Let's face it, landlords often get a bad rep. It’s something to do with asking people for money to live in your property.
But if you
follow our rules, you’ll be able to keep your tenants happy, build trust and make sure your tenants are happy to part with their money for even longer.
Andrews and Gregg know a thing or two about providing property management services. We want to make it clear that most of the landlords that we meet in Northern Ireland are really decent people, who want to provide great homes for the right tenants and they care about the people who move into their properties.
Why keep tenants happy?
In short, happy tenants will want to stay at your property for longer and pay you more. Good tenants give you little hassle and pay you on time. They’ll keep the property in good order whilst getting along with your neighbours. Good tenants are worth their weight in gold.
Tenants are also the guardians of your property and should help you to maintain its value, keeping you out of civil proceedings and abiding by the tenancy agreement .
As the landlord, you want to be aware of the most common reasons that tenants would want to leave a property and go to rent elsewhere.
1) Communication with the letting agent or landlord.
Most tenants don't want to hear from you too much so don’t worry about birthday and Christmas cards or inviting them to major family events. However, they do expect you to respond in a timely manner to any questions they have, particularly in regard to maintenance of the property.
Listening and reacting to issues that tenants have have
Giving them plenty of notification for entering a property for inspections on viewings
You may want to stay in contact with tenants throughout the course of the year (make sure that you give them plenty of notice if you are going to visit). This is a chance for them to raise any issues that they have and show them that you care about them.
It also helps to build a rapport as a professional landlord. Small issues such as a leak or broken sealant around the bath may seem small now, but can lead to Bigger problems further down the line so it's always worth asking about these all the time.
Why not schedule regular appointments with your tenants each quarter so they are aware of when you’ll be visiting?
If you do have to to increase the price of the rent, be clear about the reasons why, such as the costs within a local market or simply that you need to cover the cost of the property maintenance. Ensure that if you are putting the cost up you give plenty of notice to tenants.
2) Build trust at the start of the tenancy
Building trust at the start of a tenancy agreement or when the new tenants are about to move in, can help create an honest relationship and tenants may be more inclined to give you warning about late payments or damage to the property.
To existing tenants that you want to keep for another year, you might be able to foster trust by
Lowering or freezing bills
Offering flexible leases
Of course, you need to balance the above with your needs as a landlord. A friendly guide of do's don'ts can set out the nature of your relationship from the start and this will help you to reduce the amount of queries as well as showing them how much you care about their welfare. It could include details for any contact details for maintenance enquiries.
You can also use this is a chance to lay down the nature of how you communicate, such as the hours that you'll be available and how best to contact you. You can also use this as a chance to demonstrate that their deposit safe and deposit scheme in Northern Ireland and perhaps provide any commonly asked questions about the property of the local area.
If you’re looking to build a long term relationship with tenants, you could also try and find a bit out about them to help them with a smooth move. For example if you know your tenants are new to the area, you could create a guide for local things such as doctors surgeries, places to go out and more practical things such as recycling dates.
The property belongs to you, but it is also your tenants home and you have to remember to respect their privacy. You have to give the tenants at least 24-hours notice in writing before entering the property and that should be a minimum.
3) Make sure you both understand the contract
This is an opportunity to make clear any important clauses within the rental agreement.
Landlords have a duty to provide documentation and an explanation of any procedures that are in place between yourselves and the tenants.
This is also a chance for you to answer any questions about the contract as you go along.
Letting agents for landlords can help you with this process and take all the hassle away from things like contracts being understood and signed.
4) Deal quickly with problems
Deal with maintenance issues in a timely manner, keeping the property in good condition and ensuring tenants are aware of when things will be done and how long they might take, making alternative arrangements where appropriate.
You need to be aware of what you are responsible for with regards to maintenance. This should be set out in the rental agreement.
5) Use the right letting agent for landlords
With so much to think about, it can be far more convenient for you to use a letting agent to manage your property for you. The best letting agents for landlords will help you with everything from finding you tenants, to making sure you get paid on time every month!
You’ll pay an initial fee and then usually a percentage of the rent each month, but this is usually a fully managed service that takes away loads of the hassle.
This can also benefit your tenants as they are dealing with an experienced letting agent and can communicate any issues they have. A letting agent may also be able to provide additional emergency or out of office support.
The property management service should include:
Marketing your property to help you find the ideal tenant (make sure they use the most modern marketing techniques)
Vetting tenants and making sure they have references
Taking deposits and helping you with the NI tenancy deposit scheme
Drawing up tenancy agreements
Taking photos of inventory to monitor any damage to the property
Advising you of your duties as the landlordCommunicating any issues that the tenant has
If you want to see how managed property services could make your life easier, get in touch here.