It can often be the case that referrals play an important part in helping landlords reduce the length of time between vacancies.
After all, a happy tenant is more likely to recommend a great, attentive and fair landlord to friends than one who has left feeling disgruntled. This can mean you don’t have any void periods in between tenancies, something that can impact your cash flow. What’s more, if you retrieve the full security deposit back, this is generally because there is no damage to the property beyond simple wear and tear – making it a win-win for both landlord and tenant.
Here are some ways to make sure every tenancy ends with happy renters, a full deposit refunded and a clean, damage-free property:
Don’t skimp on screening. A simple background check should include references from prior landlords, which can give you some insight into how the property was left and if there was any damage or issues with the deposit refund before you decide to offer them a lease.
Make sure the terms of the lease are clear. Most tenants are happy to abide by terms and conditions if it means they receive all of their money back – so it’s important to ensure they know exactly what these are.
Include legal information. Tenants may also want information regarding their rights when it comes to handing over a security deposit, where it is stored, how it is refunded, and how to raise and solve any disputes regarding a refund upfront. You can help them feel more comfortable and strike a chord of honesty from the outset by including this information in their tenancy agreement and rental welcome pack.
Conduct a thorough inventory. Prior to tenants moving in, make sure there is a property inventory carried out that details what is included (any furnishings or white goods, for example), along with the condition of the property. Both parties should agree on this before entering a tenancy so it is understood what condition the property should be left in at the end of it.
Be available for maintenance. Make it easy for your tenants to report repairs, damage and regular maintenance, as this can deal with any issues that could mount up and cause more substantial damage that requires money from the deposit to fix later on. Plus, if you demonstrate that you are serious about keeping your property in good condition, your tenants will be more inclined to as well.
Keep a paper trail. As you should with everything pertaining to your rental, make sure any maintenance and/or repairs are documented and that both parties have a copy to lower the chances of a dispute being raised.
Carry out an inspection. You may wish to inspect the property every six months or every year to make sure your tenants are happy, and that there are no issues with the property. You might spot something they haven’t noticed and can take the opportunity to fix it before it becomes an issue.
Inspect the property when the tenant leaves. Think of it as an exit interview for your lease – you have the opportunity to receive and give feedback to your tenants and assess the general state of things! You can spot issues that might go beyond the remit of wear and tear and ask your tenants to make some arrangements in order to receive their full deposit back.
It doesn’t take much to help tenants receive the full security deposit back, and there are many benefits for you as a landlord as well. Refunding the full amount means there is nothing to deduct for damages, ergo your property is in the same condition it was at the beginning of the tenancy and therefore (hopefully) turnkey ready. This means less time and money spent by you in order to fix any repairs, and that you can have back-to-back tenancies with no break in your rental income if you can line up tenants quickly.