Do nice landlords make successful landlords?

Do nice landlords make successful landlords?

Do nice landlords make successful landlords?

There is no doubt that the buy to let market has increased dramatically over the last 20 years or so with many people making a significant return from their property investments. Indeed such is the interest in buy to let that many national property markets have been pushed away from the reaches of the general public to create a self fulfilling prophecy.

As fewer and fewer people can afford to climb aboard the property ladder they are often forced to rent thereby giving more impetus to the buy to let market which pushes prices further away from the general public. This has created a new era of landlords across the UK and while many people are very successful and manage a very tight ship, do nice landlords make successful landlords?

Keep it all on paper

We often hear stories of new landlords letting their properties to friends and family on a casual basis under the impression that all bills will be paid on time and in full. The old term “don’t mix business and pleasure” is something which is relevant to us all because it can put us in some very difficult situations and can prove to be costly.

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Whether you are letting property to friends, family or an acquaintance you need to ensure that the boundaries are drawn from day one, that everything is down on paper and there are no grey areas. This works for the tenant as well because they have some form of security, an agreement they can fall back on and to all intents and purposes, all parties know where they stand.

Do not get too involved

While the headline “do nice landlords make successful landlords” is perhaps a little unfair, the point we are making is that letting a property is business. This is not some kind of favour, this is not payback time for a friendship which goes back to your school days but it is a pure and simple financial transaction between two parties. Even though many tenants will start as strangers to their landlords a number of landlords do make the schoolboy error of becoming too involved, too attached and sometimes make themselves susceptible to “sob stories”.

There are ways and means of getting along with your tenants without intruding into their private life or indeed letting them intrude into your private life. There is nothing wrong with an arms length friendship, regular meetings to discuss the property and what needs to be done but ultimately, do not get too involved.

Give them an inch and they will take a mile

Over the years buy to let landlords have become hardened by their experiences, they may become cold in their actions but the fact is that many have learned from uncomfortable experiences in years gone by. Sometimes the hand of friendship and assistance to a tenant will be abused and the old adage “give them an inch and they will take a mile” is something which too many landlords have experienced to their detriment.

Keep it polite, keep it professional, keep it all on paper and do not get too involved in your tenant’s private life!

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