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Landlord-Tenant Disputes And How To Avoid Them
Being a landlord isn’t all plain sailing by any stretch of the imagination. You’re renting a house to people who are essentially strangers, so there are bound to be a few ups and downs along the way. However, maintaining a good relationship with your residents and avoiding tenant disputes is the best way to help things continue on as smooth a trajectory as possible. If you are about to list your property via an online property agent, there are a few very effective ways to help foster this relationship.
As a landlord, undertaking a diligent check of the property before tenants move in may well sound obvious, but many are keen just to get the cash coming in as soon as possible. Have a thorough check around for any damage or repairs which are needed as well as the state of the furnishings. Is everything in good condition? This won’t just ensure you know how your property is doing, but it will also show tenants you care about the place and that you as a landlord take care of it – and will go some way towards taking care of them.
It’s for this reason that the same checks should be applied to tenants. Make sure you have all of the references needed to form an impression of exactly who you are renting it out to. This could make the difference between a house full of young professionals, or a death metal band who just want to party all night long. One thing you can do is call previous landlords for a reference and check out what their previous tenancy was like and if any significant problems arose.
Again, it sounds simple, but both the landlord and the tenants must be one hundred percent clear of the obligations stated in the tenancy agreement. This means carrying out repairs in a timely manner, giving your tenants written notice when you need to enter the property and any other explicit stipulations which it contains.
A good landlord-tenant relationship is truly the foundation you are looking for when it comes to those living in your property. Things like Christmas cards or regular communication is absolutely essential, helping establish a face and a personality for both parties. Always make sure you respond quickly to any queries or requests. However, the tenant should also be aware that you can’t be there to reply immediately at four in the morning if the request can wait until the next working day.
Usually, the main cause of disputes is a failure to rectify problems or issues promptly. Tenants are well within their rights to ask for repairs or maintenance works to the property. But they have to give you a reasonable timeframe in which to respond and arrange to complete them. They are not within their rights to demand them fixed instantly, unless it’s a major issue which could cause immediate harm either to them or to the property itself. Regarding repairs, always chat to them and keep them in the loop about what is going on and when. This will help build a strong relationship and avoid tenant disputes based on mutual communication.
Tenant Fees Ban
As of June 1st 2019, the Tenant Fees Ban came into effect, banning landlords or agencies for charging money to carry out reference and credit checks. Make sure your tenants are aware of this – they will appreciate it very much and it may go some small way towards establishing a solid ground between both parties right at the start of the tenancy. It goes without saying that unlawful charges and exorbitant fees are a certain way to start a tenant dispute.
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