With many businesses forced to close their doors, it’s likely that their ability to keep up with rental payments will be affected. So how can you remain on good terms with your tenant in challenging times and still get paid?
As a landlord it is important to maintain strong working relations with your tenants. Investing time and the money required to build a rapport with your tenants can be the difference between harmoniously discussing and settling differences and a costly legal action.
Working on this relationship also creates value by maximising tenant cooperation with timely rent payments, property upkeep and longer terms.
We offer some helpful advice to how to have a good landlord and tenant relationship.
Selecting Potential Tenants
First things first, it may be tempting to get a vacant property filled as soon as possible. But conducting extensive due diligence via referencing on prospective tenants is always a very wise way to ensure a mutually successful experience for you and the applicant, and it is an effective risk management tool.
Tenant referencing can present some costs, but the risk of not performing them on tenants could have serious financial consequences via significant lost rental income, property damage and litigation costs.
Elements of a comprehensive tenant referencing include a credit check, previous landlord verification, identity verification and credit verification. These processes can be outsourced to agents for a relatively small fee or you may wish to condut them yourself, either way they’re vitally important. You may even want to meet in person to ensure that you get a good feel for the potential tennant.
Ensuring you have a well-sourced occupant can lead to a lasting and prosperous tenant and landlord relationship. In times like we are now facing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it will allow you to be more accommodating towards your tenants circumstances.
Maintain Your Property
Taking measures to maintain your property sends a powerful message to your tenants. It proves that you take your role as a building manager seriously, and it encourages your tenant to take pride in the condition of their rented space. It should also help bolster relationships and lessen the probability that they take legal action in the event of an incident or dispute.
You can take these steps to prepare for maintenance issues:
• Ensure you have established procedures for dealing with maintenance requests that guarantees a prompt service to your tenant.
• If you have a property with shared spaces. Ensure you communicate and enforce policies regarding them, such as non-smoking.
Security and Safety Measures
Although you might not be expected to guarantee the safety of your tenants, visitors or guests, as a landlord, you must exercise reasonable care to protect them from any foreseeable events.
Having security measures in place will make tenants feel safe, benefiting your relationship with them and lowering the likelihood of a legal action. Adhering to best practice in terms of security can also help lower your insurance premiums.
Caring Customer Service
As a landlord providing customer service to your tenants can be overlooked. However, taking steps to make your tenants feel valued will help to create a cooperative relationship. By offering small gestures in the following ways you can improve your tenant relationships:
• Being prompt, and provide polite responses to requests
• Offer support during moves
• Provide reasonable help during difficult times – for example in the current climate if possible you may wish to consinder offering: rent deferrals, temporary reductions or permission to sub-let etc
• Clearly outline policies and swiftly enforce them
These may seem costly right now but helping to ensure that your premises continue to be rented in the longer term should prove more beneficial in the longer term.
And Should the Worst Happen?
Even with a positive landlord and tenant relationship, there can be potential exposures that must be addressed. Therefore, to protect you and your tenant, against these risks, you should consider a well priced property and liability insurance policy tailored for your needs.
For more information, on what you can protect you and your tenant against contact us today.
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