What’s the secret to a successful tenant/landlord relationship? It’s a question that has vexed property gurus through the ages, but now the University of Stirling thinks it has the answer. A new report from the university, Making a Home in the Private Rented Sector, says the key to a long and happy property partnership is to make a tenant feel at home. After all, if a tenant feels safe and settled, they’ll be happier and healthier, and more likely to take good care of the property and stay put long term. And isn’t that the Holy Grail for any landlord? Who doesn’t want a reliable tenant who keeps the place tidy, pays their rent on time, and remains in situ for years?
The report identifies seven things landlords can do to make a tenant feel at home.
- Keep your property in good condition
If you don’t take care of your property, why should anybody else? Set the tone at the start of a tenancy by ensuring that the property is in good nick. Invest in energy efficient measures such as draught-proofing and insulation – your tenants will appreciate it during winter.
- Fix repairs promptly and to a high standard
Respond quickly when a tenant reports an issue. Dithering will only make your tenant less likely to raise issues in the future (which means a minor problem could snowball into a major repair job).
- Don’t jump to conclusions about prospective tenants
You may have a fixed idea in your head of what makes the “perfect tenant”, but avoid making assumptions based on age, income, or other characteristics.
- Avoid blanket bans on children and pets
Landlords who veto children, cats, dogs, ferrets, or hamsters could be missing a trick. When a family or pet owner settles in a property, they tend to stay longer because they don’t want the hassle of relocating – meaning a flexible landlord can enjoy a stable long-term income.
- Negotiate about home decorating
We’re not suggesting that you give a tenant free rein to do a full Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen makeover, but think through any redecoration request carefully before responding. If a tenant can make your property feel like their home, they’ll stay in it for a longer period. And they may do a great job and add value to your property.
- Be respectful and supportive
Keep the lines of communication open by being respectful and helpful. You don’t have to become BFFs (in fact, we’d rather you keep it strictly professional), but be sensitive to your tenant’s feelings, especially when it comes to things like inspections.
- Offer longer tenancies with stable rents where possible
If things are going well, consider offering a longer tenancy. That way, you’ll both know where you stand in the long run.
If you have any questions about building a good tenant/landlord relationship, get in touch with us here at Newton Fallowell on 01664 566210.