Letting agents can improve renter satisfaction with clear information
Neil Cobbold (pictured) chief operating officer of PayProp UK
Landlords and letting agents can ensure greater customer satisfaction by providing renters with better information on what they should expect during a tenancy.
What’s more, educating tenants on the roles and expectations of each party can reduce confusion and cut the chance of disputes.
Recent National Landlords Association (NLA) research shows that 79% of tenants need better information on the roles and responsibilities of landlords and letting agents.
It’s clear, then, that proactively educating tenants from the outset can save agents time from having to mediate unnecessary disputes between landlords and tenants.
Some key areas where tenants may lack understanding relate to financial obligations and property upkeep.
Often tenants will wonder: ‘Has my rent been received?’, ‘How much do I owe?’, ‘Is my deposit safe?’, ‘Is it my responsibility?’ and ‘Who pays for repair work?’
If they are clear on what to expect, they are more likely to be satisfied and stay in the property for longer.
This can help reduce arrears and void periods.
Interestingly, according to the NLA’s research, 67% of almost 900 tenants surveyed said that they were not aware of the government’s How to Rent guide which is designed to help them understand their rights and responsibilities.
It’s a surprise to see that so few tenants are aware of the guide, given that it is a legal obligation for them to receive one at the start of a tenancy.
Agents could certainly do more to promote How to Rent to consumers.
It’s a free government resource that is updated regularly and includes a lot of the information they need.
By making sure tenants not only read but understand this guide, agencies can manage expectations and save time and money on creating educational materials.
Letting agencies can also take additional steps to help educate tenants and improve renter satisfaction.
Acting early and explaining things clearly in person during viewings and other meetings can help to build a rapport and understanding.
Providing resources that you have created or pointing consumers in the direction of other trusted industry sources can also be effective.
It’s also important to encourage landlords to prioritise good communication and set out roles and responsibilities on both sides of the relationship.
Meanwhile, making sure you have the correct procedures to communicate a tenant’s financial position throughout the tenancy should not be underestimated.
Key lease terms such as payment dates, tenancy lengths and notice periods should all be set out in a clear and accessible manner, so tenants know what is expected of them and when.
A concerted effort from agencies and landlords to provide renters with more clarity could make for a more harmonious rental sector.