Traits of Successful Landlords

We hope that if you’ve read previous blogs, then you’ll know there’s far more to being a landlord than getting a great mortgage deal, finding a tenant and sitting back to count your cash.

It’s a business like any other but carries significantly more risks than most businesses. If it goes wrong, you stand to be in a difficult situation with possibly several empty properties and being responsible for several mortgages. If you fall foul of regulations, you could find yourself in hot water legally. So there are far more opportunities out there that have less serious consequences.

Successful landlords have several traits which make them effective at running a property portfolio. Even if you are just starting out with your first property, these are things that you can learn and will stand you in great stead for the future.


It’s a great idea to cultivate friendly relationships with clients. But remember, they are not your friends—they are your customers. If a tenant thinks you are friends, they are far more likely to take advantage of this and become lax with their rental payments.


It’s also important to remain respectful at all times. You might have younger tenants, that don’t treat you with respect. They might call in an angry voice because the washing machine has broken, behaving as though you personally came over and broke the appliance yourself, knowing the kid’s school uniforms were inside. Just because they are disrespectful, don’t give it them back.

When you behave respectfully, understand and deal with the issue, it means that next time, they’ll realise that their irritation was undeserved. When people are kind in the face of disrespect, the disrespectful party often feels acutely embarrassed of their behaviour on evaluation. While sure it’s a life lesson for all of us, it is certainly very applicable to being a successful landlord.


It’s easy enough to be a terrible landlord. You may deceive tenants when moving in and never respond to a request for a repair. After all, it may save you time and money, so why not?

However, if you wouldn’t like to be treated this way and have a shred of integrity, you will treat your tenants well. If you show a tenant little regard, then they’ll do the same for you. They’ll move out, contact local authorities possibly, stop paying rent and likely show your property little respect as well. If you show no integrity towards your tenants and your business effectively, then while you might save in the short term, you’ll be forever chasing your tail and have a high tenant turnover which will lose you money in the long run.

Clear Communication

Clear communication is easy enough to achieve. But if you don’t communicate clearly and pleasantly, you risk alienating your tenants and them moving on. If your tenants call you with a concern, then make sure you reply in a timely manner.

In addition, if you are planning an inspection or a repair, make sure you email as well as call or text. Simply sending an email without a response is not an indicator that your tenants received and read the communication. Turning up, without their knowledge will likely lead to problems, even if it’s just annoying your tenants.


Being understanding is essential if you want to create lasting tenancies. This is particularly important if your chosen market is renting properties to single people and or those with lower incomes.

Life is never perfect. Things go wrong, and people have financial difficulties from time to time. If a tenant is struggling, then allowing them to pay later and arranging a payment plan might just save you from the costly and unpleasant job of evicting someone or a family.

The key here is to establish a limit to your patience and understanding. Never allow your tenant to go more than a month without making partial payment and never let arrears get past the two-month mark. If you allow your tenants to wrack up debt with you, it may be far easier and tempting for them just to move on and make a fresh start without the debt they have with you.

Ability to prioritise

While many people believe a property portfolio is a pathway to residual income, unless you have a property manager, you’ll find that there are so many tasks, that you need to place them in order of which you can tackle first. The easiest way to do this is to decide which action will bring about the most important desirable impact to you.

So which job is the most extensive and most necessary? Or which will bring me the biggest gain in the long term? And what’s the lost opportunity cost as opposed to the other items? If you can answer these questions, then you’ll know which job to carry out next.


Organisation is crucial in most businesses. You might feel there is little to organise with just one property, but if your aim is to have a portfolio, things will soon get out of hand if you don’t have systems in place.

Primarily you need accounts and details for each property and all the necessary information. At the end-of-year, you need to make sure all your receipts are available and easy to locate. Ideas you can implement are smartphone apps such as TinyScanner, which will take copies of receipts and agreements that can then be easily stored in your Google Drive.

Alternatively, take advantage of Rentila’s cloud-based property management software for managing your tenancies. There are loads of excellent features, including booking systems, digital archives for documents, photos, and receipts. There’s help to manage repairs and even a forum, where you can ask other landlords any questions.

Traits of Successful Landlords: Things to Remember

These traits are helpful for anyone in life or business. But adopt them in your property business, and you’ll make your life easier and be more successful.

Remember the following:

  • Professionalism is the way forward, so by all means, build rapport but never lose sight of the fact that tenants are your customers, not friends.
  • However disrespectful tenants are, bite your tongue and keep the higher moral ground. Having arguments is a bad idea with anyone, and you don’t want an ‘enemy’ living in your property. So cool it, and it’s sure to have a better ending.
  • Having integrity is essential. Always ensure that you treat your tenants well and make sure the property is always kept up to standard, after all, it’s their home.
  • Clear communication is vital, so make sure you use email, text and phone, to communicate with your tenants. This way, you are both on the same page when it comes to repairs and appointments.
  • Being understanding can help salvage tenancies if your tenants hit a rough patch financially. This is a far cheaper and better way than eviction.
  • Your abilities to prioritise may very well be tested in this business. Always ask yourself a set of questions if you are unsure what to do next.
  • Organisation is never easy, but you can use clever apps and the cloud management system at Rentila to make it far more manageable.

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