Tips to help you improve the landlord-tenant relationship

Rhys Owen, Senior Property Advisor at CPS Homes in Cardiff, South WalesMany tenants dread the thought of a check-up visit or having to communicate with their landlord, while many landlords fear the thought of a tenant doing something without their knowledge or acting against the terms of the lease. This is why forming a strong, positive landlord-tenant relationship from the get-go is so important.

It makes lives so much easier for everyone involved if you can quickly grow to trust each other and nurture an honest, communicative relationship. After all, a happy tenant tends to be a very good tenant, and that’s the type of tenant you want in your property.

Now, we’re certainly not saying that all landlord-tenant relationships are fraught with mutual friction, scepticism, or avoidance.

In fact, we work with plenty of tenants and landlords here at CPS Homes who get on just dandy - as a letting agent, building an open, honest, and trusting relationship between all parties is something we strongly emphasise during the early introduction phase and we even take it into account while sourcing tenants for properties or finding properties for tenants.

However, there are still things that a landlord can do to help improve tenant relations and make being a landlord both enjoyable and profitable.

So, read on to find out how you as a landlord can go the extra mile and positively influence the relationship between you and your tenants.

Make sure your tenants feel appreciated

If there’s one thing that will make a buy-to-let investment tick over nicely, it’s what we referred to early - a happy tenant! They should naturally be appreciated, but the key is ensuring they are aware of this.

A landlord can achieve this quite simply with some small touches. Things like a Christmas card or a nice message on their birthday, a bottle of wine whenever an anniversary living in your property rolls around, remembering information they tell you that you can bring up in the future - these small acts will show you’re attentive, appreciative, and not simply viewing them as a number or a necessity to an investment.

See things from the tenant’s point of view

It may be an investment property to a landlord, but to a tenant, it’s their home.

While a landlord does have to make important financial decisions to ensure the investment makes sense, it’s also imperative that doesn’t get between each party. Tenants often grow a fond attachment to the property, and this benefits you as a landlord, so if they have requests or want to do something you’re unsure about, give it some serious thought before saying no and contemplate how you would feel if you were the tenant.

Learn: Check out our useful Landlord Guide

Get the balance of communication right

There is no doubt that communication is key to building and maintaining a positive relationship with your tenants, but it’s important to make sure it’s the right level of communication. There’s being too distance and unreachable but there’s also too much communication where things can become overbearing and interfering - these can all leave a tenant frustrated and wishing they’d never moved in to begin with.

It’s important for a landlord to leave their tenants to enjoy the property without constantly checking in on stuff, but you don’t want to come across disinterested or difficult to contact, either.

A good middle ground could be taking the initiative and sending a message every few months just to make sure everything is sound at the property and no issues need addressing.

Make sure the tenants have direct contact to you at all times as well - it’s no good handing them an e-mail address to contact you with in an emergency if you only check your emails once in a while, for example.

Take control of the situation

A lot of landlords who aren’t keen on taking a hands-on approach tend to steer clear of contacting their tenants for anything other than a once or twice a year check-up (speaking of which, perhaps a full property management service would suit you better).

While this may seem like the preferred approach most tenants would want you to take, the opposite is actually true. Not only does it put your investment at risk, it also does very little to help nurture the relationship between landlord and tenant.

As already mentioned, the occasional message or phone call to ensure all is in good order is a great way to show you care and are ready and keen to sort out any issues that may randomly crop up.

Most tenants complain about landlords who fail to solve maintenance issues at the property, so they would certainly appreciate a landlord who proactively looks out for them every few months.

Ask for tenant feedback

Like any good business, feedback from those who make use of products or services can prove invaluable when it comes to making improvements. A landlord can do likewise by asking their tenants outright if there is anything that could be done better or improved.

Whether it’s related to communication, the property, the tenancy agreement - whatever it is, taking tenant criticism onboard and making relevant adjustments can mean happier tenants, both now and in the future, potentially minimising void periods and therefore saving you money.

Don’t take bad feedback to heart, just view it as a tool to get better as a landlord.

Are you a landlord looking to source suitable tenants? Perhaps you’re looking for the perfect property investment in Cardiff to add to your portfolio? Whatever your situation, our expert letting team are here to help. Get in touch today to see how we can help by calling 02920 668585, e-mail or pop into one of our three branches.

03 November 2021


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