I had a landlord call to pick my brains a couple of years back. He was becoming a little despondent with his property portfolio as it seemed to be struggling with a higher than usual turnover of tenants. The affect of this was that it was reducing his much needed cash flow.
"Why?", you might ask. Well, there are a couple of reasons.
Firstly, because a regular turnover of tenant means that as a private landlord you need to regularly spend time and money getting your vacant property out there to potential tenants, as well as having to carry out multiple viewings on a frequent basis. Once you have found a potential tenant you then have to carry out the necessary credit checks and Right to Rent checks. And, pending these potential tenants come out of these checks smelling of roses, and you don't have to go through the whole process again, there is the Check-In and conditional report to contend with.
Secondly, because whilst you are spending your valuable time and money finding new tenants, it is very possible the property will be sitting empty, gathering dust, costing you council tax, and bringing in no rent at all.
My advice to him was very simple, and borne from many years of experience working at Redbrick Properties.
- Be proactive, not reactive. The more you communicate with your tenants the more you will know how happy they are in your property. Regular communication will help build a professional relationship where they know they can contact you with any issues they may have and you will be there to help. By being there for your tenants and responding quickly to any problems they may have you will build up a bond of trust. Why would they want to risk moving on to a landlord that may simply be reactive, at the very best?
- Set a realistic rent. By researching the rental market and setting a rent that is competitive with similar properties in your area you will be making your property a more attractive option to a potential tenant from the off. Setting a high rent may bring you more money each tenancy, but not if it is left empty whilst potential tenants are renting with the more reasonably priced competition. The extra rent will be irrelevant if you are frequently left with an overpriced, empty property.
- Let it roll. By letting a fixed term tenancy roll on to a periodic tenancy you are not asking your tenants to weigh up their options every six months (for example). If they are happy with their property and the service you are providing, they will be happy to roll with their proactive, understanding landlord for as long as it takes.
As it happens, the landlord in question asked us to find a tenant for his vacant property, and as a result of practicing what we preach, we still have that same tenant in the property to this very day. Plus, we are now fully managing his property portfolio whilst keeping his cash flow healthy.
Redbrick Properties are always on hand to offer landlords advice as well as an award winning service. We'd love to here from you so please feel free to get in contact.