The key to a happy relationship: Communication

The key to a happy relationship: Communication

The number one reason for anyone investing in buy-to-let property across the UK is simple - it offers fantastic yields and a great chance for them to make a strong return on their investment moving forward. 

After all, yields sitting at between six and seven per cent on average are not to be sniffed at, at all, and the chance of being able to supplement your income with rental payments coming in each month means that you can live a fairly comfortable lifestyle.

However, like with any investment asset, being a landlord in the UK won't come without its difficulties and snags, and you need to make sure that you are doing all you can to minimise the problems that can occur. After all, you'll want to make sure the relationship is seamless, with rental payments coming in each month and you able to enjoy a stress free income.

So how do you make your relationship with your tenant as easy as possible? According to new advice published by Landlord Assist, the easiest way to go about it is to make sure that you focus on communication. 

Stephen Parry, commercial director at Landlord Assist, said it's all about making sure your tenant feels relaxed and at home when living in your property, but also that they feel they can come to you if they have any problems that need to be addressed. 

However, it's not just a one way street, and communication between landlord and tenant needs to be strong and healthy in order to ensure that they both get what they are looking for from the tenancy.

"To help prevent disputes from occurring better communication between landlords and tenants is required, together with clear guidance for tenants on what repairs and maintenance the landlord is contractually responsible for and which the tenant should undertake as part of their tenancy conditions," Mr Parry said.

"Tenants need to be aware that they have a responsibility under the terms of the tenancy agreement to report promptly all repair requirements to the landlord. Failure to do so could make any future repairs more invasive and costly and the tenant may be held liable in some way for failing to report them."

Landlord Assist said that the fact there are now more than 10 million people renting homes across the UK means that there are higher expectations than ever before for landlords from their tenants, and it's important to make sure that good relationships allow for these expectations to be met.

So what are the best ways to give your tenant exactly what they are looking for from their tenancy?

Don't be posted missing

Although it's most likely that your property will be let out through a letting agent, there are some times when the agent needs to get in touch with you to check something that the tenant has asked. Perhaps they need a non-essential repair done at home or they just want to redecorate and want the green light from the owner.

There's nothing more frustrating in these situations than the landlord taking days or even weeks to respond to a question, and it can lead to an erosion in the relationship with your tenant. For all the time it would take to respond, it's worth doing to make sure they are happy.

Make sure you give the letting agent a phone number that you can be contacted on at short notice, or at the very least an email address that you have regular access to and will be able to check every now and again.

Pay a visit

Landlord visits are not uncommon - in fact some landlords will insist on inspecting their properties every now and again to make sure they are being kept in a good state of repair. So why not turn this into a chance to get to meet your tenant?

It doesn't need to be anything formal, and you can even pop along with the letting agent so they can introduce you to your tenant. It allows you the chance to make sure that your property is being looked after, which is obviously important, but also lets you meet face to face and build some sort of relationship.

Check up

Even though tenants are legally obliged to report repairs that need to be done at the earliest possible convenience, there are those who simply won't until they really need to, so sometimes it can be best to take the initiative and check for yourself.

It won't take much - just a simple call on the phone can be enough to ask them if they have any issues that need to be checked or sorted out. Not only will it allow you to address problems straight away, but it will build a relationship between you and the tenant and let them see that they can approach you when they need something done.