Our recent tenant satisfaction survey proved incredibly popular, so much so that we decided to also consult landlords for their thoughts on the private rented sector and their experiences of letting their properties. With almost 2,000 responses, the survey results have provided us with a unique insight into the private rented sector, revealing that 96% of landlords are happy with their tenants.
When asked “are you happy with your current tenant(s)?”, an overwhelmingly positive number of landlords (96%) responded that they were, with only 2% responding that they were “not really” happy or “definitely not” happy.
The majority of landlords (53%) responded that they were “very happy” with their tenants – the most positive response available – showing us that the relationship between landlords and their tenants is a positive one in the vast majority of circumstances, leading to a mutually beneficial relationship. Notably, these figures also correspond perfectly with our tenant survey of almost 15,000 tenants, which revealed that 86% of tenants were happy with their landlords.
With 96% of landlords being happy with their tenants, it’s perhaps unsurprising that 93% of landlords also told us that they reference their tenants before accepting their application. Only 135 landlords that were surveyed didn’t reference their tenants, and 55% of these only didn’t do so because their letting agent did for them. This shows just how valuable tenant referencing can be in ensuring that landlords attract and let the property to the right tenants.
However, although an overwhelming majority of landlords are happy with their tenants, it appears as though this hasn’t always been the case. Of the landlords we surveyed, 51% revealed that they’d dealt with a problem tenant in the past.
So, with this in mind, how do you attract the right tenant and ensure that the relationship is as healthy as possible?
1) Reference your tenants: As shown above, tenant referencing is a great way of ensuring that you get the right tenant, as it gives you reassurance that you’re renting your property out to sound and suitable tenants.
2) Provide a written tenancy agreement and inventory: By providing a written tenancy agreement and inventory, your tenants will be aware of exactly what’s expected of them and exactly what their responsibilities are. By having these rights and responsibilities written down, the risk of disputes is reduced. In addition, if you take a written inventory at the start of the tenancy, both you and the tenant(s) will be aware of the condition of the property and how it should be maintained. Taking photos can also be helpful in case there are disputes.
3) Stay in touch regularly: It’s also wise to stay in touch with your tenant regularly. Although speaking to them every day or every week may be overkill, a monthly or quarterly call is recommended. This is because the tenant will be aware that you care about them and the property, and it also gives them an opportunity to let you know about any issues.
4) Carry out regular inspections: Carrying out inspections on a quarterly or bi-annual basis can also be incredibly helpful. It means that you can cut out any issues before they develop into larger problems. For instance, if you spot condensation in the bathroom, you can discuss it with a tenant before it becomes damp or mould, minimising the likelihood of a dispute.
5) Allow them to make their mark: Tenants are likely to want to make a house their home and, if you let them do this, there’s a greater chance they’ll want to stay for the long term. So, letting tenants make minor decorative changes to the property can be beneficial. Of course, you’ll have to establish boundaries as to what this includes, and you should always ask your tenants submit a request for written permission, but allowing them to paint a wall or hang their own pictures could make a big difference. You could even put up the hooks yourself before they moved in, so you know the job’s done properly.
With 96% of landlords happy with their tenants and 86% of tenants feeling the same way about their landlords, it seems that renting a property in the private rented sector is a mutually beneficial relationship. Make sure you follow our top tips to ensure you stand the best chance of attracting high quality tenants who want to stay for the long term.
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