In Summary
  • There is always a first time for everything, for every one of us
  • If you are a landlord, and you have a new tenant, getting them to sign the tenancy agreement, counting your money and handing them the house keys is not all that’s expected of you
  • There is so much more you can do to make them feel welcome, safe and strengthen that business relationship

It is in the landlord’s interest for tenants to be content enough to stay for long. When tenants stay for a short time and leave, it takes a toll on you (landlord) in terms of having to meet and interface with numerous people. Besides, when you find a potentially good tenant, you want to do everything possible to make them stay.

Be available, reachable
Ms Cecelia Ageno from Mild Housing Estates Munyonyo, says the landlord is supposed to be available in case the new tenant has an issue that they need addressed.
“Make yourself available to intervene whenever they need you. Since a new tenant is usually still familiarising themselves with the house, they usually have many queries,” she says
Ms Ageno adds that you may offer a list of service providers to the tenant to contact in your absence. This way, the tenant can be helped and will not have to wait for you to show up for a problem to be fixed,”
These may include; Fumigators, plumbers, electricians and carpenters. Having a set list of service providers will also prevent the tenant from using providers unknown to you. Those unknown to you could inflate prices or do a shoddy job.

Be welcoming
Ms Ageno says the easiest way to make your tenant comfortable is by warmly welcoming them.
“A good tenant-landlord relationship is built by little things such as welcoming remarks. Moving into a new neighbourhood can be daunting and stressful. So make it easy for the tenant,” she says.
Ms Ageno adds that welcoming someone could be in way of offering useful information for example, location and directions to service providers and their contacts, nearest trading centers, hospital, market and schools.
A clear tenancy agreement
Ms Ageno says that the moment the tenant accepts to move- in, make sure they sign the tenancy agreement for the dos and don’ts, to avoid misunderstandings. Also make sure to explain to them some of the clauses that they might not understand. This creates a sense of trustworthiness.
However, try to be lenient even if it means going against some of the set terms and conditions. In doing this though watch out for unscrupulous tenants who might want to exploit your leniency.
“It is good to make leeway for example by accepting late rent payment without fines. Point out such issues to the new tenant. They will think of you as understanding,” she says.
Privacy
Ms Ageno adds that a landlord is supposed to allow the tenants their privacy. Make sure the tenant knows this at the very start.
Tenants don’t want be monitored or suffocated by frequent inspections by landlords.
If you have rules on visitors, make sure they are not restrictive or intrusive.
Mr Muhammed Kizito, a real estate manager, says that first time tenants usually expect a lot from landlords or property managers.
Make sure not to disappoint them but also desist from making empty lofty promises just to impress them.

Fix broken items
If the tenant, after inspecting the house points out problems such as a gaping hole in the door, a broken window or loose sockets, fix them immediately to avoid accidents. You have to make sure your property is safe for habitation.