If you’re a landlord about to settle a new tenant into a property, there’s one phrase that should be your guiding mantra: “Start as you mean to go on”.
Because what you do in the early stages of a tenancy will help define what unfolds over the next weeks, months and possibly years.
Get things right, and you’ll build the foundations of a long and successful tenant-landlord relationship (the kind that all landlords dream of).
Get it wrong, and you could be in for a bumpy ride that absorbs much of your time and energy and leaves you stressed and out of pocket.
No pressure then.
So once the paperwork is signed off, how can you lay the groundwork for success? Here are six tips to help get your tenancy off to a good start.
- Prepare the property – Before you hand over the keys, carry out any outstanding repairs, ensure the property is sparkling clean and read the meters. If a tenant thinks you don’t care about the state of the property, what message does that send to them?
- Meet and greet – Welcome your new tenant and run through the basics. Discuss bin collections, how the appliances work and where they can find the fuse box and stopcock (in case a switch trips or pipe bursts). This is your chance to set the tone and build a good rapport, so don’t rush it.
- Information pack – Your tenant will have a lot on their plate on moving-in day and may not take in everything you discuss. Leave them with a pack detailing all the practical information they need so if they have a query, it’s all there in writing for them.
- Contact information – One of the most common reasons tenants and landlords fall out is communication. To avoid any confusion, make it clear from the outset who your tenant should contact in an emergency and how to reach out if they have a non-urgent query.
- Be responsive – Questions might arise as your tenant settles in, so if they get in touch, don’t keep them waiting.
- Use a letting agent – Many landlords recognise how much work it takes to manage a tenancy and opt to get a professional to do it for them. A good letting agent will have established systems in place to nurture a tenancy from check-in to check-out. They can also respond to all urgent and non-urgent queries so you can focus on your professional and personal commitments.