In a world where property prices are rising to near unattainable levels, it’s a lucky lady who can get in on the ground floor. Perhaps you bought a home years ago that was once your dream home but your family outgrew it so you now let out or maybe you’ve been a seasoned property investor for some time now, but there’s no denying that in today’s climate it’s great to be able to say that you own property. As lucky as we property owners may be, we also owe a debt to those in the private rental sector who are struggling to make it behind us. Whether you own just a single property or have a portfolio of them, you likely have at least one tenant to whom you’re indebted. They have their duties and responsibilities to you, and you to them.
However, in a world where the private rental sector in many countries is under regulated there are many landlords who don’t value or respect their tenants like you do. It’s sad to see how many tenants live in cramped and potentially unsafe accommodation despite paying over the odds in rent. Thus, it’s great to see a lady who takes her duties as a landlady seriously. In the eyes of tenants whether they’re living it up in a luxurious new launch condo, making a home for their family in your old home or simply occupying your spare room on a long term basis, a decent, trustworthy and honorable landlady is worth her weight in platinum. Being a great landlady isn’t just an emotionally rewarding honorary, it’s a great selling point. Should your tenants move on you’ll need to refill that property and as impressive as the property may be in terms of the location, local amenities and the architectural bells and whistles of the property itself, don’t underestimate the value of a good landlady especially at a time when they’re in such short supply. Nobody wants to see their property lying empty and costing them money and the better your reviews on Review My Landlord the less chance there is of you being placed in this unenviable predicament.
If you exhibit any or all of these attributes it’s possible that you might be that rare diamond in the rough… An awesome landlady!
You know your responsibilities
Peace of mind is extremely valuable for everyone but for tenants it’s especially important. Since you’re providing the roof over their heads they’re placing their trust in you, and you repay this trust by being fully cognizant of your responsibilities and obligations to them.
You take efforts to protect their security deposit and are enlisted in the deposit protection scheme. You’re also forthcoming with the information they may need that’s pertinent to them under the legal Obligation to Disclose Ownership. If this doesn’t sound familiar, the tenant has a legal right to certain information that’s pertinent to their tenancy. Usually this includes the names and addresses of the persons with the power to manage the building, collect their rent payments and make any repairs as well as to whom they need to address complaints and issue notices. This disclosure is made in writing before the tenancy begins although it’s your responsibility to notify them in writing if any of the above changes.
You also understand your obligation to keep the property habitable and safe as well as to make repairs that may compromise the safety of the property in a timely manner.
This may all seem like par for the course, but knowing that you’re on hand to deal with issues as they arise makes you an absolute shining star for your tenants.
You take the time to get to know your tenants
One thing that all people share is the desire to be recognized and valued. You expect this of everyone you deal with, and so should your tenants. A tenancy is generally easier and more agreeable when a landlord has a good working relationship with their tenants. You may feel that should this blossom into a friendship it may undermine you in their eyes and it may in turn lead to consistently late rent payments or a laissez faire attitude to their obligations to you but this is rarely the case. Indeed, forging a good relationship with your tenants puts you in a favorable position as they’re less likely to look for somewhere else to stay if they feel happy, secure and valued in their tenancy. You’d be astonished at what a difference a Christmas card or a small gift every year can do to endear yourself to your tenants.
Getting to know your tenants is rarely disadvantageous to a landlady. From a point of self-interest it helps her to better understand their work situation and their finances and gives you a good understanding of their character, providing peace of mind for you. A brief interview before the tenancy begins is one thing but a continued relationship with your tenants is far more telling. That said, you should nonetheless invest in landlord’s insurance to protect your interests no matter how lovely your tenants may be.
If they have a problem, you listen to them
Tenants appreciate when you treat them as human beings and not cash cows that need to be milked relentlessly to grow your personal wealth. There’s significant value in being the sort of landlady who’ll listen to your tenants when they have a problem. Again, it will encourage loyalty to the property and to you and reduce the risk of you finding yourself with an empty home to fill that’s losing you money with every passing week.
Even if the worst case scenario arises and they’re a day or two late with rent, both parties benefit if you’re aware that this may happen before you notice that the rent check hasn’t been paid into your account. If your tenant feels that they can approach you about this delicate and embarrassing manner it places you in the driving seat. You can make arrangements to mitigate the effects this may have as well as taking steps to avoid this happening again. A tenant who’s reliable 99% of the time is a lot better than no tenant at all.
You make paying rent easy
Everybody’s working arrangements are subtly different and the usual direct debit at the start of the month may not be ideally suited to your tenants’ needs. For self employed and freelance tenants this is a particular concern. Some are paid in cash, others are paid in checks, some are even paid via Paypal. It may be easier for them to pay you in cash or by making a weekly bank transfer rather than a monthly one. By offering them the flexibility to work around the restrictions of their income you can prove that you’re a cut above the vast majority of your competition.
You keep the rent reasonable
All tenants breathe a sigh of relief when the rent remains the same year on year. It’s often a far wiser strategy to secure an existing tenant who’s proven to be reliable and pleasant to deal with by keeping the rent fixed than to hike it by $100 and risk losing them. Losing a reliable tenant means that you’ll have to spin the wheel and risk ending up with a tenant who’s substantially less reliable or worse still allowing your property to remain unfilled for months at a time.
At the end of the day, the property you let is a business and like any business it needs to be marketable and maintain a good reputation. An awesome landlady not only secures her reputation as a wonderful person to do business with, but secures a steady stream of income from a property that’s never left unoccupied!