Communication between landlord or letting agent and tenant is the key to a smooth relationship. And Edinburgh letting agent Clan Gordon says both sides need to ensure open and honest dialogue from the very start.
A trusted relationship pays dividends. Tenants who make themselves available for regular inspections and are forthcoming about damage and maintenance issues will find repairs carried out quickly and requests looked at sympathetically.
Good tenants are highly prized, and landlords may be less inclined to increase rent in a bid to keep them. So how can tenants make sure they get off on the right foot from the start?
Providing accurate information on rental applications is the first step. Employment references and financial statements are checked by credit agencies so any exaggerated claims about salary will soon come to light.
Any discrepancies in an application can also provide grounds for terminating a tenancy agreement, so honesty is the best policy. Prospective tenants should make sure they ask questions at the outset to ensure they understand everything and know exactly what’s being provided.
Promises to provide a new fridge or bed, for example, should be requested in writing. They can then be challenged if the item doesn’t materialise after moving in. Also, tenants shouldn’t assume that items in the property when they view are included in the rental.
Check The Inventory
Inventories should be carefully checked when moving in, and any amendments should be submitted in writing with accompanying photos. It’s too late to challenge something months or years down the line when leaving the property. Tenants should always spend time reviewing the inventory and requesting changes where necessary. At Clan Gordon, we use an independent third-party company to ensure that inventories are completely impartial. You can find out about this and more in our online guide for landlords. It’s also important for tenants to know how everything works at the start, from the oven and security system to what day the bins are collected. A bit of extra settling in time prevents constant phone calls and questions.
Agree Contact Methods
Landlords or letting agents and tenants should agree the preferred method of contact and make sure they follow it to ensure any enquiries are dealt with efficiently. Non-payment of rent is probably the biggest single issue between landlord and tenant, and effective communication can prevent it from escalating.
If everyone is aware of the situation it is possible to reach a solution, such as carrying the rent over to the next month or agreeing a payment plan.
Similarly, tenants should be reasonable with their requests and assess whether an issue is an emergency. A dripping tap is a maintenance issue, a flood is an emergency and the two should be communicated in different ways.
The tenant and landlord/letting agent relationship is one that requires respect and consideration on both sides to work well, and effective communication is the key.
The Scottish Association of Landlords also offers advice and guidance on tenancy issues for landlords and tenants.