How to be a good landlord

Written by view.com.au in Investing

A landlord inspects her laptop

With the population of renters shifting away from the traditional younger generations to include families and older demographics, it is more important than ever for landlords to get things right from the start. With both landlords and renters acting in the best interests of each other, Australia can begin to accommodate a new attitude towards renting where for those who can’t or don’t want to buy a home, renting remains a positive aspect of their lives. How to be a good landlord? Simple. Your property is your business and you don’t get lazy when running a business.

Being a good landlord means being a good business owner

Being a good business owner takes significant time, empathy and initiative. The attitude of investing in a home and watching the rent come in is a fossilised one that only brings trouble for you as a landlord. Australian investors are increasingly aware that leasing a property, regardless of whether you own one or several investment properties, is akin to owning and running a business.

If you view your tenants as your customers and your property as your service and product, then your approach will change to the benefit of both you and the tenant. A tenant/customer can easily move on to a different business, so what is it about yours that is attractive and will turn your customer into a longterm customer? One way to help strengthen goodwill in your product is by using a third party.

Use a third party to eliminate risks

Of course, it is hard to separate yourself emotionally from your investment property, which is why it is valuable to use an agency to act as a barrier between you and your tenant. Consider them an asset in your business, as they find tenants so that you don’t have to, manage the property so that you don’t lose time and money on these aspects of management and also develop relationships with your tenants and yourself. If they don’t do these things, it’s time to find a new agency. Property managers often have a huge portfolio of properties that they have to manage, which can impinge on their abilities as a manager. You need to find an agency that invests in enough high-quality staff members that they are not stressed and can give your investment property the attention it deserves.

Provide proactive management

Don’t wait for complaints to come in. Conduct regular inspections as well as regular surveys for your tenants, so that you can find out whether there are any issues in the home or aspects of the home that could be improved. While the repairs are necessary and should be carried out as quickly as you can, any suggestions made by tenants to improve the home should be acknowledged as well. Even if you can’t afford to carry out these improvements when they are suggested, let your tenant know that it is on your list for future improvements and be proactive in your communications with the tenant to make sure they are aware of your attention towards their property. This can be helpful in finding and keeping longterm tenants.

Finding longterm tenants helps you as a landlord

Longterm tenants often have a good relationship with their landlord, even if they also use an agency to communicate repairs, fees etc. A longterm tenant will become invested in the state of your home as they will not have a short-term view of the property. A tenant with a long-term view of your property will point out the need for repairs sooner, be more understanding of your budget and time to address these repairs, take better care of the property so that cosmetic repairs are less common and will make sure they pay rent on time. Through being proactive and seeking out longterm tenants, you are setting yourself up to be a better landlord as a consequence.

Stay on top of the market

When running a business of any kind, it is important to know about the state of your industry, what customers want and what your competition is doing. Similarly, when owning an investment property, it is important to stay aware of fluctuations in the market to accurately gauge whether you need to increase rent to make sure you can afford to run your investment efficiently. While it may not be necessary, providing evidence of this to your tenants can support your rent increases and help you retain them as longterm tenants.