Lettings News

Improve tenant satisfaction with clear information from letting agents and landlords

Em Morley - December 17, 2019

If you want to keep your tenants satisfied with the service you provide, then it makes sense to provide them with the information they need. Providing better information about what to expect from landlords and letting agents can improve tenant satisfaction, according to PayProp.

The lettings payment automation provider says that educating tenants on the roles and expectations of each party can reduce confusion – and also cut the chance of disputes.

Tenants want more information

The National Landlords Association (NLA) has released results from research showing that 79% of tenants need better information on the roles and responsibilities of landlords and letting agents.

Neil Cobbold, Chief Operating Officer of PayProp UK, says: “Proactively educating tenants on the rental process 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. It’s very important to make sure tenants are kept informed throughout the tenancy. Often tenants are set wondering: ‘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 tenants are clear on what to expect, they are more likely to be satisfied and stay in the property for longer – at least as long as those expectations are then met. This can help reduce arrears and void periods for letting agents and landlords.”

The How to Rent guide is a valuable resource

This research from the NLA also reveals that 67% of almost 900 tenants surveyed said they were not aware of the government’s How to Rent guide. This guide is designed to help them understand their rights and responsibilities.

It’s a surprise that so few tenants are aware of the How to Rent guide, says Cobbold, given that it is a legal obligation for them to receive one at the start of a tenancy.

He explains: “Agents could do more to promote the How to Rent guide to consumers. It’s a free government resource that is updated regularly and includes a lot the information renters may need.

“By making sure tenants not only read but understand this guide, letting agencies can manage expectations from the outset of a tenancy and save time and money on creating their own educational materials.”

How to provide tenants with more clarity

There are additional steps that can also be taken to help educate tenants and improve renter satisfaction.

Cobbold says: “Acting early and explaining things clearly in person during viewings and other meetings can help to build a rapport and understanding with tenants.

“Providing resources that you have created or pointing consumers in the direction of other trusted industry sources throughout the tenancy can also be effective.”

“It’s important for agents to encourage landlords to prioritise good communication and set out roles and responsibilities on both sides of the relationship.

“Making sure you have the correct procedures to communicate a tenant’s financial position throughout the tenancy should not be underestimated when considering renter satisfaction.”

As a final point, Cobbold points out that all key lease terms, such as payment dates, tenancy lengths and notice periods, should all be set out in a clean and accessible manner. This way, tenants will know what is expected of them and when.

He concludes: “A concerted effort from agencies and landlords to provide renters with more clarity could make for a more harmonious and efficient private rented sector.”