Lettings: “Tenants are moving less often.”
Inflated moving costs, high-interest mortgages and ever-increasing property prices are all conspiring to keep tenants in situ for longer. If managed correctly, this brings benefits for landlords and for tenants.
So what should landlords be doing during a long tenancy?
- Support tenants to access the right energy tariffs. With increases in energy prices and changes to tariffs, it is important that tenants can move to the provider that works for them. As they are not the property owner, they may be unsure about changing providers or be unable to change without the correct paperwork. Talk to your tenants about their energy usage patterns and support a move if necessary; you could save them a pretty penny and earn favour.
- Check safety certificates are up-to-date. With a rolling tenancy, it’s easy to lose track of when certificates were last issued. Gas supplies need checking annually; electricity every five years. An EPC report is valid 10 years, and even though the Landlord reform bill has not made achieving E-rating or higher a legal requirement, it is still good practice to provide an environmentally-sound building.
- Build a good relationship. Over time, a positive relationship can grow between tenant and Landlord. Communicating your long-term plans for the property can make tenants feel settled. In turn, they will be more likely to give a lengthy notice period if they do have plans to move on. Both parties gain security.
- Property maintenance. Whilst it is important to schedule regular visits to inspect your investment, if you can establish good routes of communication with tenants, they will likely flag up any issues within a good time frame. Furthermore, long term tenants are more likely to invest in your property. This could be fresh decorating or improving the garden.
- Wear-and-tear reduced. Tenants planning to stay for several years will cause less incremental damage as they care for their home’s ongoing appearance. This could be looking after carpets or employing a regular cleaner. This can reduce the inevitable wear-and-tear costs at the end of a tenancy.
- Schedule annual rent reviews. Having a long-term tenant shouldn’t mean that you miss out on current market rates. Finding a new tenant at a higher rent needs to be weighed against the losses of a void period and agency fees. Suggest to your existing tenant a smaller increase than market levels and you both win! Of course, this will be seen more positively if you are already addressing the points above!
Monks provide a Full Management Service and can handle all the above on your behalf. If you have any specific requirements, we’re happy to adapt our services to suit them. Our role is to represent the Landlord and to maximise your investment.
Contact Monks’ Lettings Manager, Lucinda Thompson for details.
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