Establishing a strong relationship and good communication with a tenant is key to a mutually satisfying tenancy, according to

good communication
Photo: iStock/SolStock.

The long-term view for investors

A tenancy without interruption means a tenancy without vacancy periods. This in turn provides consistent and continual cash flow. National Landlord Services Manager Zoran Tomich said Australia has not yet embraced the ‘long term tenancy’ mentality where tenants can sign a lease for 3-5 years, resulting in renters accepting a state of uncertainty in how long their home will remain ‘their home:’

“Through no fault of their own, ‘house proud’ renters who might otherwise happily put extra effort into maintaining (and even improving) a landlord’s property have less of a reason to be ‘house proud’ than a home owner,” Mr Tomich said.

“I have spoken with many landlords who tell me they are reluctant to sign a long lease with a tenant because they want to “see how things go”.  The reality is that if landlords do things properly from the outset in terms of advertising the property well, attracting a good tenant, screening the tenant properly, communicating well and maintaining the property to a high standard, they and their tenants will both enjoy a long and mutually satisfying tenancy.”

The key to keeping a quality tenant, Mr Tomich said, is staying on top of maintenance issues and presenting the property in the best way possible.

“Once again, communication is vital.  Keep an open mind and be prepared to negotiate with a high quality tenant, as they will most likely be willing to accept rental increases if the property continues to keep them satisfied,” he said.

For example, where a property doesn’t have an air conditioner, but the tenant would like one and be prepared to pay more if there was one, a landlord could consider installing an air conditioner and recouping the outlay as a slightly higher rent over the next year or two.  Similarly, if a tenant might like (and be willing to pay for) a garden and/or lawn upgrade, the landlords should consider this and once again factor it into the rent.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about having an open and honest dialogue and building a positive relationship with your tenant, encouraging them towards feeling secure in knowing that the property can be their home well into the future.  In return for providing stability, fairness, respect, dignity and open communication, landlords can create a better outcome that lasts long into the future,” Mr Tomich said.

Don’t leave the success of your tenancy to chance

By following a process from the time your property becomes vacant all the way through to the very end of a tenancy, landlords can create a greater likelihood of continual and strong cashflow, minimal vacancy, a better cared for property and lower costs overall.

Keeping the channels of communication open, avoiding problems and giving a good tenant reasons to be house proud means landlords will have more reasons to smile as well.

“The tenants you want to keep over the long term are the good ones, so when you find them, you should do your best to keep them happy because in the end, that’s what will make you happy too,” Mr Tomich said.