All landlords know the perils of taking on bad tenants and for that reason screening processes and credit checks are essential parts of the process of finding a tenant. However, more and more tenants are becoming aware of the bad (or ‘rogue’) landlord. Over the last few months there has been a lot of press about bad landlords and tenants’ associations have proposed a number of different systems where tenants can check the reputation of their landlord before they move in.
For that reason, a good reputation is key to attracting tenants. How can you make sure your image as a landlord is positive?
Most day-to-day dealings with tenants will be over maintenance issues and the speed and effectiveness with which these are resolved really does matter. That’s not to say that you need to be at your tenants’ beck and call, but an awareness of a problem and a plan of action to deal with it is vital. Let your tenants know (through a text or email) that a repairman is on his way and be clear about timescales to manage expectations.
Every landlord has house rules and usually they’re rules for a reason. However, tenants won’t always agree and a good landlord is happy to host reasonable discussions about what is and what is not allowed. If there’s a dispute over, say, payment timings or the cost of a repair, work with your tenants to solve the dispute – don’t just stamp down the law.
Tools of the trade
Some things that can really help you keep up good face with your tenants are a mobile number, an email address and a good landlord insurance policy. Keeping in touch is vital and it allows positive, two way communication. Both a mobile and email address will allow your tenants to try a couple of ways to get hold of you and you can respond in your own time. A good insurance policy will really help you to sort out small issues quickly and insurers can be great at finding a quick solution – that is what they’re paid for!
A good reputation doesn’t cost a lot so it’s worth doing the occasional little thing to keep relations strong. In this day and age you can never be too sure who is writing reviews of you online so be careful and don’t give anyone any reason to write anything bad!