A comprehensive credit and reference check and thorough inventory (accepted and signed by both parties) will go a long way to ensuring that you have filled your property with a reasonable tenant. But tenant issues will always arise and how you handle them could ultimately have a significant effect on your income and stress levels. So here are some tips for making sure they are solved with the minimum of fuss:
Make yourself available: Remember that you are running a business. Your tenants should be able to reach you during regular business hours and expect quick responses to messages and calls.
Emergency protocol: Sounds a little dramatic but at the start of the tenancy you should establish with your tenant what constitutes an emergency and how they can get in touch with you. This will prevent unnecessary calls in the middle of the night and minimise any strain on the landlord-tenant relationship.
Listen carefully and do not jump to conclusions: Make sure you know exactly what the issue is. If, for example, you have had a small problem with mould in the bathroom in the past, do not dismiss complaints about mould as a minor issue. It may have returned much more aggressively and in other places. Ask lots of questions.
Be professional in words and action: Always be calm and reasonable, even if the tenant is irate. Know your rights and responsibilities and those of your tenant (Rentify’s free guide will tell you all you need to know). Keep a record of every important document and telephone call. Finally, make sure your professional attitude extends to treating the tenant and property with respect by addressing issues as promptly as possible. If you do not appear to care about the state of the property, the tenant will feel they need not bother either. Lastly, always remember you cannot turn up to inspect a property unannounced. Get the permission of the tenant at least 24 hours notice in advance.