There is a huge amount written on the subject of property letting and it gets added to every day and like all things, some of the advice is good, some of it is not so good! However much reading you do though, sometimes the theory of letting doesn’t quite stack up to the reality. Landlords are often faced with decisions where the technically correct thing to do just doesn’t seem right. It might be your principle to raise rent every year, but if your tenants just can’t pay is it fair? Is it wise to evict that family of four? How should you play the letting game?
Looking after your Livelihood
Whatever your relationship with your tenants, the first thing to remember is that you, most probably, have a stack of mortgages to repay, bills every months and a finite cash position. As a landlord you do have to protect this and really you have every right to. If tenants aren’t paying it needs to be addressed: rent guarantee insurance can only support your livelihood for so long.
Having said that, there are occasions when it’s wise to just take a practical approach to your tenants. If Dave in the flat down the road needs a month to pay his rent before he starts his new job or the Jones’ spent a bit too much at Christmas then, as long as your bank balance won’t suffer too much, so be it. Respecting the lives of your tenants and building up a trusting relationship could really pay dividends in the future.
However, don’t let things go too far: letting is a business and it’s important to keep your relationship with your tenants professional. It’s easy to get too comfortable with reliable tenants and, in the end, it can become too easy to let them take advantage. Keep relationships positive but build those relationships on a solid and mutually advantageous business ground.
Sometimes in life decisions can’t be made by the book and landlords are no exception. Your tenants will appreciate a personal approach and a bit of leeway here and there but make sure your own wellbeing comes first – don’t let tenants put you in jeopardy.