Finding the perfect buy-to-let property is an exciting time for a landlord, but if this is the first time that you have rented out a property, it can be difficult to understand what is required. The best way to figure out how to keep your tenants happy, however, is just to listen to them, and put yourself in their shoes.

Would you live here?

If you intend to let a property that you think could need ‘doing up’ before you’d be happy to live there yourself, then it may be a good idea to carry out any touch-ups before putting it on the market.

Bad paintwork, lifted floorboards and general disrepair are all things that could lead to dissatisfied tenants. If a house or flat is in good condition when tenants move in, however, they will be more likely to want to keep it that way. If it isn’t, some tenants may not have the same desire to look after the house.

Keep paperwork in order

Poorly completed, half-completed or missing paperwork could stand any landlord in bad stead with potential tenants. Having to be chased for paperwork, receipts for deposits or anything else isn’t likely to give the most professional impression, and could get your agreement off on the wrong foot. Even if you think that there is too much paperwork being given to the tenant, this is could prove a far better scenario than not enough.

Maintenance and gardening

Depending your type of property, a maintenance fee may need to be paid, which is taken into account when calculating rent costs. As the owner of the property, it is your responsibility to make sure that the outside of the building and the garden is being maintained, as they should be. As a result, your tenant will likely be grateful that the property is kept in good order, and they may even be further encouraged to do their bit too.

Don’t ignore the tenant

It’s understandable that, sometimes, things can go wrong with a property. Instead of arguing every point with your tenant, though, you could ensure you keep their trust by arranging to fix any problems. If you are worried that they will take advantage, then you could always organise regular inspections to keep an eye on the condition of the property. Just remember that while it is your right to check the property, you must give your tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before doing so, by law.

Naturally, not everything a tenant wants may always be feasible, but by listening to them and gaining feedback, you could still do your very best to maintain a trusting relationship.

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Lars Plougmann / flickr.com