The state of Britain’s property market has undoubtedly improved in the past 12 months, so much so that a greater number of people are opting to become landlords.
According to a recent study by the National Landlords Association (NLA), the proportion of “amateur or part-time” landlords – those who use earnings from property lets to supplement their main source of income – operating in the UK has risen to an all-time high. Indeed, part-timers now account for an incredible 70% of the sector.
It’s easy to see why opportunistic property owners have taken this decision, after all, with more and more people looking to rent accommodation, there is a lot of money to be made from private lettings. However, there’s more to being a landlord than meets the eye. While it’s a minimum requirement for landlords to familiarise themselves with the various rules and regulations that they need to abide by, there are many other things to take into account before a buy-to-let property owners can class themselves as one of the best landlords around.
Leaving the legal stuff aside, here are three handy tips to help you offer exceptional levels of service to your tenants, helping you to build a glowing reputation within the buy-to-let sector.
There’s no escaping it, climate change is a serious issue and landlords, like the rest of us, have an important part to play in slashing the nation’s carbon footprint.
Organisations like the Energy Saving Trust are always encouraging tenants to write to their landlords if they are unhappy with the eco credentials of their rented home. Instead of waiting for these letters to land on your mat or in your inbox, take a proactive approach and ensure you introduce green measures before your new tenant asks for them.
Whether that involves the installation of energy-efficient lighting, improving the quality of insulation or taking advantage of government-funded home improvement programmes, there are plenty of things you can do to a) make your property more appealing to potential occupants and b) demonstrate to your existing tenants that you care about them and the environment.
Speak when you are spoken to
A recent study by Ocean Finance showed that around a third of renters have never met their landlord.
You could interpret this in two ways. On the one hand, tenants like to feel that their landlord is an actual real person, rather than a faceless, digital entity that only gets in touch when something bad has happened. However, on the flipside, you don’t want to become too friendly or hands-on with your tenants.
As a rule, the best landlords tend to be those who leave their tenants to get on with life, but are always available if they do have any queries. Creating a strong landlord-tenant relationship is a fine balancing act, but it’s one you need to master if you are to build a solid reputation in the industry.
Nobody likes to deliver bad news, but you can do your reputation some serious harm if you start to skirt around delicate issues.
The fact is that as the economy improves, rents will go up. Research conducted by Homelet showed that average rents rose by 6.3% across the UK in the past year, and it now officially costs twice as much to rent a property in London than in other regions.
Landlords shouldn’t be afraid to hike their tenants’ rent if it is justified – they are in it to make money after all. However, it’s the way property owners inform their tenants of these changes that separates the good landlords from the bad ones.
Be as transparent as you can and explain why you’ve made this tough decision, supporting your argument with links to new reports and data that highlight the general upward trajectory of rental rates across the country. While your tenants are unlikely to be thrilled by the news, they will at least understand what you are doing and won’t assume that you’re trying to milk them for all they’re worth.
Again, it’s this level of honesty and tenant relations that the crème de la crème of Britain’s buy-to-let industry has become renowned for.
Article Courtesy of: As Estate Agents, Newton & Co. aim to take a fresh approach, focusing their efforts on customer service, looking after the people who matter most – their clients.