A high tenant turnover can cost you dearly. Regularly replacing tenants comes with expenses like letting agent fees, cleaning costs, and inventories. Additionally, lost rent, utilities, and advertising fees can also add up the longer your property is vacant.
As such, it’s imperative that you keep your current inhabitants happy to encourage them to stay. Once you’ve found a set of tenants that you’re sure will look after your property, it makes sense to put in a little extra effort to ensure they stay for as long as possible. Below, we’ve outlined some of the main ways you can do just this, whilst keeping your property safe and in good condition.
Address problems promptly
There are few things more frustrating for a tenant than having to deal with broken or malfunctioning items whilst you wait for your landlord to resolve the situation. Consequently, it is vital that you deal with any questions or problems quickly in order to maintain a good relationship with your tenants. Even if you cannot deal with the problem right away, a prompt reply and promise to look into the issue goes a long way, and ensures your tenants don’t feel ignored. A good rule to follow is to resolve any problems within a week, as this demonstrates to your tenants that you consider them a priority. That said, if the issue could compromise security—such as a broken front door lock—or could seriously impact on your tenant’s enjoyment of the property—like a broken boiler—it is important that you deal with it as soon as possible.
As such, knowing you’ve got a trusted handyman on call 24/7 is better than making a rash decision when your tenant has an urgent problem, and running the risk of hiring cowboys that do an inadequate job. Good signs of a handyman provider include positive reviews, insured and guaranteed work, and belonging to a professional association. There are a number of household names you can opt for, including Fantastic Services and Checkatrade, but getting a tradesperson company who understand your situation and needs could be better in the long run. Founded by property managers for property managers, Homyze aim to provide just that. They provide vetted tradespeople with insurance up to £5m and guarantees on work for 12 months.
Provide a high standard of furnishings
It figures that you’ll have to replace furnishings—like a broken bed or dishwasher—at some point during your time as a landlord. When this occurs, avoid opting for the cheapest option. Your tenants may become disillusioned with you if you keep replacing items with substandard alternatives. Again, a little bit of extra investment can go far in keeping your tenants happy. Furthermore, you may actually end up losing even more money by going for cheap furnishings, as they are more likely to break and need replacing on a frequent basis, so investing in sturdier and more reliable furnishings makes more financial sense. The same logic applies to security measures too, and considering that they keep your property and tenants safe, it is even more important that you do not skimp on what you purchase.
Even small touches that make your property more homely and welcoming—such as stylish storage and fresh blinds and curtains—can make a huge difference. This can help your tenants feel comfortable in your property and make them more likely to sign a longer contract in the future.
Be as helpful as possible
Be sure to educate your tenants on the property when they move in. Every property is different, so offer to show how the boiler operates, where the water and electric meters are, and what day the bins are collected. By informing them on these matters at the start of their tenancy, they should feel more confident to look after your property. This also shows them that you’re a thoughtful and caring landlord, which again makes them more likely to stay. You may even want to go even further and give them the contact details of local services like the doctor’s surgery and council. They may not have lived in this area before, so this information would be extremely useful.
You should also outline your expectations at the start of the tenancy. Make sure to fill your tenants in on things like noise restrictions and any maintenance work they need to undertake, such as keeping the garden tidy, as well as what is considered wear and tear and what is considered damage. It is better that they are aware of these expectations from the start of the tenancy, rather than at the point they inadvertently breach them. This helps to maintain a fair and transparent relationship and ensures that your property is kept in good condition.