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Looking To Raise Rents? How Landlords Can Show Value To Tenants Amid Soaring Costs

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Being a landlord has never been easy, but in 2023, it has become incredibly challenging. New regulations and soaring costs mean many landlords are seeing falling profits and are selling up their property portfolios as a result.

For those who want to stick at it, rising interest rates on buy-to-let mortgages mean rents are set to rise by as much as 25% over the next four years, outpacing the usual 5% in a typical year.

Many tenants are already struggling financially and may look to landlords to absorb some of this cost, but it’s simply not possible in today’s market. Landlords are struggling financially just as much as tenants are, and it’s hard for them to absorb many costs and still make a profit.

However, there are ways that landlords can show value to their tenants even as rents rise, and highlight the fact that it’s worth paying for a premium property managed by someone who cares.

So, if you’re a property manager or landlord who’s set to raise your tenant’s rent soon and wants to show value before this happens, keep reading. In this informative article, we’ll share some simple tips that could help you to highlight your dedication to supporting your tenants and giving them a safe, comfortable place to call home.

Have Health And Safety Checks Done Regularly

Showing that you care about your tenant’s health and safety on your property can make a huge difference to the way they see you. As such, you need to make sure that you conduct regular checks on your property and its vital systems, such as the electricity circuits and heating. While a landlord electrical safety certificate needs to be obtained when a property is rewired and every 5 years after that, you should consider getting checks done more frequently to show your tenants how important their safety and comfort are to you. Providers like Hexo Electrical Testing can help you to check the safety of your house’s wiring and ensure that it is fully compliant with all relevant regulations and safe for your tenants.

Conduct Home Improvements Often

Tenants whose properties haven’t been upgraded for some time might feel resentful at having to pay more rent, even though the reason is rising interest rates, not costs for repairs. Still, you should try to highlight your value as a landlord by doing regular reviews of your properties and seeing if there are any small ways you can improve things. These don’t have to be major upgrades, but small things like replacing old fixtures every few years or giving the interior a fresh coat of paint. A well-maintained property enhances the overall living experience and justifies a higher rent, so it’ll be worth the effort and investment in the long run.

Allow Tenants To Customise The Property Themselves

Most landlords don’t allow their tenants to improve their properties themselves, but you could consider allowing tenants to personalise their living spaces to some extent. While you won’t want them to undertake major improvements, they could make small cosmetic changes. This can include allowing them to paint walls, hang pictures, or make minor modifications to create a sense of ownership and comfort. You could also permit minor modifications, such as installing shelves, curtain rods, or additional storage units. These alterations should be reviewed and approved by the landlord to ensure they are safe and do not damage the property. Encourage tenants to consult with you before making any changes to avoid potential issues so that you can make your tenants feel empowered without putting your property at risk.

Let Your Tenants Take Control Of The Garden

If your property has a garden or outdoor area, consider allowing tenants to take ownership of these spaces. Provide guidelines for gardening or outdoor decor, which can contribute to a sense of pride and connection to the property. Tenants who can grow their own plants or maintain outdoor spaces may feel more invested in the property. It’s harder for tenants to cause major issues to your property in the outdoor spaces, but they could have fun and save your time and resources by managing the garden. Include low-maintenance areas, like artificial grass lawns, patios or potted plants, to make it easier for your tenants who don’t have green fingers to keep the space looking welcoming and inviting.

Build A Relationship With Your Tenants

It can be hard for tenants to sympathise with or understand a landlord or property manager that they never see or speak to. As such, where possible, you should try to cultivate a relationship with your tenants. Learn about their hobbies, likes and dislikes and other information through general conversations without being too intrusive. Talk to them about your own situation also, so that they can see that you’re more than just an unidentified entity who owns their house and takes their rent, but also a human being like them.

Fix Repairs Promptly

Repairs to your property are your responsibility as a landlord, and you should try to be as prompt when it comes to fixing things as possible. Today’s renters wait an average of 41 days for repairs to be made, and this can be frustrating and challenging for them, especially if the issues are serious, such as problems with the heating system or leaks. To set yourself apart from other landlords, you should aim to conduct repairs promptly, so that your tenants feel cared for and don’t have to deal with issues in their rental homes for long. Quickly addressing repairs and maintenance requests can also help you to ensure that your tenants feel their concerns are heard and addressed, which can further enhance your relationship with them.

Have Face-To-Face Conversations About Rent Increases

Instead of sending out an impersonal email or letter, you should try, if you can, to talk to your tenants in person about any rent increases you need to make. As you will have worked to cultivate a relationship with them, when you need to raise their rent, you can talk to them calmly about it, and do it face-to-face so that they don’t feel blindsided. It’s never nice having an unexpected rent increase sent to you in an impersonal way, so making an effort to speak to them about it can show your human side and be a major point in your favour. It won’t be easy, but you should start by having an open and honest conversation with your tenants about the need for a rent increase. Explain the reasons behind it, such as rising property taxes, maintenance costs, or inflation, and talk to them about any issues they might be dealing with, so that you can help them to feel supported throughout this difficult process.

Be Supportive Whatever Happens

It can be tough when you’re in a challenging financial situation and have to make difficult choices, so it’s easy to get stressed. Still, maintaining good tenant relations is essential for a successful rental business. While rent increases may be necessary, demonstrating the value you provide and being sensitive to tenants’ financial situations can help foster positive relationships and mitigate any potential backlash. Always adhere to local laws and regulations governing rent increases and tenant rights to ensure a smooth process. By being as supportive as possible, you can ensure that you maintain a good relationship with your tenant throughout these trying times.