There are many good reasons for more people to become landlords in the current economic climate – including the sorry state of current pension provision. Given that our society relies on the private sector for housing, we need landlords. But we need good ones. So how should landlords behave?
Apart from the obvious (advising against illegal actions that would render you a rogue landlord), we advise avoiding those sins which are much more commonplace such as unscheduled, random inspections, (especially when tenants are out), greedy unwarranted rent rises and unnecessarily canvassing neighbours to find out more about your tenants.
It is important to always treat letting homes like your business, not as if you are graciously allowing strangers to stay in your home. Your tenant is paying for your pension, and it's likely they won’t have one themselves. So be good, kind, professional and tolerant. Being a good landlord is, thankfully, actually quite easy, take a look at our top 10 tips for being an excellent landlord below:
Always complete repairs promptly and efficiently, and accept that you will have to pay for them! Always keep a reserve of money for these instances and emergencies.
2. Tenant privacy
Give tenants privacy. Don’t ever visit unannounced, snoop around or spy on tenants! No, you cannot drive by slowly to peer through the windows!
3. Remember it's a business
Treat letting homes like a business, not as if they're guests in your home. Respect the contract.
4. Fixtures & fittings
Provide good-quality fittings and furniture and expect that they will endure everyday wear and tear throughout the tenancy.
5. Personal space
Do not store your own possessions in the property (especially in precious storage space). Tenants won't appreciate you 'popping round' on Saturday morning to pick up your jet-washer from the garage!
6. Loosen the reins
Allow tenants to decorate - they are likely to stay longer if they can customise the property to their taste in some way. You can always re-paint and fill in picture holes on the walls once the tenancy is over.
7. Have patience
Do your best to tolerate any occasional late payments. Life can be tricky and complicated and your tenants are real people. Unless late payments become a bigger issue, try to have patience.
8. Keep the lines clear
Try not to become too pally with your tenants, it is of course important to be friendly, but make sure the line between landlord and tenant doesn't become blurred.
9. Keep tenants in the loop
If you plan on selling up, inform your tenant first, not last, as it will be them who is affected the most by this decision.
10. Your behaviour
Lastly, but most importantly, treat your tenants how you would like to be treated if you were in their position - with decency, respect and privacy!