Dealing with tenants – remembering they’re people not just rent-givers

This last week has been a wee bit draining on the rental side of things, every ‘up’ week has its downs and though client jobs have run smoothly, deliveries have arrived and snagging has been sorted, the rental side has been a challenge.

All our rentals have been fully let for a while and tenants only tend to move away from us when work contracts come to an end or personal issues raise their head. A couple of months ago we got murmurings that all was not well in one apartment between the two sharing tenants and the situation has deteriorated. Their tenancy is not up until mid-August so some landlords might say tough, you’ve signed til then so you pay til then. But having dug a little deeper, asked a few questions and had a long chat with both girls separately, it’s not so easy to look at a contract purely financially and forget that there are two people really struggling with a situation. Throw in an illness, the fact that they are both really nice girls and a realisation it’s not all about the money….. after 48 hrs deliberation I knew the best option was to release them early from the contract, even though I might lose out financially as I was told it was a risk as the market had gone a bit quiet in our area. My bum! Listed it Sunday, 8 viewings booked by Monday lunch and it went to the first viewers, who’d been stalking the Brimelow’s web-site waiting for this particular flat to come on again after seeing it on-line last year. And the way it’s turned out, the existing tenants have some time to move out, timed to perfection for the new ones to move in, a good and actually the best result all round. I feel better about it too, rather than making two people very unhappy – and remember unhappy people do not clean, can wreck flats and often cause drunken havoc – they can go their separate ways, good karma all round. Of course, it helps that our places rent fast due to the spec and finish. I’d said to both existing tenants that I’d advertise it and they’d be liable for rent until it went, but was very confident that would happen immediately and it did.

Flat No2, not so easy. It was all going so well! The existing tenant gave notice a month ago and almost immediately it was snapped up by Ms X, but there was that niggly feeling I sometimes get that something might go wrong……. and it did, culminating in two marathon bonkers texts, way too much to add to this post……

I’ll do a separate one tomorrow #tease 😉

2 thoughts on “Dealing with tenants – remembering they’re people not just rent-givers

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  1. Thanks for sharing this story Sian. I think your approach was definitely the right one in that particularly tricky situation. Relationships break down, it’s inevitable, and it is even worse when the people involved are living together and need to leave and move. Just think about the people who can’t move when they are married and have to stay in the house!

    So hopefully those two girls will be renting another property and will come back to you if they need another home to rent in the future, as you have built trust and loyalty with them that is for sure. And also because you treated them fairly and like people, not just tenants, they will also recommend you to their friends and contacts too. So all round good karma as you say. I wish all landlords could be like you!

    Best wishes, Sonya

    1. I remember when I left Uni and was a tenant with no little money or security, I had great landlords who were approachable when I was in a sticky situation. Laid the groundwork I guess! Thanks for your observations x

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