How to Keep Great Tenants in Your Rental
How to Keep Great Tenants in Your Rental
You've got a solid line up of reliable renters occupying your units. These tenants are clean, creditworthy, respectful, responsible, and always able to pay on time - qualities that aren't so easy to come by. If you have a low-maintenance, hassle-free tenants they next question is: How do I keep them? Your renters should love you as much as you love them. Don't be that landlord or property manager people grumble about or roll their eyes over. Read through these strategies to keep great tenants in your rental and save yourself the stress over trying to fill their vacancy.
Establish the Relationship
Make the effort to establish a good relationship even before the tenant moves in. They might not be someone you'd ordinarily get along with, but try to put an effort in being friendly and sociably while maintaining an air of professionalism. They should feel like they're able to trust you, not fear you, when they have a question or concern. Like any relationship, trust and communication can go a long way, and if you lead by example to put a little effort it, they're likely to reciprocate.
Don't be a Stranger
If you really want to keep a great tenant, don't be a landlord who only shows up once a month to collect rent. Depending on what type of property you're renting, the way this looks can vary a bit. For apartment rentals, make yourself seen on the property once and awhile. Look around for any maintenance issues or problems to be addressed - such as that unkempt on-site laundry room. Your tenant will smile when seeing you maintaining the property's appearance and quality, and they'll feel proud about their residency there. Plus, if they see you around, they might be more willing to approach you with problems or complaints they're too scared to call and reach out about.
If you're renting out a home, you obviously can't just show up all the time, but you can keep in touch in other ways. Try sending them a greeting card or gift basket on birthdays or holidays and thank them for being a good tenant. If they feel recognized and respected, they're likely to stay a lot longer. However, it's essential to know your boundaries as a landlord - and to not overstep them. Don't be that annoying, micro-managing property manager who frequently shows up unannounced. It's frustrating, and a huge violation of privacy.
Communication is Key
As the tenancy begins and the honeymoon period ends, it's imperative to stay responsive and organized. One of the biggest complaints from tenants is that their issues were not addressed in a timely manner. Respond to tenants as soon as possible to alleviate their stress and let them know you're aware of the problem, even if you can't address it immediately - unless, of course, it's an emergency and you need to drop everything. They might not own the property, but if you want you're renter to stay for a long time, they'll begin to view it as their home and will want it properly maintained. Be sure to communicate proactively, as well. Give them advanced notification on any renovations - such as roof repairs or cement repaving - and keep them informed about any construction going on in the area.
Observe Fair Housing Practices
It doesn't take a genius to understand that a tenant will not stay with you if you charge high rents that are not in line with the neighborhood or current market conditions. Offer reasonable rental prices that are comparable to other properties in the neighborhood. If you have a long-term tenant, it's okay to raise rent prices occasionally - but don't do it at an exorbitant rate. Follow fair housing rules in order for your tenants to create a comfortable home in which they can relax, unwind, and stay awhile.
Remember the loss of rental income while properties lie vacant, the time, effort, and money that goes into advertising new tenants, screening potential tenants, and the steps required to turning the property back on. You took the time learning how to find good tenants, now it's time to make an effort to keep them. Follow these strategies to retain your tenants and keep your steady rental income drama-free.