Sustaining a long-lasting tenancy is built on the foundations of trust, and a positive opinion of both you as their landlord and the property they are occupying.
Type the words “landlords are” into Google, and the preview search terms are brutally uncomplimentary.
According to the digital giant, the leading search terms are “landlords are parasites” and “landlords are leeches”.
Additionally, there are a few other choice terms – several of which we are too polite to display – but you can understand what the general theme is here.
There is undoubtedly a deep-rooted perception amongst tenants across Northern Ireland that landlords are crooked thieves renting out unfit for habitation homes at rip-off prices.
This raises two questions.
1 – Is this a fair and accurate description?
2 – Does it really matter? Being a landlord is about providing rental accommodation and getting the best returns on investment, not winning a People’s Choice Award.
We know the answer to the first question; it could not be further from the truth.
Unfortunately, it is the actions of the unscrupulous few that outweighs the good intentions of the majority. There are many great landlords across Co. Armagh – we work with plenty of them every day – who take their duties and tenant welfare seriously. Since when did smooth running tenancies ever make the news, however?
Moving onto the second question; does it really matter what your tenants think of you? Who cares if Co. Armagh landlords are so misunderstood?
Every tenant is different, and the encounters and conversations had with them is going to vary. Some Co. Armagh tenants adopt a bunker mentality that makes every interaction that little bit more difficult, whilst others are completely open and more than happy to speak with you. So, what can be done with stand-offish tenants?
Communication has, and always will be, crucial with tenants.
Establishing a clear and transparent line of communication with tenants is beneficial in a number of factors; mainly allowing for your tenants to feel at ease without the frustration of finding someone to contact. By sustaining an open and positive line of communication with tenants, if any issues with the tenancy or your property do occur, the tenant is far more likely to be patient and understanding whilst these are rectified or addressed.
In order to build a positive relationship with your tenant, it is essential that landlords:
- Carry out inspections, and be clear of when these are to take place, as well as allowing the tenants leniency on when these are conducted. By communicating the nature of frequency of inspections to your tenants, whilst offering them leniency on the occurrence, they are less likely to feel that the visits are intrusive or a hinderance. It also allows you to maintain the condition of your property, which leads suitably onto the next point.
- Stay on top of routine maintenance. Keeping ahead of any maintenance work when and where possible demonstrates to your tenants a sense of proactiveness, and your willingness to keep them happy. Crucially it also allows for prospective issues to be rectified before they escalate into costly errors.
- Respond promptly. Not only is it a good courtesy to respond to your tenants in a timely manner, it will make them feel attended to and that you are willing to make time in your schedule to address them. Tenants who feel communicated with are more likely to stay in your property; generating longer lasting tenancies and minimising your void periods.
In our demonstrable experience, ongoing dialogue with tenants throughout a tenancy is the key to not only guaranteeing longer tenancies, but also preventing undesirable legal dispute. The last thing you need towards the end of a tenancy is for the relationship to fall apart and for communication to take place through lawyers.
Orchard Lettings are well-versed in maintaining great relationships with tenants, and advising landlords in the process. This creates a great impression on your part from your tenants, altering any misconceptions and allowing for your tenants to feel valued and cared for.
In turn, this helps to guarantee the tenants will treat your property with the care and respect it deserves, whilst remaining as occupants as longer.
If you are unable to dedicate the necessary time to maintaining a good relationship with your tenants, be it through other commitments or the desire to be as hands-off from your property as possible, then we are more than happy to assist you. For more information, call us on 02838 355 100.