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Making tenants feel at home
4:37pm Wednesday 31st October 2012
IT'S important for landlords to give tenants as much information as possible before they move in, including key facts about the tenancy, the property and their responsibilities.
A face-to-face meeting and welcome pack for them to take away can be an ideal way to do this.
“Before a tenancy begins, it’s a good idea to book a meeting with the tenant so you can sit down together for 15 minutes or so and go through everything with them,” says proprietor of Belvoir Cheadle Darragh Lee.
“Go through the most important parts of the tenancy agreement and what they should be aware of, such as the procedure of serving notice.
“Also, tell them what you’re going to do in terms of the utilities and transferring everything for them, how often you will do a property visit and what the purpose of that is and who to contact if there’s a problem.
“Use this meeting to impart as much information as possible in order to ensure your tenant is comfortable moving into their new home.
“It will give them confidence in the property – and you as a landlord – if they know that they’ve got all the facts and that everything has been dealt with in a professional way.”
Pack facts The contents of a ‘welcome pack’ can differ from landlord to landlord and agent to agent, but it is likely to contain key information about the property, plus copies of important documentation.
“A ‘welcome pack’, often known as a ‘move in’ pack, usually contains copies of all the relevant documents and can reinforce what you’ve spoken about during your pre-move in meeting,” says Darragh.
“The pack can include things such as a copy of the tenancy agreement, a copy of the standing order mandate that has been set up, a copy of all the deposit protection information, the inventory, the EPC plus copies of the gas and electrical safety certificates.
“It could also include a key receipt – a photocopy of the keys which the tenant is asked to sign and date. This is really useful because at the end of the tenancy they can refer to it and know what they’re supposed to bring back.
“There is certainly more than one approach to putting together a ‘move in’ pack, but the more information you can provide, the better. Some people, for instance, may even include facts about the local area, maps and other nice little touches.”
Key information So, why is a ‘move in’ pack so important?
“The importance of giving tenants all this information is that it is useful for them to have copies of the same documentation that the landlord or agent has the originals for,” says Darragh.
“This means that the information is readily available if they would like to refer to it during the tenancy. If they need to refer to their tenancy agreement, for example, they can easily flick through the pack and check it.
“Also, it’s important that a tenant knows that the property is safe and has a valid gas certificate and an EPC, which is a legal requirement. There are a lot of legalities involved in letting a property – it has to be done in a professional manner, and it’s useful for tenants to have copies of anything that could affect them.”
As well as being extremely useful for tenants, ‘move in’ packs can have big benefits for landlords and agents too.
“By providing a ‘move in’ pack for tenants, it means that you will be less likely to be faced with questions throughout the tenancy – the ‘move in’ pack will ensure much of the information will be easily accessible and already at the tenants’ fingertips,” says Darragh.