Whether you’re renting out your own property for extra income or whether you’re a rental agent, being a landlord is not an easy job. And while good tenants do not necessarily make for good landlords and vice versa, the chances of ensuring a harmonious relationship are improved if each party brings their side.
So what does it mean to be a good landlord? Well, to begin with consider the state of the place you’re about to rent out. If you’ve just had tenants move out – is there any maintenance needed and most importantly, is it clean? No matter how neat and tidy the last tenants were, over time the dirt and grime of everyday living builds up, so if you want to put your best foot forward and attract high-calibre tenants, it’s essential to organise a post occupation cleaning. While you can do this yourself, it’s often better to call in hygiene cleaning specialists like QClean who use professional-grade, environmentally-friendly supplies and equipment to deep clean those often-ignored areas, leaving your property hygienically clean and sanitised, ready for the next family to move in.
Once you know the property is spotless, do a safety and security audit. Sadly, living in South Africa makes this a have-to-have as opposed to a nice-to-have – are the various security features well-maintained and optimised? Check that doors and windows are sufficiently secured; test the alarm and armed response; and make sure that no trees or shrubs are interfering with electric fencing if you have any. Also, run a check to avoid any personal injury incidents – are hand rails and banisters sturdy, are there any broken tiles that may cause falls? When tenants know that their new home is safe and secure, it goes a long way towards forging a healthy relationship.
After ensuring the building is clean, safe and secure, it’s time to brush up on interpersonal skills, beginning with communication. Too often the only time tenants and landlords connect is when there’s a problem, by which time issues may have escalated unnecessarily, so be proactive and make time to meet before problems occur. And if you have preferred handymen, plumbers or hygiene cleaning specialists, be sure to share those contact details with your tenants, that way if something does go wrong and they have to call someone in, it will be someone you trust as opposed to someone unknown with questionable service levels.
In addition to keeping the lines of communication open, a good landlord is also dependable and trustworthy – if you arrange a meeting, be there and be on time; if you say you’re going to fix something, do it and do so timeously. If tenants know they can rely on you, they’re more inclined to mirror this behaviour themselves making it a win-win situation for all concerned. So, go ahead and be the best landlord you can be, and don’t forget to call QClean for all your post occupation cleaning needs.