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Tenant Requests

What do tenants want?
Short answer: it depends (gee, thaaaannnks).

The first obvious instance of a tenant getting in touch with a property management company is for maintenance purposes. These generally fall under the following categories:
Malfunction is a delicate situation and we know it well - housing is a basic need and unexpected issues can cause stress, as well as potentially threaten the property in a number of ways. Firstly, we need to apply some judgement and... finessing. This usually involves translation, like so: Tenant: something broke. Translation: malfunction or use issue? Inside the property or outside? Is the apartment livable? Is the necessary repair part of the owner’s legal obligation?
We don’t necessarily expect the tenant to be able to answer all these questions - some key pointers will do so we can assess the issue, plan our inspection, deal with any damage quickly and protect the tenancy as part of our investment.
Another maintenance-related request can be a home improvement. This can vary by season - when it’s cold, we fix radiators and discuss improving insulation by replacing frames, etc.; when it’s warm, we install AC units & repair mosquito nets. As a general rule, we are in favor of home improvements that raise the property’s value. However, each owner may respond differently depending on their plans for the property. Golden Visa holders generally do not intend to live in the property/-ies they purchase so they are more likely to approve. Depending on the scale of the intervention and how much value it adds to the property, some owners may even decide to participate in the improvement costs, but they are not obligated. Others have a clear plan for their property once any active lease has expired and prefer the property unchanged. In either case, it is up to us to filter these requests, consider and present pros and cons clearly to the owner and respect and uphold their final decision.
Furthermore, we have frequent interactions with tenants and building managers regarding shared expenses. Depending on how shared expenses payments are set up for each property (automatic via card or in cash), it may be simpler at times for the tenant to pay the owner’s share on a utility and have that amount deducted from rent. This requires verification and several systems automation innovations make it easier for us to monitor.
Note that general timeliness of shared expense payment is a sign of an overall good tenancy - along with positive cooperation, conscientious behavior, etc.
More importantly, when a tenant leaves, we must make sure their share of these expenses has been paid before we return the deposit. Shared expenses can be published at different intervals for each building, so it’s important to communicate with the building manager to make sure the timing is correct.

A tricky type of request can be leasing requests, i.e. requests to amend the lease in some way - most often to reduce the rent amount.
There is a delicate balance here: owners/investors are our long-term clients and we must protect their interest. They want to make money and supply a basic need - housing. We have an ongoing business relationship with tenants, who require housing and want to save money.
Here’s our view: finding and keeping a good tenant IS protecting our client’s interests, i.e. securing their investment. This is why we conduct thorough income checks during the screening process and assess tenancies throughout their duration. Any issues are flagged quickly, communication is proactive and, if needed, legal action is taken promptly. The latter is important considering Greece’s slow legal system.
On this ground, we have advised not increasing rent at times to the mutual benefit of all. However, we want to carefully weigh several factors when assisting owners in making these decisions:
market trends (housing features, condition, location, etc.)
timing
High rental turnover periods: September (after summer vacations, new job cycle, etc.) & May-June (end of school term)
changes in tenant employment status/income
general tenancy quality (timely payment of rent and shared expenses, smooth communication regarding maintenance requirements, neighborly behavior, etc.)

This article is inspired by common situations we have encountered in over 100 properties during the last 5+ years. We have frequently advised tenants and assisted owners on all the above points, ensuring that our properties make good homes for tenants, provide a healthy return for investors and appreciate in value for sellers.
To learn more about and our services, please feel free to get in touch.
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