As a landlord, as well as managing the finances, the property and any repairs or maintenance, you also have to remember to look after your tenants. Whilst nine times out of ten you’ll never have to deal with anything too difficult, sometimes relationships can be testing.
So, what’s the best way to deal with issues that arise during a tenancy? In this quick read, we look at ways to deal with such problems.
Help avoid fall-outs
You can’t control the arguments that arise between tenants; however, you can try to avoid future rows by setting out clear advice around the following areas:
The key here is the term ‘jointly and severally liable’. Ensure tenants understand they’re both/all responsible for rent and other obligations set out in the contract. The tenancy agreement makes them equally responsible for the duration they have signed for.
- Contact details
Ensure all the tenants are provided with important information relating to the tenancy, such as who manages the property and who to contact for emergencies or repairs.
Sometimes, a tenancy is granted with a family member/friend acting as a guarantor. The guarantor usually guarantees the whole tenancy, so if your tenants are friends, it is important that the guarantor understands that they are liable for both tenants.
Generally, one tenant can serve notice on behalf of both tenants to terminate the joint tenancy. However, a different process is followed if some tenants want to remain in the property whilst others want to leave – so it’s important they’re aware of this.
What to do if your tenants fall out
Sometimes, when people live together, things don’t work out. But what can you do as the landlord? It’s important to stay neutral. Perhaps one tenant is calling to complain about another, or someone wants to move out; whilst you can try and mediate between tenants, this could lead to more issues, so tread carefully. If there are queries about bills, you can advise who is responsible for things like utilities and rental payments but don’t agree to anything you’re unsure about.
Top tip: If a tenancy needs to end early, make sure you’ve checked the tenancy agreement carefully for any costs the tenants may incur and take the advice of your letting agent.
What to do if you fall out with your tenant
No matter how hard you try, you can’t get on with everyone. It’s important to remain polite and business-like in such situations and try to resolve repairs and maintenance issues quickly to avoid escalating the situation.
If you and a tenant can’t see eye to eye, it may be worth speaking to your agent to see if they can take over the property’s management. This will save any unpleasantness and hopefully make the tenancy run smoothly.