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The good landlord meets the good tenant

Tenants just want a home.

Landlords just want a good tenant.

What is a ‘good’ tenant and what is ‘home’?

As a tenant all you want is a home, your requirements are simple. Location, size and cost are the driving factors. These are essential factors controlling your decision, but you also want a modern, safe home and the knowledge that you will be looked after in exchange for a fair price that you will agree to pay.

It is your home and at the same time a business transaction. On the other side is the owner and the party to which you are entering into a contract with, your landlord or landlady. There is no consideration on your part on how they came to be such, nor should there be.

The first tick on the list is does this property fit your essential requirements? Next comes the personal circumstance balance, and this is key. Not all tenants that take properties do so because it is perfect for them, sometimes it is a decision based on time constraints and most of the time based on cost.

We are amid an ever-changing environment with the private rental sector, arguably the fastest growing housing sector, and it cannot keep up. What this means is pressure on all parties, the rental sector is quick with a contractual turnaround much more rapid than the purchase/sale environment, but this leads to hasty decisions and sometimes increases costs all around. Landlords were once able to trust that everything was taken care of when handing over to an agent, legal requirements, contracts created professionally, and tenants introduced that were looking for a long-term agreement. Perfect, you found a ‘good’ tenant and hopefully, the tenant has found the home they wanted.

Speed and pressure mean that is not always the case, a tenant may move in, realise quite quickly that they are not happy and almost immediately start looking elsewhere. This has an impact on landlord costs and the tenant costs, on top of that it becomes a very stressful time, I doubt many people choose to move once every six months.

So now you are a landlord facing the tenant search all over again after a brief time and more costs, however, does this mean that the tenant is not a ‘good’ tenant? There are, in fact, many reasons why tenancies come to an end. In the eyes of the landlord if the tenancy terms have been followed then there is no problem and this turnover should be factored in as a cost, the goal is to find a tenant that fits with the property and to keep them.

If we look at the type of transactions that take place it is easy to see that emotions are a huge part of the contract where a tenant lets from either a landlord or an agent. The agent will view this as a business transaction whilst understanding from their experience that emotions play a huge part, for the private landlord both may be present, but the priority should be not to lose money whilst maintaining the property for both the tenant and your overall investment. The accidental landlord may be at a disadvantage here when trying to balance emotions with a business need and not fully understanding all the costs involved. 

What is a ‘good’ home? Is it a feeling? A sense of security, the ability to relax safe in the knowledge that if there is a problem it will be dealt with. With all that in mind then a good home needs a good landlord or agent, the tenant has chosen to rent the property considering a number of requirements already and the remaining things come down to the landlord or agent. That maintenance issue will be picked up and dealt with, there won’t be a sudden price increase and to all intents and purposes, there are no plans to sell the house or end the tenancy. The tenant trusts in this and the landlord wants to deliver on that understanding. Of course, it does not always work out that way and the government plans to introduce regulation that may well reduce the security of tenancies.

Assumptions, tenants don’t care about the actual property and landlords are only interested in making money. In my experience this isn’t true, the things already discussed highlight the reasoning behind such transactions. In truth, there is an even mix of tenants in the private rental sector that 'do and don’t' understand their obligations, and an even mix of landlords that do and don’t understand their obligations as landlords. The failure lies in educating both, we are currently facing many key changes to the private rental sector including tax changes and fee bans, legislative changes to safety inspections and obligations for right to rent.

More than a third of landlords are unaware of the mortgage tax reliefs changes implemented in April 2017 according to a recent survey by YouGov, commissioned by The Mortgage Works (Nationwide Building Society’s buy-to-let arm). An alarming statistic meaning landlords no longer fully understand their costs and are likely to face an increase in the coming years, the natural progression is either, they absorb the cost, or they pass it on. The third option is to sell, resulting in higher rents and less stock and potentially declining property values.

Despite all this, the fact remains that tenants are more than a label, as are landlords. They are real people facing a real dilemma, to rent or not to rent, and to let or not to let. There is a large element of trust in these transactions when deciding who to rent from and who to let to, but the ‘good’ landlord and the ‘good’ tenant do really exist.

To find good tenants fast, list your rental property with MakeUrMove.

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