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Do you need to like your tenant?

>p>It's a question you may not have thought about before. If you have your first response would probably be long the lines of "Who cares as long as they pay the rent." And if you're a landlord with dozens of properties in your portfolio and staff to manage them for you it's an understandable answer. After all, you're only going to be concerned with the numbers in the profit and loss columns. But for most private landlords it's a question which deserves a little more thought.

First impressions

It is important to have a good impression of your tenant when initially letting out your property. If you have a shortlist of prospective tenants to choose from it's perfectly valid to let personal feelings determine who you will give the tenancy to. For example, if you have two tenants you can't decide between follow your gut instinct. If you like one person above the other it's as good a way of deciding your preferred tenant as any other.

Once the tenancy begins

It's a different story once the tenancy has begun. Whether you like the person or not is immaterial. You still need to be professional whatever your personal feelings. In many ways we’re back to the sentiments expressed in the first paragraph. Who cares if you like the tenant as long as they pay the rent. But to encourage them to pay the rent on time and to look after your property you do need to maintain a professional demeanour.

If you needlessly upset the tenant or don’t respond to any issues they’re having their first response will be to withhold the rent. And it doesn’t matter whether they can legally do so or not. If your relationship has broken down rent payments are likely to do so too.

Why you should build a good relationship with your tenant

If there’s one thing private landlords have learnt is that a happy tenant is usually a good tenant. In other words, if your tenant is happy with the property and has any maintenance issues dealt with promptly, the more likely they are to look after the property. And to pay the rent on time. These people often become long-term tenants providing you with a steady and reliable income stream.

A tenant is more likely to be happy if they perceive their landlord to be approachable, honest and ready to listen. And that comes from having a professional relationship. You must push aside any personal feelings.

A major benefit of this is you can quickly and amicably settle that any potential disputes. Maybe even with a little compromise on both sides. Being able to talk to your tenant, and for the tenant to feel they can approach you, is invaluable.

But when landlord and tenant are at loggerheads it’s easy to let disputes fester and escalate. Disputes can be costly.

Yet often a bit of give and take can nip problems in the bud. By seeing the other sides point of view. That’s harder to do when there is dislike and even mistrust between tenant and landlord. For this reason alone, it’s worthwhile building a rapport with your tenant. Even if you’re not too keen on them personally.

So, do you really need to like your tenant?

In the final analysis no, you don't need to like your tenant. But you do need to have a good relationship. One which is respectful on both sides. No matter what your personal feelings are.

If you have a property to let and want to find good tenants fast, list with MakeUrMove today and join the home of good landlords.

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