The majority of relationships between landlords and tenants are perfectly happy. With rent being paid on time and any issues from tenants being addressed and fixed as soon as possible by their landlords, there are few reasons why the two can't have a strong relationship.
There are, of course, more stories around that talk about poor relationships between the two groups, with either landlord, tenant or even both feeling that they are not being treated fairly. However, while issues can arise, there is plenty that landlords in particular can do to make a tenant feel better about their stay. If a tenant is happier in their residence, then it's likely that a relationship between them and the property's owner will run a lot more smoothly than otherwise.
So, as a new landlord who has just invested in the property market in the UK, how can you make your tenant happy from the off and make sure that you are keeping a smile on their face in order to forge a fantastic working relationship?
According to new research, there is a trend emerging in the buy-to-let market, and it is one that many landlords may want to take notice of, because it could help with forging a connection with tenants.
Tenant insurance provider Endsleigh said that in its new survey, 34 per cent of tenants reported that they had received either a welcome or farewell gift from their landlord, while another 30 per cent said that their landlord had in some way extended an act of kindness to them.
"The easiest and most stress free lettings come when there’s a good working relationship between the landlord and the tenant. Our survey results show it’s important to remain professional as a landlord, but also that tenants appreciate help getting settled into a property," said Endsleigh's lettings and landlords manager Marcus Latchford.
According to the survey, more than a third of tenants would prefer to have a friendly relationship with their landlord rather than just a working relationship, which shows just how far the personal touch can go.
Giving your tenant a gift does not need to mean spending a large amount of money, nor does it need to be anything to lavish. A simple little token item to just show that they are more than a customer will go a long way to helping build a relationship between yourself and the tenant.
Something like a welcome hamper for the tenant when they move in, and even a handwritten note to let them know that you appreciate them can mean a lot to someone who is looking to settle in to a new property. Even something as simple as a bottle of wine in the kitchen can really make a difference and set you apart from other landlords.
Of course, presents and gifts aren't everything, and it can often be better to just give the tenant that helping hand that will help them settle in a little quicker to your property. Moving home is one of the most stressful periods that anyone will go through in their life, and if they know someone is there to help them out, it can mean a lot to them.
When your tenant moves in, pay them a visit after a few days just to see how everything is going. Not only will this make them feel like you care about their welfare, but it will also give you a chance to build a relationship.
Chances are that at this time in their tenancy, they'll still be trying to get themselves settled in, find a place for all their things and generally turn the place into a home. So why not help? Offer the tenant a little bit of DIY expertise, for example. It won't take you long to help them hang a few pictures or lend a little hand when it comes to lifting and rearranging things, after all.
And landlords can really see the benefits of doing something like this and generally being more helpful to their tenants. According to the survey results, 55 per cent of tenants who have not received a specific act of kindness will stay in their property for 24 months or more. However, when it comes to those who have received a gift or an act of kindness, this rises to 70 per cent, showing just how vital a strong friendly relationship between tenant and landlord can be.