Over the past few months and certainly heading into the future, pressure has been mounting on landlords to increase the quality of their rental properties and the conditions of their tenancies.
In the past couple of weeks, the House of Commons had a second reading of the Private Members’ Bill, which aims to raise standards of rental accommodation.
All landlords are being pushed – both social and private sector – by the Government to ensure their property is fit for human occupancy at the beginning and throughout the tenancy; strengthened by in the wake of the Grenfell tower disaster.
Further legislation which is coming into force in April, will require properties to have all EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) above the E rating. Failure to meet this requirement will render new tenancies unable to be leased legally. It’s very much moulded to drive out rogue landlords from the market.
Despite this, the majority of landlords are offering and will continue to offer good quality rental accommodation, and are subjected to the negative labelling as a result of the actions from the minority. So what can you as a landlord do to attract new tenants and keep them happier?
Recent research from ARLA shows that in December 2017, more agents had more stock on their books than at any time since early 2015. With the huge rise in build-to-rent accommodation and the growth of BTL landlords, tenants are now seeing a growth in choice. This means tenants can expect more from landlords, so landlords need to assess what they offer in order to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Communication always has been – and always will be – crucial in any relationship with a tenant; something we covered in our previous article on avoiding a negative tenancy. Proactively listening to and acting upon the tenants requests where possible is key, offering reassurance that any previous experiences they may have dealt with are a thing of the past and not likely to reoccur within your property.
Furthermore, responding to tenant queries swiftly and giving them plenty of notice before entering the property, such as to carry out inspections or viewings, and offering flexible leases will run a long way to keeping them happy.
Impressing new tenants at the start of the tenancy is a huge factor too. Processing an application quickly and efficiently will build goodwill and tenant trust; by giving a tenant software that holds you accountable, the tenant is far more likely to trust you quickly during a potentially fractious part of their tenancy; the move-in.
When a landlord forms and sustains a good relationship with their tenant, issues such as late, or no payment of rent and damage to property may be minimal. Maintaining a good relationship with a tenant requires some effort from the landlord and it won’t be achieved by putting tenants into a property and then ignoring them. Neither will it be developed by micro-managing and constantly checking on the tenants, while they are trying to get on with their lives. With the right processes in place, landlords can keep tenants happy who in turn, will stay in the property and ensure minimal voids.