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3 traits every good landlord should have

Rental Property Property Management

Property Brokers 14 Mar 2017

Couple shaking hands with a property manager.

Mutual respect. It’s the key to any good relationship, from family and friends, to partners and business stakeholders. The same is true for a landlord and their tenants—without shared understanding and empathy, there is no chance for a mutually beneficial partnership to bloom.

Read more: Avoid risky tenants and maximise your rental portfolio

If you want to get the most out of your rental property, to keep the best, most respectful and most consistent tenants, these are the three traits that you need to have.

 


 

1. Proactive with problems

 

As a landlord, you’re a business owner. You might not own a shop or sell any goods, but you are providing a service and a product to the people of New Zealand. 

Just like any other business, a better quality product results in better clients—your tenants.

Take mould and dampness as an example. It’s a common problem for renters, with about half of all tenants reporting them as issues to Statistics New Zealand in 2014—but many landlords don’t take it seriously enough.

A reactive landlord would take steps to resolve the problem as quickly as possible—certainly a plus in the eyes of their tenants. A proactive landlord, on the other hand, would make sure that mould and dampness was never a problem in the first place.

Keep an open line of communication with your tenants; know their issues and concerns, try to predict future problems and resolve them before they come to light.

 

Wondering about whether your tenant should be fronting up on maintenance expenses? Read our guide.

 


 

2. Courteous and communicative

 

Whether you operate alone or through a property manager, you need to ensure that your tenants are both capable and comfortable with discussing their experiences with you. Property managers are particularly helpful here, as a major part of their job, training and experience revolves around regular tenant communication and problem resolution.

Without good communication or reasonable responses to tenant requests, you could find that important information is withheld as a result—not maliciously, but simply because your tenants’ experiences with talking to you have been negative and they'd rather limit it as much as possible.

For example, a landlord with good communication channels with a tenant might be informed of a build-up of water in the yard after a recent rainstorm—indicating that there might be groundwater issues.

A landlord who ignores or dismisses tenants’ observations and concerns, however, might not get that piece of information.

Your tenants can be the eyes, ears and custodians of your asset, but you’ll only benefit if you have regular, courteous communication.

 

Find out what else a property manager could do for your rental portfolio.

 


 

3. Reasonable with rents

 

Nobody is fooling themselves—rents can (and often will) go up. But the way that you go about increasing the rent can be the difference between a content renter and a furious tenant.

Consider this: one AA Insurance survey from the end of 2016 found that 72 per cent of renters were concerned about rent increases happening more than once a year. A further 71 per cent were worried that needed repairs wouldn’t be conducted without the rent having to go up. Those were easily the two most significant concerns from local tenants. What should this tell you?

It tells you that people expect the rent to go up—but not frequently—and are worried that reporting problems might result in their rent going up.

The answer here is to review your rents carefully and considerately. Aim to only do it once a year, and make sure future maintenance costs are factored in to avoid having to increase the rent suddenly.

 

If you aren't sure how much you should be charging for rent, consider getting a free rental appraisal.

 


 

Being a great landlord isn’t a tough sell. Longer tenancies by better tenants, as well as a smoother wealth-building journey overall, makes it a clear choice for those who are serious about their investments. 

Stop worrying about getting the wrong tenants. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need with our free ebook below.

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