Being a good landlord means much more than simply providing a property and collecting rents. It even means more than just fulfilling your legal obligations to your tenants. Being a good landlord takes both time and energy, but it can also bring you great satisfaction and a good relationship with tenants.
To help you determine if you are a good landlord we have put together the following questionnaire. Answer each question and count up your "yes" responses. Match your total number to the explanations at the end to find out if you are a good landlord.
Do you know all of your tenants' names?
Do you and each of your tenants have copies of the rental agreement?
Do you ensure that your property is fit for habitation?
Do you ensure that all furniture in your rental property is in good condition?
Do you ensure that all appliances in your rental property are in good working order?
Do you investigate tenant complaints in a timely manner?
Do you make necessary repairs in a timely manner?
Do you give your tenants fair notice before entering the rental property?
Do you provide receipts or other documents regarding rent paid to you?
Do you return deposits in a timely manner when tenants vacate a property?
If you don't return a full deposit, do you discuss deductions with tenants?
Are you an accredited landlord?
"yes" to between zero and four questions
If you answered "yes" to between zero and four questions then you are not likely a good landlord. In fact, you may not even be meeting your legal obligations to your tenants. Contact your local authority for more information on the legalities of letting private, residential properties in your area. Also enquire about becoming an accredited landlord. Such schemes are usually voluntary, but can help you obtain the peace of mind that you are providing the best home possible for your tenants, as well as advertise your new status as a good landlord when it comes time to let your property new tenants. You might also find that such schemes offer you support and advice regarding tenant and property issues, and so become valuable resources for your role as landlord.
"yes" to between five and eight questions
If you answered "yes" to between five and eight questions then you may be a good landlord. It's likely that you know and understand your legal obligations to your tenants and the authorities, but you might not be making much of an effort beyond what is required of you by law. Take some time to get to know your tenants - at least their names - and commit to carrying out all of your responsibilities in a timely and courteous manner. Gaining a reputation as a good landlord will be invaluable the next time you need to find new tenants.
"yes" to nine or more questions
If you answered "yes" to nine or more questions then you are most likely a good landlord. You no doubt understand the importance of meeting your legal responsibilities, but also the value of treating tenants with respect. If you haven't already, find out if your local authority offers any type of landlord accreditation. Joining such a scheme would formalise your status as a good landlord and allow you to advertise your status as needed. And if you did happen to answer "no" to any question, work on changing that to a "yes" answer so that you can truly consider yourself an exceptional landlord.