One of the keys to successful property renting is having good tenant relations and responding to complaints (including repair requests) quickly.
4.9.1 Preventing Problems
Problems will arise from time to time but measures can be put in place to reduce the likelihood such as:
periodic visits checking for repairs good means of communication so a tenant can get in touch quickly and easily.
4.9.2 Dealing With Complaints
If a complaint is received, it should be acknowledged promptly so the tenant knows it has at least been received. Most complaints or problems are dealt with internally quickly and this is always the best way where possible.
If the complaint refers to a repair request, either completing the works quickly or providing details of what action is proposed within a reasonable time-scale should be sufficient in most cases.
Where the complaint is more detailed and the parties are unable to agree an amicable solution, it may be necessary to escalate the complaint.
Mediation is an alternative to using courts. Normally each party pays a relatively small fee and the mediator will communicate with each party separately and then try to ‘mediate’ a solution. Any solution agreed becomes a formal contract and so binding in courts.
188.8.131.52 Dispute Resolution
Dispute resolution is very similar to mediation and in the first instance both parties will have an opportunity to offer evidence and views. It will vary by service what happens next but taking the dispute resolution offered by all tenancy deposit schemes as an example, an adjudicator would consider the evidence and make a decision. Each party would be bound by the decision of the adjudicator even if it was unfavourable. However, in the case of tenancy deposit schemes, there will have been no fee payable for the dispute resolution.
184.108.40.206 Legal Action
Legal action should always be considered as a last resort or where there is no other statutory alternative (for example possession may only be concluded by special legal action and mediation or dispute resolution wouldn’t normally be suitable).
Where legal action is available on a specific subject, we have detailed about the procedure as appropriate.
Some specialist lettings will offer support in addition to the providing of accommodation. Specialist training would be needed and commonly the support is provided by a local authority. This type of letting is usually found with a disabled or vulnerable tenant.
4.9.4 Sustaining Tenancies
It is often said that a landlord is not in the business of evicting tenants but is in the business of letting property. A good tenant who remains in the a rented property is always a good thing for a professional landlord.
Having good communication channels is important to a lengthy tenancy. Also don’t always be too keen to put the rent up, especially if the market place is fairly stagnant at the time. It is sometimes better to take a slightly lower rent for a longer period than trying to get the maximum rent but with lots of void periods in-between.