Property Rental: What Makes a Good Landlord?
Despite landlords getting a bad name in recent times, the reality is that there are many well-intending individuals in the market for whom it’s not all about the bottom line. And the fact you are here in this article makes it self-evident that this is a good description of your mentality and virtues. However, you […] The post Property Rental: What Makes a Good Landlord? appeared first on Entrepreneurship Life.
Despite landlords getting a bad name in recent times, the reality is that there are many well-intending individuals in the market for whom it’s not all about the bottom line. And the fact you are here in this article makes it self-evident that this is a good description of your mentality and virtues.
However, you may not be entirely sure of all the best approaches to being a good landlord and ensuring your tenants are treated fairly. Moreover, there are also ways to go a little above and beyond if this is your desire. Let’s dive in!
1) Meet Your Legal and Ethical Obligations
Being a landlord should not be seen as a casual way of making extra money. Instead, you should see it as a job or running a business.
Here are some of the moral and legal obligations of being a good landlord:
- Follow all legal requirements that apply to the UK as a whole and your specific region/country in the UK (e.g., you’ll need a valid landlord electrical safety cert for each of your rental properties. You must have this renewed every five years). Be sure to budget and make a schedule of renewals. For example, you’ll want to take the cost of an electrical safety certificate into account as well as all other expenses.
- Moreover, be sure to research all legal requirements beyond that, including gas-related requirements and ensure your properties are free of any health and safety hazards.
- Consider safety in more subtle ways. For instance, if you have houseplants or reed diffusers, be sure that none of the tenants will suffer an allergic reaction. Also, if they have pets, double-check that the plants/reed diffuser is not dangerous for the specific animals they have.
- Be sure to address any issues with your properties as soon as possible (e.g., calling out a heating engineer when a tenant’s boiler has broken down).
- Take a firm but fair approach to your tenants – empathise with them, especially those who are trying their best and who are being fiscally responsible.
- Ensure you pay very close attention to your fiscal position by staying continually aware of how much money is going in and how much is going out.
- Deal with customer service appropriately and promptly.
2) Support Your Tenants Getting Used to their New Locality
Along with meeting legal/moral requirements, you may want to go a little beyond, like being the person who brings treats into the office on Friday from a place of goodwill.
One way to offer a little extra to your tenants is not only helping them get accustomed to your apartment/house but the area in general.
This might include:
- Going through the available stores, pharmacies and amenities in the area (providing a printout with directions would be especially helpful as it will be something the tenant can reference over the first several days or so before they get the hang of it).
- Specifically referencing amenities that might be of particular interest to them (e.g., a bar that runs a midweek pub quiz or spa lodge).
- If appropriate, let them know if there are any spots nearby, they might want to avoid due to safety concerns (e.g., spots where criminal activity is known to take place).
3) Be Consistent and Accessible
As a landlord, it’s important to be consistent in your job, ensuring that you regularly meet your tenant’s needs.
Moreover, accessibility is also important. Ideally, you should keep your phone’s volume on at all times, even when in bed. The good news is that it’s possible to turn off various notification noises so that your phone will only wake you up if there’s a call.
This would be important for emergencies (e.g. if burst pipes were causing a flood or the carbon monoxide alarm started going off). Be sure to have emergency contacts on your contact list so you can deal with issues promptly, although the tenants may find it quicker to make those calls directly without contacting you first.
Ultimately, the point is that accessibility can prove essential to all parties as you don’t know what the future might hold and whether tenants would turn to you or emergency contact if something serious goes awry.
Accessibility will also be important for less serious issues. Being available will not only keep tenants happy but establish more trust.
4) Consider Your Online Presence
There are many ways that digital spaces can prove advantageous for landlords and tenants alike. For one, you may want to provide an online lease agreement or collect rents digitally. In this day and age, using the internet to help run your rental properties and tenant relationships can make things easier and smoother for all involved.
Property management software can help you achieve the above and even accept repair requests from tenants.
Here are some popular online platforms you may want to consider:
- AppFolio Property Manager
- G2 Deals
5) Provide Welcome Stock
Including some welcome stock, as a hotelier might do, is a great way to make a strong first impression and help tenants relax on their first evening in a new home. After all, moving into a new place can be exciting but also a little daunting at first for many, so this would be a wonderful gesture as one of the first steps to building a good relationship with your tenants.
The stock you may want to include are:
- Kitchen – Tea bags, sugar and some fancy biscuits (e.g. Lotus Biscoff)
- Bathroom – Toilet paper, soap, shampoo and body wash
- Living Room – A few ornaments or even paintings/pictures on the walls
By taking the above steps and more, you can be a superb landlord by taking a firm but fair approach and establishing good terms with your tenants.