October 2

How to teach your tenants to be good tenants

Don’t suffer bad tenants – educate them

Some unfortunate buy-to-let landlords have experienced a tenant from hell, even though they are few and far between. More likely is that you’ll encounter tenants who are ignorant. Many will be uneducated in looking after their own home. Many will never have owned their own home, and being inexperienced in looking after a property.
You might encounter tenants who damage your buy-to-let investment, lack basic cleaning skills, or pay the rent late every month. Some tenant horror stories are worse than others, but every buy-to-let landlord has their threshold when it comes to tenant pain.

What makes some tenants unbearable

I’m a firm believer that most bad tenants don’t set out to cause their landlord maximum grief. They simply don’t know any better. Young tenants especially. Some of these may never have picked up a broom in their lives, and still believe there’s a ‘sock fairy’ who clears the floor in the middle of the night once a week. They don’t realise the damage that neglect can cause to your property, and neither do they understand that you need to receive rent in a timely fashion.

The key to creating good tenants is tenant education

You know it’s important for maintenance issues to be reported promptly. And you know that it’s imperative to have your rent paid on time. The perfect tenant will understand all of this, too. But if they have never rented, and never been on your side of the landlord/tenant relationship, can you expect them to understand the issues their tardiness causes you?
The answer is for you, or your investment property manager, to educate your tenants. The following tips will help you do this, and shape all your tenants into the good tenants you desire.

Make the tenancy agreement a collaboration, not a diktat

The tenancy agreement is the document that dictates how you and your tenant should act towards each other and the property. It’s my experience that most don’t read it fully, even though their signature is ‘proof’ that they have. It leads to problems in the future. Hence, our investment property managers will spend time with your tenant discussing the tenancy agreement before it is signed. It ensures that the tenant understands exactly what it means, what their responsibilities are, and what actions can be taken if they don’t adhere to those responsibilities.

Give the tenant a tenancy tips sheet

We try to make the tenancy agreement as concise as possible, but it could still be several pages long. A tip sheet helps to remind the tenant what they should and should not be doing and is easy to use as a reminder.
A good cheat sheet will highlight all the most important points, especially cleanliness issues, pet policies, visitor policies, maintenance reporting, and rent payments. Include emergency contact information, and details about how to report repairs. Laminate the cheat sheet, and make it the last thing you give the tenant before they receive the keys.

Conduct regular property inspections

A regular property inspection is a must. Effective property inspections ensure that any maintenance issues are spotted early, and stops them from developing into expensive repair problems. They also give a chance to remind tenants of their responsibilities – especially important if they are falling on them.

Remind them of their future

As a last resort, it is worth reminding your tenant that their behaviour towards you and your property will affect their future. Tell them that while you want them to stay in your property for a long time, you understand it’s probably that they will want to move on in the future – they may get married, expand their family, or change jobs, for example.
Remind them that when they do move on, their next landlord will expect a reference from previous landlords. You want to be able to give a sparkling reference.

A little effort goes a long way

It doesn’t take much more than a little extra effort and a systematic approach to educate your tenants. Doing so relieves a lot of stress. Explaining why it’s important for a tenant to pay rent on time and look after your property should be part of every buy-to-let landlord’s and investment property manager’s routine. From experience, I can tell you that tenant education pays dividends.
Contact one of the Ezytrac team today on  +44  01522  503  717, and discover how Ezytrac takes the strain out of managing a property portfolio.
Yours in effortless property management,
Brett Alegre-Wood MARLA MNAEA


buy-to-let landlords, tenant education

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