As a landlord it’s important to understand how to keep your tenants happy. These can be purely for ethical/caring reasons but also from a financial perspective. A happy tenant will be less likely to move to a new property. This keeps tenancy changeovers at a minimum, which means that you will avoid void periods and re-let fees.
We have identified the following most important ways to achieve happy tenants:
In our totally non biased opinion, it can be a lot less stress, work, and time to get an estate agent to manage your rental property for you. Any tenant will expect, and rightly so, for any repair work to be arranged promptly. Therefore, the agents will need to have good, reliable contractors available to respond quickly and also out of hours in case of an emergency. If you use an agent because you are not local or contactable all the time, then agree a works limit with the agent so they can act quickly if needed.
You might want to offer an initial 6-month tenancy to see how it goes. However, if you are happy to, we recommend offering a tenancy/renewal for long periods if that's what the tenants want. Tenancies can be for longer than 12 months and most tenants prefer the security of a longer tenancy term. Periodic tenancies offer flexibility, but they also offer the tenants the ability to serve 1-month notice. This means you don't get a huge amount of remarketing time. Also, they mean you can give the tenants 2 months’ notice to vacate which doesn't offer security.
Why wait for your good tenant to leave because the bathroom needs upgrading? They will probably stay if you do the work whilst they are there, additionally the rent income will help towards the cost of the works.
There is nothing worse than tenants reporting faults or asking a question and then not hearing back for days/weeks. It’s all about managing expectations, so, if you haven't got time to offer effective communication you might want to consider using an agent to manage the property for you. They will be able to keep in constant contact with the tenant and keep them informed at every step.
It’s really important that you leave instruction manuals for appliances and the boiler. This will not only help the tenant but also hopefully mean you will get less call outs because they may be able to solve the problem themselves. The same applies if you want the tenants to keep the garden in good order; supply a lawnmower and gardening tools to encourage this.
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