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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Improving communication with your tenants

When investing in the buy-to-let sector it is important to have a good relationship with your tenants, and that often requires good communication. 

If you communicate well, both parties will understand their responsibilities, know that the other is keeping to theirs, and the tenancy will typically run more smoothly, which is what is required if you are looking to keep a tenant in your property on a long-term basis.

Neil Cobbold, chief operating officer of PayProp UK, commented: "If tenants are clear on what to expect, they are more likely to be satisfied and stay in the property for longer – at least as long as those expectations are then met. This can help reduce arrears and void periods for letting agents and landlords."

According to PayProp, providing better information to renters about what they should expect from landlords and letting agents can ensure greater customer satisfaction. 

The lettings payment automation provider says that educating tenants on the roles and expectations of each party can reduce confusion - and also reduce the chance of disputes.

But with research by the National Landlords Association (NLA) revealing four out five - 79% - tenants require better information on the roles and responsibilities of landlords and letting agents, clearly more needs to be done in this area. 

Cobbold commented: "Proactively educating tenants on the rental process from the outset can save agents time from having to mediate unnecessary disputes between landlords and tenants. 

"Some key areas where tenants may lack understanding relate to financial obligations and property upkeep. It’s very important to make sure tenants are kept informed throughout the tenancy. Often tenants are set wondering: ‘Has my rent been received?’, ‘How much do I owe?’, ‘Is my deposit safe?’, ‘Is it my responsibility?’ and ‘Who pays for repair work?’"

The How to Rent guide is a valuable resource, and yet a study by the NLA found that 67% of almost 900 tenants surveyed said that they were not aware of the government's How to Rent guide which is a legal obligation for them to receive one at the start of a tenancy designed to help them understand their rights and responsibilities.

Cobbold continued: “Agents could do more to promote the How to Rent guide to consumers. It's a free government resource that is updated regularly and includes a lot the information renters may need," he explains.

“By making sure tenants not only read but understand this guide, letting agencies can manage expectations from the outset of a tenancy and save time and money on creating their own educational materials.”

Aside from promoting the How to Rent guide, letting agents and indeed landlords could take additional steps to help educate tenants and improve renter satisfaction.

Cobbold adds that key lease terms such as payment dates, tenancy lengths and notice periods should all be set out in a clear and accessible manner so tenants know what is expected of them and when.

He added: “A concerted effort from agencies and landlords to provide renters with more clarity could make for a more harmonious and efficient private rented sector.” 

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    Dear Neil, In that case why don’t we petition Gov via NLA to make it a mandatory requirement for a tenant to attend a course and pay a licence fee to allow them to rent a property. On this course they will learn that they have to pay the rent as well as well as basic requirements in living in a property such as cleaning, basic maintenance, gardening yes the grass needs to be cut along with hedges, avoiding damage. Understanding that by not ventilating the property creates mould which is exasperated by hanging washing over the radiators. Avoiding unnecessary wear and tear that would create an additional cost that really should be covered by the deposit (although we know DPS will not pay it). Demonstrate that they have no criminal convictions and be of sound character. Be responsible for reporting to the landlord repairs as soon as it occurs. Be present when workmen attend. Pay a licence fee of around £800 every 5 yrs. Conclusion tenants proactively educated both parties now know what is expected of them. No excuses

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    Excellent idea Jahan

     
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    A good relationship with tenants ? I totally agree, but a relationship is a 2 way thing.

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    Well said Mr Khan and congratulations for putting the record straight, the Regulations are all one sided stacked against the LL, of Course we pay for all, all. Council pays for nothing and load us with requirements driving up our costs then turn around and have the cheek to complain about high rents that they caused. Shelter also has no input into Private Sector Housing as well as other lame duck organisations then shouting from the roof top about Private Landlords should conduct their business and how we need to be educated, education was wasted on them if all they can do is complain about everyone else and live off our backs.

  • Paul Barrett

    There is no doubt that education is a Wonderful thing and that both the existing LL and tenants would greatly benefit from it.
    BUT the vast majority of the PRS is satisfied with the PRS offer.
    There is of course a very small minority of LL and tenants that behave in criminal fashion.
    Councils should be rigorously enforcing existing regulations which are more than sufficient to get rid of criminal LL.
    Lack of enforcement is a national disgrace.
    Councils have stupidly responded by introducing even more ridiculous regulations which again will fail to be enforced.
    Nobody is suggesting for one moment that Councils do not face very difficult problems in trying to enforce existing regulations.
    But difficulty is no excuse to then come up with even more useless regulations that WON'T be enforced.
    Enforcement costs a lot of money and clearly the funds for Council enforcement HAVEN'T been there.
    Ring - fenced funding for Councils is required to endeavour that the PRS complies with regulations.
    Give Councils the opportunity to carry out relevant enforcement and the minor issues there are will be addressed.
    Unfortunately the PRS is a political football and too many wish to use it for perceived political advantage.
    The likes of GR and Shelter should be sidelined as they have caused much damage to the PRS.
    Most tenants receive an acceptable service and clearly nothing more needs to be done as far as that goes.
    It is reckoned that about 2% of the PRS provides a less than adequate service bordering on the criminal.
    This situation obviously needs to be addressed BUT not at the cost of the 98% of the PRS.
    Both the the LL and tenant should be treated fairly.
    This does not happen all of the time though mostly it does.

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