Each week we are highlighting landlords who are going the extra mile for their tenants during this challenging time for everyone involved in the private rental market.
This week Meet Max Rayner, 26. He set up Hemel Hempstead based Stuart Clinton Property with his business partner Alex Baker three years ago and it now operates 20 units across the South of England and the Midlands, specialising in high-end HMO accommodation.
Max says he and Alex recognised that a lot of tenants are going through a stressful period during the crisis but who are also hearing that landlords are getting ‘automatic mortgage holidays’, even if that isn’t true, and assuming they will also get a rent holiday.
He also says his company is working with tenants who are facing financial hardship on a case-by-case basis and deciding whether to either defer their rent or help them come up with a payment plan.
But Max wants to let all its tenants know that they aren’t forgotten. So it recently decided to send all of its HMO tenants a ‘survival’ pack which included a personal cleaning kit for their properties (which are usually cleaned by contractors but not during the pandemic) plus anti-bacterial spray, cloths and gloves as well as a chocolate selection, a crate of beer and a card urging them to get in touch if they are struggling.
And during the early days of the pandemic when many shops ran out of toilet roll, Max worked with one of his letting agencies to provide tenants with loo roll if they were running low. The stock had been bought off a pub which no longer needed it after shutting up shop following the lockdown.
“Our strategy when doing up properties, and when managing them, is to always think of the tenants first – would we live here and how would we like to be treated. That’s what has driven our actions during the crisis,” says Max.
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