Being a good landlord makes the rental process easier for tenants and landlords alike. If you’ve ever been a tenant, you’ll know that a landlord has the potential to make or break a tenancy. If you’ve ever been a landlord, you’ll understand how difficult it can be to know what you should be doing to ensure the best rental experience for both you and your tenant.
We spoke to nearly 300 tenants and landlords across New Zealand to get their thoughts on what makes a good landlord, and here are the results.
As a landlord, maintaining good communication with your tenants is vital towards creating a positive experience. There is an entire range of things that both need to communicate, including:
- changes in rent, and even
- termination of the tenancy.
If landlords do not properly communicate with their tenants about these aspects, then they are making life difficult for the tenants and they are quite possibly in breach of the lease. Here are some of the communication tips we received from our NZ landlords and tenants:
- Make sure your tenants get the message or your efforts do not matter. Wait for a confirmation text or some sort of reply, and try to send follow-up messages.
- Respond quickly to messages from tenants. Even if you aren’t going to deal with the issue or request immediately, let them know when you will.
There’s almost nothing more annoying than having something in your home that doesn’t work, and having to wait an unreasonable length of time for it to be fixed is even more frustrating. By sorting out a solution, and doing so in a timely manner, you’re ensuring that:
- your tenants can get back to enjoying the property sooner, rather than later.
- your tenants will continue to inform you of issues as soon as they arise. Saving yourself from future expenses if issues worsen.
If you do not get onto repairs quickly, remember that it isn’t just the value of the tenancy that is spiraling downwards, but also the value of your property. Here are some of the advice that our NZ landlords and tenants gave us on quick repairs:
- When your tenants notify you about something that needs repairing, get onto it as quickly as possible. Waiting it out could lead to a Tenancy Tribunal order or a bigger problem.
- Let your tenants know exactly when the repair will take place as well as any other information that will make them feel more included in the process. If it will require someone to be home, tell them. If it will be a noisy job, let them know.
Rent can be a huge expense for tenants, and they want to know that they aren’t paying an unfair amount. Most tenants will be aware that:
- realistically, a rental property is an investment for you and you will want to see some return from that.
But, they’ll also want to know that you aren’t being unfairly demanding in the rent that you set. At the end of the day, if you’re setting exorbitantly high rent, tenants aren’t going to want to stick around for long.
When you’re setting rent, or evaluating an existing rent, make sure that you:
- do your research. You can’t set an unreasonably high rent, compared to the market rent for similar properties in your area.
If you do this, you risk your tenants leaving, or even taking you to the Tenancy Tribunal.
Giving tenants space
The fourth most mentioned aspect by our NZ landlords and tenants was that a good landlord had the ability to be there when things were needed to be done, but ultimately – they left their tenants alone.
This might be a little bit counter-intuitive, but there’s nothing more annoying than constantly being harassed by a landlord. Being allowed to enjoy the property in peace is an important aspect of being a tenant. Nobody wants to live in a property where it feels like they’ve got an overbearing parent constantly looking over their shoulder. Make sure you’re available when your tenants need you, and when you feel you need to get involved in the tenancy, but make sure you’re giving them plenty of space too.
These definitely aren’t the only attributes that make a good landlord. There’s always something new to think about with every new tenant, and every tenant expects something different from their landlord. But, by being aware of what your tenants want from you, you’ve already got a strong foundation for what it means to be a good landlord.