few tips for tenants to help maintain a healthy relationship with their landlord:
1. Keep your landlord informed of problems with the property
Seemingly small issues, such as sealant coming away from around a bath, can escalate and lead to bigger problems, like a water leakage. This not only wreaks havoc in your property, but maybe even your neighbour's property as well, if left unattended. Make sure you and your landlord are clear on who is responsible for which repairs in the property - after all, you don't want to have to call the landlord everytime a lightbulb breaks.
2. Don’t try to cover up damage you cause to the property or furnishings
Although it might mean a tricky conversation with your landlord, letting them know straight away and offering to repair the damage could save you money and help maintain a healthy relationship.
3. Leave the property in the same condition you found it
Before you move out, you’ll need to leave the property as close to the condition in which you found it when you moved in. This is why it’s worth keeping on top of cleaning throughout the tenancy so there’s not a mad panic at the end! Alternatively, you could pay a professional agency to do it for you and save the hassle. Commonly missed checks include the top of window frames, the washing machine detergent drawer and the condition of the extractor fan above the oven. It's also a good idea to leave your property in a good condition so that you get your full deposit back at the end of the tenancy.
Being a landlord can be a stressful business. But the results of our survey suggest that even the simplest act can help establish a good rapport with tenants and make your life easier.
1. Provide a welcome pack
Providing a welcome pack when a new tenant moves in can go a long way to helping them settle in, and will get your relationship off to a good start. Going the extra mile and providing essentials such as tea, sugar, bread, toilet paper and washing up liquid can make the stressful business of moving in that much easier for a tenant.
2. Help them to organise their gas and electricity
If the property has a gas or electricity key, be sure to let the new tenants know ahead of them moving in. If you were feeling generous, you could even put a little credit on the meter to ensure the new tenants aren’t without heat and light when they move in.
3. Give fair warning for rent increases
If you’re considering increasing the tenant’s rent, try to provide them with plenty of notice – ideally a few months to allow to them to prepare financially. It’s worth bearing in mind that tenants may be more responsive to paying a higher rent if you offer to improve the property.
4. Prepare for emergencies
In the event of an emergency, it’s crucial that your tenant knows how to contact you (or the letting agent), and that you’re responsive when an issue is urgent. You might want to consider arranging home emergency insurance for your property. and adding your tenant as a named contact on the policy so that they can open claims on your behalf. Home emergency is an optional cover that you can add to your landlord insurance policy to protect your property against the loss of essential services, making your property safe and secure following unexpected damage.
5. Don't just drop in
Avoid dropping in on tenants unexpectedly. Typically, landlords should let tenants know at least 24 hours in advance that they’re planning to come round.
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