How well should you look after your tenants?

“Let them have the bare minimum!”

“Make them more self-sufficient.”

“Are they expecting you to nanny them?”

These were the responses amongst Toby’s friends when they were waiting to get on the pitch for 6-side footie one evening and Toby had apologised for being a bit late on account of having to change a broken shower hose for his tenants.

There are landlords who go absolutely by the letter of the law and tenancy agreement. No more and no less. Others actually renege on many of the basic things. However, Toby was of the mind that once you have found good, respectful, considerate tenants, you should do everything possible to hang onto them. Go that extra mile.

One friend had kept the rent the same for a decade. What he had lost in potential profit, he figured he had saved in refurbishments he didn’t need to make and also the calls on his time from his quite well paid job. It’s a balancing act. 

Some tenants of course do take to an extreme exactly what they demand. Some of it is ignorance about just what you are getting for your money when you choose to rent. It certainly shouldn’t include being able to phone the landlord at two in the morning with an urgent problem that involves changing a light bulb!

In the days when you could get away with having battery powered smoke alarms installed in a property, as a landlord, you would have to be proactive and change the battery for your tenants even though this is a two minute job that requires no skill!

Toby had learned this the hard way because one nice group from Southern Europe had got fed up with the bleep that the dying battery made the alarm emit and were too disorganised to go out and buy a replacement so they just took the battery out! A landlord has to stay on top of the maintenance of safety features so off you went for a pack of Duracell otherwise, with a snap inspection you could be in trouble.

And when you furnish a place with some nice standard kit from one of those furniture-for-lettings organisations and your cheery and decent tenants ask for an extra wardrobe or a firmer mattress what do you do? I know the answer but it isn’t what everyone does…

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