The number of investor landlords has risen during the past ten years, and it is estimated that one million new rental homes will be needed by 2021 in order to meet demand.

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In the current housing crisis, there are frequent questions concerning the balance between ethics and profitability for landlords, and there are always ways that landlords can improve their relationship with their tenants.

Here are five considerations for ethical landlords.

1. Be Professional

Ensure that you have joined a landlord trade body, such as the RLA or NLA, which provide support to private sector landlords.

These organisations provide comprehensive advice on legislation, ethics and codes of practice, which will ensure you remain up to date with all the changes which can affect you and your tenants.

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2. Choose Tenants Compassionately

Landlords occasionally discriminate against tenants who claim benefits as they fear cases of unpaid rent. In some cases, adverts clearly specify that ‘no DSS’ tenants should apply. It is important to remain compassionate, as illnesses and job loss can easily tip families into relying on housing benefit, and without a stable home to live in, getting back on to their feet is impossible.

3. Flexibility with Contracts

Research conducted by Shelter has shown that most tenants would prefer to stay longer than the 6- or 12-month ASTs (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) agreements which are usually offered.

To help manage your rental property efficiently, consider CRM software such as CRM for property management through Property Deck.

4. Letting Fees and Increasing Rent

Choosing to increase rent prices is frequently a sensitive issue for tenants, especially when they have lived in the property for a long time.

Many property professionals argue that constantly increasing rent prices is unethical and can also put off tenants, who will search for a cheaper alternative.

5. Good Relationships and Property Maintenance

CRM for property management can help landlords efficiently manage all aspects of their rental properties and help towards improving the relationship with your tenants. This software enables effective communication between landlords and tenants and facilitates smooth processes.

Landlords must ensure that their properties are properly maintained for their tenants. Landlords should arrange regular property visits with their tenants to monitor the condition of the property and ensure that no repairs or damage go unnoticed for a long period of time.