Don’t Become Another Statistic: How to Be a Better Landlord Industry News 17th October 2014 | By Liberty Reputation is a big thing when you are looking to rent out a property. High rental costs and hearing bad things about a letting agent or landlord, are the two major red flags when looking for a place to live. So what can you do to prevent this, whilst protecting your reputation to get you more interest in your rental properties? One in Five Have Reservations From Day One A study by the Association of Residential Letting Agents has found some shocking statistics. • One in five have had reservations from the start of their tenancy about their landlord or letting agent. • Half of those polled had suffered through at least one problem with their landlord or letting agent in the last 5 years. • A third of those who had experienced problems said they had to wait on average 36 days for it to be fixed. Whereas one in seven never had it resolved. So Why Rent? Well, there are a number of reasons why people choose to rent rather than buy, it’s a less permanent solution and does not require a large deposit of savings. To add to this, the shocking truth is that three quarters of people, who could be first time buyers, say they feel trapped renting because of rising house prices (Local Government Association). And two thirds of first time buyers think it will be even harder to buy a property in five years’ time. How Can You Be a Good Landlord? Don’t Rip People Off Take a look at how much similar properties charge each month and ask for a rent that is fair for the property. You may have many buy-to-let mortgages on your properties that need to be repaid, but don’t get greedy. Solve Problems ASAP If a tenant brings an issue to your attention, such as damage to the property or a broken appliance, do your best to solve the problem as soon as possible. And communicate this to the tenant! They’ll only end up harassing you until the issue is resolved, so save yourself the ear ache and keep your tenants happy by acting quickly. Get to Know Tenants Okay, so we’re not suggesting you get their life story, but get to know a little about them. A lot of renters who go through letting agencies never even meet their landlords. That is until something goes wrong. Be Contactable Your tenants may have your home phone number, but if you work elsewhere during the day you will never be in to answer. And the same goes for email, if you are going to give out your address make sure to check it frequently not just once a fortnight. Mobiles are the best way to get in contact – you can even text then if you don’t want to ring. Respect the Tenants Privacy Yes you may own the property, but that doesn’t mean you should turn up unannounced at odd hours or even at night. If you are planning to visit the property for an inspection or do work, give them notice. Follow these simple tips and hopefully you won’t become one of the many shamed by these damming statistics. And remember: happy tenants usually means a happy landlord!