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25mnb's blog The key to regular rental income doesn’t only reside in finding suitable tenants, but also in retaining them. And to retain your tenants, you ought to nurture a good relationship with them.

This does not in any way imply sucking up to your tenants or invading their private lives. In fact, a simple professional relationship that involves performing your duty as a landlord is sufficient. If you, however, wish to go the extra mile of being empathetic, then by all means do.

Your friendliness or empathy, while genuine, should be a strategy for protecting your assets and assuring a steady flow of income through earning your tenants’ loyalty.

If you are serious about gaining your tenant’s loyalty, here are some of the ways to go about it:

Maintain your property

The good thing about maintenance is that it benefits you in every way. Of course, it involves expenses, and your tenants get to reap the immediate rewards. The property, however, is yours. And maintenance doesn’t only positively influence its value, but also earns you the goodwill of your tenants.

Are the property’s plumbing, locks, roof, floor et cetera functioning well? How often do you inspect them? When you find a damage, do you implement repairs immediately? Does your property need an upgrade?

There are questions you have to act on once in a while. If your tenants are proud of you and the house they live in, it’s unlikely that they would want to leave.

Don’t impose unreasonable rules

-          Of course, rules are for a reason, but being obsessed with them or issuing absurd ones can be a deal breaker for most tenants.

-          Are you one of those landlords dispensing rules like this:

-          No guests without prior notice via text or call.

-          Not more than two visits per month.

-          Visitors must not spend the night.

-          Don’t put up artworks or wallpapers.

-          Don’t decorate. If you don’t like the house, park out.

-          Leaving dirty dishes in the sink will attract a £15 fine.

-          No eating in the bedroom.

-          Cooking must be done within thirty minutes?

Landlords that issue out such rules obviously have their reasons, and in most cases, they are genuine. But the thought invested in creating them was lacking and the presentation is awfully antagonistic.

Don’t be that landlord. Be considerate.

Attend to complaints properly

-          There is this saying in business—customers are always right. This doesn’t necessarily mean what it says. Instead, it means you should always listen to your customers, respect their grievances, don’t argue, and put your best into solving their problems.

-          Your tenants, in this case, are your customers, and you ought to listen to their complaints and take responsible actions.

-          If a tenant complains about a leaking plumbing pipe, a hole in the floor, the way you harass his or her visitors, or the noise coming from the neighbouring building, bandying words with that tenant or expressing apathy would only frustrate him or her and ruin the landlord-tenant relationship between the pair of you.

-          Simply assure the tenant that you will look into the issue. And be sure to do just that and take steps towards solving it. If you can’t solve the problem immediately, ask the tenant to give you some time.

Don’t make absurd increments

Don’t get greedy. While your rental property needs to be profitable, unreasonably increasing the rent can push your tenants away. If you are going to raise the rent because managers of other properties in the area have increased theirs, then inform your tenants well in advance and give them good reasons for the increment.

Even if your property is worth the extra rental charges, placing the rent slightly below the general market price can be a good way to communicate to your tenants that you care about them. When you have earned their loyalty, their remaining in your property would translate to fewer void periods, which can make up for whatever little amount you lose by not going overboard with rent increment.