Bad news stories tend to dominate the headlines when it comes to relationships between tenants and landlords in the UK but new research reveals that the relationship is often much more convivial.
Indeed, some 34% of landlords have given a welcome or farewell gift to a tenant and 30% of tenants have received an act of kindness, according to a survey from tenant insurance provider Endsleigh.
It shows 54% of tenants received help with DIY and 29% a bottle of wine as a result 72% of tenants said such acts positively changed their perception of their landlord.
A positive relationship seems to have an impact on the length of tenancy too with 70% of tenants who receive an act of kindness staying in their property for 24 months or more, compared to just 53% who didn’t receive an act of kindness.
Landlords were most likely to give a gift of a bottle of wine with the survey finding that 59% did so, followed by 49% giving cards and 25% plants and flowers.
However, qualitative data shows landlords have given everything from Christmas hampers, home grown vegetables and gifts for children through to rent free months during periods of unemployment and topped up gas and electricity meters.
The survey also investigated what the ideal relationship should be between the two parties. Half of the landlords surveyed said a professional relationship with a tenant is preferable and 49% of tenants agreed.
More than a third, 36%, of tenants wanted a friendly relationship with their landlord compared with just 21% of landlords. However, of the landlords and tenants that answered ‘other’ to this question, many said they would prefer both a professional and friendly relationship.
‘The easiest and most stress free lettings come when there’s a good working relationship between the landlord and the tenant. Our survey results show it’s important to remain professional as a landlord, but also that tenants appreciate help getting settled into a property,’ said Endsleigh’s lettings and landlords manager Marcus Latchford.
‘Providing a welcome hamper when a new tenant moves into a property will go a long way to setting the relationship off on a good foot. However, the thoughtful, practical gifts and gestures like offering to hang pictures on the wall or letting the tenant select flooring when redecorating add the most value,’ he added.
The survey is part of Endsleigh’s 2015 ‘Better Relations’ campaign, which aims to encourage stress free lettings for both tenants and landlords.