By Steve Roulstone

Perfect Tenant

I have just finished reading an article in a magazine called the Negotiator, designed for the industry, most articles are centred on some professional within the trade, being given the opportunity to sell their wares. In this article the case was being made for referencing potential Tenants and how this particular referencing agency boss was convinced that the better the level of referencing carried out, the better the Tenant that would be produced.

There is of course an easy case to be put forward to support this argument, but in reality I do not feel this is even half the case that needs to be considered. To me, referencing is an absolute must, but in the interest of the Landlord, this is so that the Tenant concerned can be insured through a rent and legal expenses insurance. It really is that simple. By referencing, past performance is assessed, affordability is confirmed and future actions can be insured. Not a difficult decision.

But is this enough to find the perfect Tenant? That was the gist of the article and where I would have to disagree.

We have a very simple policy with Tenants. Look after them well and they will look after our Landlords property. I speak from the position of being a Landlord and at present a Tenant as well, so it is with personal experience that I know our policy stands up to the actual reality of living in rented property.

That reality is that although as industry professionals we know that what the Tenant is paying for is the right to live at the property concerned, all Tenants need to feel that they are also paying for a level of service which, whether through an agency or renting direct from a Landlord, if they are left feeling that this relationship is one sided, they will be left feeling it has not been delivered and that nobody cares.

I cannot recall how many Landlords have informed me about how disappointed they were at the state of a property when a Tenant left, but too many times when I ask if they have visited that same property during the Tenancy, or been in touch with the Tenant, the answer has been no. If the Tenant does not have an outlet for their findings when living at a property, the feeling of being abandoned slowly turns to a feeling of anger. The rest is human nature. If nobody else cares, in their opinion, why should they? 

That is why we ensure Tenants have a voice. This principal does not mean that we should comply with all Tenant wishes, not at all, but that those wishes should be given time and a platform. By working with your Tenants, they will respect your role and in my experience the property as well. The objective of this principal for us is simple; happy tenants look after the property and pay the rent. That, we know, is exactly what our Landlords require. That, I believe, is much closer to a perfect Tenant.

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