As a buy-to-let investor, one of the most important things to remember is that you need to keep your tenants happy. After all, they are your customers, and without them your investment prospects can fall to pieces, so their happiness will be the difference between the success and failure of your portfolio.
So just how are landlords in the private rented sector doing at this time with regards to this? And what could they be doing to improve the sentiment of their tenants?
Are landlords performing well in tenants' eyes?
According to the latest figures released this past week (November 20th), the majority of tenants feel that their landlord is doing a good job in general. Landlords, a bit like estate agents, can sometimes get a bad press, but most seem to be doing a good job according to the public.
In Saga Home Insurance's latest poll of adult renters in the UK, 77 per cent of all people who live in privately rented accommodation rate their landlord as either good or excellent. On the flipside, only eight per cent said that they would give their landlord a poor rating.
Sue Green, head of home insurance at Saga, said: "In the age of housing shortages and escalating rents, landlords have been getting some bad headlines, but the research shows the extent to which this portrayal is unfair."
However, is there still more that landlords could be doing in order to make sure their tenants are as happy as possible?
What can landlords improve for their tenants?
While Saga reported that landlords are generally doing an excellent job of making sure tenants are happy and content with their property, it said that there is still more that they can be doing to make sure the relationship is even better.
"Anyone who is a landlord should consider whether there might be more that they could do to make things easier for their tenants, which will be beneficial to all involved," said Ms Green, as the report stated that some 56 per cent of all tenants believe that their landlord could improve their service, even if they already rate them as good or excellent.
So what are the main things that tenants feel landlords fall short on? And how can they make sure that they do all they can to improve?
The biggest concern for tenants was when landlords are hard to contact and get in touch with, a complaint that some 23 per cent made about the owner of their property.
Fortunately for landlords, it is easy to rectify this issue. All you need to do is make sure that tenants have a number that they can contact you on at short notice. It doesn't need to be your personal number, after all, no one wants people calling 24/7, but having a landlord mobile that you keep on you during the day and answering all messages and emails quickly are easy ways to make sure that your tenants aren't left worrying about problems.
Other ways that tenants think landlords can do better include using a high quality of tradesmen when it comes to maintenance of the property (something that some 21 per cent of tenants complain about), or even just making yourself personable.
Most landlords, even if they are doing everything right, very rarely see their tenants. However, by making yourself available, perhaps popping in to check how people are getting on, and generally being nice and friendly, you make people feel more like they are living in a home rather than simply renting a house. And this makes for a happy agreement for all.