There’s a lot more to being a landlord than just renting out the whole or sections of the house. In the end, you want your tenant to care of the property as though it was their own, which is why it is important to maintain a good relationship with them.
Here are some tips and points for building a great landlord-tenant relationship:
Choose the Right Tenants
The foundation of setting an ideal relationship with your tenant is to select the right person. It is important to do your due diligence when looking for the right fit to weed out tenants who might be troublesome.
As soon as you get a prospective tenant, your next move should be to screen your tenant. As a landlord, your areas of careful attention during the screening process should be on credit history, criminal records and previous rental behaviour (including previous evictions). Having this information will help you make a smarter decision. And if you go ahead to choose that tenant, it will help you to understand his/her history as you start building a relationship with them.
Communication is Vital
Make sure your communication with your tenant is clear and understanding in order to build a good relationship. Decide and establish the best communication channel, whether it is phone calls, SMS, WhatsApp or email. Keep in touch regarding everything that you need to know and inform them if you plan to visit, fix or inspect any part of the property.
If you need to access the house, you are legally required to notify your tenants 24 hours before the day – this is a basic requirement. You’ll be leading by example when you give them longer and being flexible about times, and they’ll take a cue from you and return the favour when the need arises.
Keep it Cordial
There will probably be times when you disagree on certain things – these may be trivial or more important issues. For instance, the tenant may want you to do things you don’t think are reasonable; he may ask permission to keep a pet and you disapprove, for example. You may want a small rent increase or worry about the condition of the garden.
Negotiating these kinds of agreements is an essential part of being a landlord and both parties need to state their views with courtesy. This will be even easier if you have sustained a professional relationship from the start.
Be on Top of Your Role
Keep in mind and uphold the duties and responsibilities of a private landlord, from gas safety checks to smoke alarms, securing the tenant’s deposit in an official scheme, to promptly carrying out your duties when it comes to quick fixes in and around the property.
Provide your tenants all the paperwork of all the legally required documents and make certain that you have copies too, properly filed and kept safe for when they may be needed.
Documentation can also assist in preventing conflicts, so ensure you have a record of all your official landlord-tenant communication, as well as every repair or visit to the house.
Carefully Draw up the Tenancy Agreement
Take care when drawing up your tenancy agreement with your tenant. Ensure it is carefully written, including clauses to cover anything that may result in misconceptions later. For instance, make a note in it if your tenant is to maintain the garden and if he has to obtain your permission before he can redecorate.
And the Inventory
Most issues that arise between landlords and tenants are as a result of damage to property or fixtures and fittings. Adopt a professional approach to inventory making and ensure that all items you supply are included and that the condition of your home and garden is documented at the beginning of the tenancy. Make sure to also include photo and video proofs.
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