How can I make a good first impression as a landlord?
It’s great to hear that you’re thinking about that first impression!
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Traditionally, landlords are considered the ‘bad guy’, but times are changing. We looked at who today’s landlords are and found that the common clichés and assumptions are no longer the reality. The idea is that landlords tend to be older, male, and quite wealthy, but in recent years we’ve seen a shift towards younger landlords, with half of landlords in 2021 being aged 40 years old or younger.
While it’s important for your tenant to make a good impression, you’re right that it’s equally important that you make a great impression as a landlord. This is something that you should be thinking about not just during your first initial meeting, but throughout organising the tenancy agreement.
Here are a few top tips on how you can make a great first impression as a landlord.
How to make a great first impression as a landlord?
- A business relationship: A tenant-landlord relationship can be a tricky one. You want to stay on friendly terms yet you want to keep necessary healthy boundaries. To ensure you’re not labelled as ‘unfairly strict’, a great rule of thumb is to keep it like the business transaction it is. Your relationship is an agreement between you and a client and it’s as simple as that. If you cross the line and tread into friendly territory, you may be giving off the vibe that you are easy to take advantage of. Making sure you protect yourself with Rent Guarantee Insurance isn’t reflecting the opinion you have of your tenant – but it’s giving that needed protection as even the best of tenants can run into unfortunate situations.
- Protect your property – and pocket!: Anything from boilers to plumbing breakdowns can occur so it’s vital you prepare against all unfortunate possibilities. The reality is if an issue arises, it’s up to you the landlord to step in and take care of it. Covering yourself with protection is important, so investing in priorities such as Home Emergency Insurancewill enable any unforeseen circumstances to be covered and if your tenant is aware of this – they know they’re in safe hands.
- Avoid the baddies: There’s a simple key in having a good tenant-landlord relationship, and that’s to avoid bad situations from the off. You can also avoid falling into a void period (those gaps of unoccupied property that cause many sleepless nights) by simply not renting to ‘bad’ tenants. But how do you know if someone is a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ tenant? A tenant referencing check is essential to getting a professional referencing that will sift through those with bad credit or criminal backgrounds. At Mashroom, we can verify tenants in as little as two hours, leaving you with a comprehensive report on affordability ratings, credit history, and more.
- Health & Covid-19: The repercussions of Covid-19 have affected the world as a whole. Times may never be the same, especially with new variants such as Omicron on the rise. To ensure optimum safety, follow the government’s coronavirus advice by checking in with GOV.uk and read up on the Coronavirus and Renting Guide for Tenants and Landlords. Again, making sure you’re on top of the latest news and regulations to reassure your tenant that you are professional and reliable.
- Be human: Communication is key, so remain approachable. Create a lasting impression by being ready to answer their questions and show up on the day of the move, if you can. Be available in those first days to show your tenant simple things, such as where the boiler is located on the property or how to turn the heating on. It gives your tenants that peace of mind, letting them know that you are there to help and tend to their needs, not ‘rule’ over them.
- Keep your distance: We’ve all been practicing social distancing for quite some time now, but as a landlord you should also be exercising this in your tenancy relationship! If you’re a new landlord, you may be tempted to check in on your property to see how things are going, but it’s improper protocol to just pop around any time you like for a visit. Instead, allow them to feel at home, and schedule routine inspections after 6 months if you do deem this as necessary. And always make sure you make an appointment to drop by – it’s your property, yes, but this is your tenants’ home.
- Certificates and checks: To be a good landlord also means to keep your property up-to-date with necessary certifications. A Gas Safety Certificate should be one of your top priorities and as of April 2021, it is mandatory for all rental properties to have a valid Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), so ensure you’ve got everything in place.
Be sure to test that your smoke alarms are working at the start of each tenancy as well, and include carbon monoxide alarms for rooms that include a solid fuel burning appliance.
Overall, keeping an open line of communication is key to having a great relationship with your tenant. Respond quickly to their questions (and complaints!) and be willing to assist and provide quick property maintenance when needed, instead of allowing long delays to drag on. This way your tenants know you are a trustworthy landlord and do truly care.