Top Tips for a Good Landlord Tenant Relationship

The importance of maintaining a positive relationship between landlord and tenant cannot be underestimated and this has never been highlighted as much within the last few months.

The Covid-19 situation has instigated conversations that have never had to happen before and it has been the healthier landlord and tenant relationships that have ensured positive outcomes in rental deferments and payment agreements.

This is just as important if the landlord uses an agent to look after his or her buy-to-let property or manages the property themselves.

Tensions between landlord and tenant is nothing new, but it does seem that the relationship dynamic is shifting somewhat, particularly given the huge growth of the rental market in recent years. Tenants are becoming more and more important in the future of the UK property market and it is vital that landlords have a reason to invest in property. It is predicted that rented property will account for 40% of the market by 2025, so it makes sense to keep the relationship healthy.

Here are 10 top tenant tips to a great landlord tenant relationship…

Pay the Rent On Time

The importance of a landlord receiving the rent when it is due cannot be stressed enough. It’s why the landlord does what he/she does.

If the rent is going to be late due to unavoidable circumstances, tenants should let the agent or landlord know beforehand as a landlord may need to put arrangements in place. The worst option is silence. A non-paying, non-communicating tenant will not be seen in a good light.

Also, being consistently late in paying rent payment is something no landlord takes kindly to and constant arrears will easily dent the relationship.

Keep the Property Clean and Tidy

As a tenant, this is one of your top priorities.

Whilst taste in interior decoration may not be the same for everyone, hygiene and cleanliness comes before everything else.

The property should be cleaned regularly and kept clutter free. Good ventilation will also prevent damp and mould and will help keep away unwanted pests and germs.

As an agent, one of the best things a landlord can hear following a periodic inspection is that the tenant is looking after the property – a great way of enhancing the relationship.

Report Any Damage Immediately

The prompt reporting of any maintenance issues can potentially prevent further damage to the property. That leaky bath seal could lead to unseen damage further down the line.

However, there is no need to report every issue for minor repair works that you can fix yourself, like flickering lightbulbs or loose door knobs. These types of tiny issues constitute a huge number of service calls and maintenance costs for landlords and will certainly help the ongoing relationship.

And it works both ways. If a tenant does report an issue that requires attention, a speedy resolution to the problem by a landlord will certainly help moving forward. Situations where tenants are threatening to withhold rent due to outstanding maintenance issues, whilst illegal, will damage the relationship for good.

Understand the Tenancy Agreement

Tenants should always read, understand and adhere to the tenancy agreement and landlords should understand their responsibilities too.

For example, using the property for its lawful use only and not running a business from a residential apartment, or smoking inside the premises when the contract clearly instructs otherwise.

Tenants who act responsibly and in in good faith and treat the property as their own will ensure that they get back the tenancy deposit in full without and without any problems.

A Little Appreciation…

… goes a long way. It may be the landlord’s obligation to oversee maintenance, but a quick ‘Thank you’ from the tenant will  go a long way, no matter how small the job was.

Above all else, it’s important to remember that we are all human beings and we thrive on praise in whatever form it takes.

You may be surprised to find future maintenance works being authorised more quickly next time there is an issue.

Love Thy Neighbour

Very often, the property in which the tenant is living used to be occupied by the landlord; it was their home.

That means they will know the neighbours and if there is one thing that will rile a landlord it is if the neighbour contacts them directly to complain about their tenants. Getting on with your neighbours not only keeps the landlord happy, it also enhances the tenants enjoyment of living at the property too.

This applies to every property,  and maintaining an amicable relationship with people in adjacent apartments is a must.

Tenants should be the neighbour that they would like to live next to. This will come in useful when possibly extending the tenancy or obtaining a landlord reference for a new property in the future.

Accommodate Scheduled Visits

Landlords have legal obligations to adhere to. Gas Safety checks and Electrical Safety Checks need to be carried out as do periodic tenancy inspections.

If contractors or letting agent representatives constantly have to reschedule appointments, this will potentially damage any ongoing relationship especially if landlords end up breaching regulations because a tenant will not grant access.

Landlords and agents must give a tenant 24 hours notice prior to the time of entry and it will certainly help the ongoing relationship if these requests are accepted (see our blog on Third Party Access)

Help in Finding a New Tenant

Landlords do not want void periods and void periods do occur during a change of tenant.

Landlords do not want the property to be empty whilst finding a new tenant. If tenants can be flexible with access to the property and keep it clean during these times will help the landlord as prospective tenants view the property.

Tenants who can refer a new tenant to a landlord will be in extremely good books!

Being co-operative in these circumstances will definitely earn a reputation as a great tenant.

Communicate Regularly

While this seems the easiest thing to do, it is amazing how many landlords and tenants complain of rude and impolite behaviour.

Good communication is the key to any relationship, and the landlord tenant one is no exception. Proactive conversations between tenant and landlord/agent can prevent many issues escalating and becoming much more difficult to resolve.

Common Sense

A positive landlord and tenant relationship is invaluable.

Having a reputation as a good tenant will definitely help when it’s time to move on and look for a new home. A landlord reference is always part of any checks carried out by an agent on potential tenants.

Having a reputation as a good landlord will boost the rental potential of the property and getting on well with the tenant should ensure that the tenancy is fairly hassle-free. Happy tenants stay longer too, cutting down on the cost and inconvenience of re-letting or having a void periods.