How to keep your tenants happy

BY Ned Browne

1st Jan 2015 Property

How to keep your tenants happy

Finding great tenants for your property is only half of the story. There’s nothing worse than finding new tenants only for them to not to renew. Here's how to keep your tenants satisfied. 

Satisfied isn’t enough

satisfied isnt enough

According to Harvard research up to 20 per cent of satisfied customers defect. They also discovered that 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain. There’s no reason to believe the same isn’t true in the Buy to Let market.

To keep your tenants you need to ensure what you offer is beyond their expectations. Send them a Christmas card (and a case of wine). Make sure you fix things fast. And ensure you have boiler insurance cover. Give them details too, so they know you’re looking after their best interests.


Be open and honest

Make sure they know where you have stored their deposit.  Give them copies of the inventory.  Discuss your insurance arrangements.  Ensure you give them at least 24 hours notice if you need to visit the property.  It’s all common sense that, it would seem, isn’t that common.

It’s almost worth sending a reasonably regular email asking if everything is okay at the property.  Many landlords are loathed to do this, as they think it’ll result in more work.  But, in reality, it will probably stop small problems developing into big problems.  As such, you’ll save money down the line.


Start renewal discussions early

If the tenancy runs out mid-April, contact your tenants early January and ask their intentions. This is also an opportunity to check that they’re happy and ask if anything needs attention or fixing.

Remember, moving home is a big undertaking. If they’re comfortable and feel well looked after, why would they want this additional burden?


Don’t be unduly influenced by estate agents

are your tenants happy?

If you have let your property via an estate agent, the likelihood is that they’ll encourage you to increase your rent every year. That’s because they take a percentage cut and a void won’t hurt them too much. However, it will hurt you. 

Direct Line for Business research, undertaken in May 2016, revealed that the average annual void period for residential landlords is 22 days. That’s assuming the property is ready to let out immediately. Often that’s not the case—properties always look shabby when the furniture has been removed. Most will require a deep clean too. All of these costs add up.

As such, it’s almost certainly worth keeping rent rises to a minimum should your budget allow for this. Tenants who look after your property are worth their weight in gold.


Be flexible

Many Buy to Let properties are rented by professional sharers and it’s not uncommon for individuals to want to move for work or personal reasons. You should not rally against this. 

Rather, you should allow them to move out once they’ve found a replacement tenant for their room.


Think long term

Buy to Let property is a long-term investment. Keeping the same tenants for five or more years should prove hugely lucrative. 

That’s the goal, not squeezing your tenants for a few extra pounds every month.


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