Being a landlord can be one of the shrewdest and rewarding things to be, that said it can also be stressful at times. How you approach this, may well determine how successful you are.
The following information is not a guide to all your legal obligations as a landlord, it is more looking at your moral obligations to encourage a smooth landlord experience.
It’s your business
Being a landlord needs a different mindset, you should treat it as a business and like any business take your landlording seriously and less like someone just living in your home. Like any business, customers are key and the way you treat your ‘customers’ will have a big impact on how they ‘your tenants’ will treat your property.
Successful business owners know when to ask for help and that’s where your agent comes in, use people that know and understand the rules and laws that govern their industry, being a landlord has legal implications and is not something you can just wing.
Better landlords will attract better tenants…FACT . No matter how great your tenants are there will always be problems, tenants will pay late, boilers will break, tenants will fall out with neighbours etc. Tenants will complain and make demands, but its how you deal with this that’s the key to being successful.
Whilst early in the lettings process you might feel like you want to get involved with the tenants, its important to remember they are your tenants, are not your friends. Too much contact could be seen as nuisance and in law your tenants do have a right to peaceful enjoyment of the property. Never just turn up, always give a minimum of 24 hours’ notice.
Also, in our experience where landlords have direct contact they run the risk of the tenants thinking its ok to pay rent late which is a slippery slope or they decorate and change the property without gaining consent. Keeping your tenants at arm’s length puts you in a better position when it comes to making those business decisions.
For a self-managing landlord being available for your tenants can often mean evening and weekend phone calls, a good landlord will be accessible to their tenants. This means generally answering emails in a timely manner normally within 24 hours of receipt.
Being a landlord is a commitment, if you are planning a holiday have a back up contact to leave your tenants in case of emergency, if you are using an agent then don’t worry you can go off and enjoy yourself as they will have this covered.
Being polite to your tenants will encourage positive interactions, Meeting safety and moral standards is imperative when forging long term committed tenants. They will need to feel respected and in turn they will respect you and your investment.
This doesn’t mean have to jump to their every request however, its important the basics are in place (i.e. heating, hot water, cleanliness).
Stay calm, if a tenant calls about an issue that ruins your day, don’t let them know you are annoyed. Deal with every issue in a professional manner just like any business.
Whilst being a landlord is not for everyone, getting things right at the start, using an agent who shares the right principles and processes will go a long way to ensuring you have a positive and rewarding experience as landlord.