Being a great landlord is something you really have to work for, anyone who thinks property management is easy money needs to think again. However, if you are prepared to put in quality time, effort and money you will soon start to reap the rewards of your commitment. A great landlord attracts and keeps great tenants, meaning your investment goes from strength to strength and becomes easier to manage as time goes on.
There have been numerous crack downs over the past few months on rogue landlords, meaning standards have to improve. Fortunately, the demand for rental property is ever increasing so follow our simple tips to make your business one that stands out; behind every property investment that actually makes money is a great landlord!
At the outset of your agreement with any tenant you must ensure there is clarity across the board. A great landlord as a specific tenancy agreement and contract, and a detailed inventory. Vagueness at this level only leads to confusion and contention further down the line. Put in the effort at the start to draw up a clear, concise agreement and make sure you cover the eventualities e.g. pets, decorating, extra guests etc. Add photographs to your inventory and have the tenant look through it and sign it so that you have a mutual agreement at the outset on the condition of the property.
One of the biggest gripes of tenants around the globe is the time it takes for landlords to complete basic repairs. When a tenant contacts you it is important to listen and take their concerns into consideration then promptly arrange a mutually convenient time for repairs/investigations to take place. Tenants get frustrated living with broken things and rightly so, be a great landlord and make the repair a priority. It is also better for your property investment in the long run, rather than leaving repairs to continue to worsen.
Good lines of communication are absolutely key in setting you apart as a great landlord! From day one make sure you give your tenants a number that they can contact you on as well as an email you regularly check. Of course there need to be some boundaries in your communication, you shouldn’t be answering the phone at any time of the day and night unless in an absolute emergency but equally don’t go on holiday for weeks without letting your tenants know! Simple things like letting them know when you are going out of the country and little things like the occasional text to see how they are getting on in the property can really raise the bar and put you above the rest.
Safety has to be your priority. Tenants will not tolerate living in dangerous conditions and nor should they, if you don’t adhere to the law regarding health and safety you will find your insurance could be invalidated and you could even face criminal charges! With safety it is about taking an interest beyond just ticking the boxes, going the extra mile to show your tenants that their well being is your primary concern. Make sure you regularly have gas boilers and electrical equipment checked and keep a check on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Once you purchase a buy-to-let the investment doesn’t end there. You need to keep investing in the property to keep it maintained and up to date and it also keeps your tenants sweet. If you refuse to pay for redecorating or new carpets for a great tenant you could find yourself creating a false economy as tenants will not sign a new lease for a property they don’t enjoy living in.
Once the tenant has signed the lease and been given the keys the property is their home, and a great landlord will respect their tenant’s privacy. Of course you have the right to inspect the property and to visit for repairs but you must give advance notice in writing. A great landlord will not be too intrusive and will arrange appointments well in advance at the tenant’s convenience. Equally don’t abandon your tenants, never arranging to inspect or visit will leave them feeling that you are difficult to reach and unconcerned for their well being.
7/ Do the little things
If you really want to shine brighter than the rest, think of the little things you could do that make a massive difference. Be creative with your plans but try to put yourself in their shoes. If they are new to the area why not create a welcome pack for their first day, include local information, takeaway menus some teabags and milk! You could send birthday cards, stock the bathroom for new tenants, give a Christmas gift, help them change address when they move in and move on. There are lots of little things that you could do that will set you apart as a great landlord which is only a bonus as your reputation will make your properties the most desirable and you will have your pick of the best tenants.
For mentoring or advice on property investment please get in touch with the team at Nick Fox.
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