Research released this week showed that a huge 84% of private rental tenants were happy in their properties.
Figures compiled by the English Housing Survey also showed that 72% of tenants were satisfied with the way their landlords carried out repairs or dealt with maintenance issues.
All of which goes a long way to dispelling the ongoing myth that the private rental sector is full of rogue landlords.
Happy tenants means less hassle and fewer costs. Replacing them takes time and costs money, so all landlords should be pondering how to keep tenants longer.
BE AVAILABLEWhether that's to directly respond to any queries your tenant may have or by going through your managing agent, make yourself available. One thing tenants hate is being ignored, whether intentional or not, so ensuring you are on hand to deal with any issues quickly will help keep a smile on their face.
FIX IT QUICK AND FIX IT RIGHT
If something needs dealing with on the maintenance front then deal with it quickly. From serious issues like boiler failures to minor ones like small leaks or a kitchen appliance not working, ensure you deal with the problem quickly but also with reliable tradespeople and good quality products.
If a tenant thinks you don't care about your property then why should they? Give them a reason to look after it by looking after it yourself.
TRUST YOUR TENANT
This is easier said than done, of course, particularly if scepticism and suspicion comes naturally to you.
But if your tenant or tenants have been screened and vetted correctly then start as you mean to go on and put your faith in them.
That means keeping away from the property and allowing them the space and peace to enjoy it and assuming the rent will be paid in full and on time unless they give you reason to think otherwise!
We all experience cash flow problems from time to time, but if your tenant is late with the rent for the first time and it comes five months into the tenancy, it would be wise to be lenient.
While making it clear that you expect the rent on time and in full every month, a little compassion can go a long way and will make the tenant and landlord relationship stronger going forward.
EXPLAIN YOUR DECISIONS
Don't simply dismiss requests your tenant makes, even if they are frequent and unrealistic.
Take each one on its own merits and consider it. A request for a new carpet might seem like an unnecessary expense, but if your tenant is a good one, it could cost you a whole lot more trying to find another one.
And if you do decline a request, explain why you have done so. Reasoning counts for a lot.
THINK LONG AND HARD ABOUT A RENT INCREASE
While legislation tightening like Section 24 of the Finance (no. 2) Act 2015, dubbed the 'Tenant Tax', has forced landlords to take a long, hard look at the way their portfolios function, increasing rent with a happy tenant in situ should only be considered if it is an absolute necessity.
If they decide the increase is not for them and give notice, you could be looking at further expense when bidding to attract a new tenant to the table.
For more advice on letting out your property, speak to your local Martin & Co office.