With the current COVID-19 pandemic going on, landlords and businesses are having to adapt to a new normal, but what is this new normal?
Everything needs to be clean
Whilst the pandemic can be very unsettling, there are certain measures that landlords can put into place to help ensure the safety of their tenants. This includes doing temperature checks for anyone entering the building, ensuring all maintenance staff wear the appropriate safety equipment, and disinfect themselves regularly, as well as conducting regular sanitisation of the buildings. Not only will this help keep tenants safer, but it will also instill confidence in customers if they see their landlords being proactive about mitigating the effects of the pandemic.
The rise of virtual viewings
Another issue that landlords are now facing is how to conduct house viewings safely. Understandably, tenants do not want brokers to come into their home and show new potential tenants around, which could potentially spread the virus. This has forced landlords and property management companies to think outside of the box in terms of how to do property viewings. Fortunately, in this digital age, this problem can be solved relatively easily with emerging technologies. Current tenants are doing walkthroughs of their house and virtual 3D tours becoming the new normal.
Tenants in financial difficulties
The pandemic has also caused some tenants to have financial difficulties due to salary reductions, unpaid leaves, and in some cases, redundancies. As such, it is important that landlords are flexible in the way they deal with tenants. Landlords should make sure they take each situation on a case-by-case basis.
This might mean being flexible with payments, or even, if there is a rent-free period, with a tenant that is genuine and has a good history, landlords should try to retain them. This could involve working with the tenant on what is the best way forward in paying future rent.
Opportunities and struggles for landlords
It is not just the tenants who are being hit hard during these unprecedented times. Landlords are also faced with a difficult situation whereby their tenants might be forced to leave their property and live somewhere else, leaving landlords the problem of looking for new tenants.
In order to stand out, landlords might want to be innovative with their pricing. For example, they are offering to pay the tenants moving-in costs. It is also vitally important that landlords keep their properties well maintained. When it is a renter’s market, landlords need to do everything they can to stand out. By ensuring the property is move-in ready, it will make the moving-in experience appear a lot more manageable and consequently a lot more appealing.
Landlords should also consider increasing the number of checks they receive throughout the rental period. This would make paying the rent much more manageable for tenants, and as such, will make your property stand out. Although landlords should be mindful of increasing the number of checks, make sure you are aware of the tenants’ payment history.
We are all in this together!
Most of all, both landlords and tenants should be aware of the current situation and be as flexible as they can be. At the end of the day, we are all in this together, and we should each try to offer some help as and where we can.