As a rental owner, what is better than good tenants that have no complaints and the rent is paid on time every month? How great is it when the inspections show a normal home and tenants, living their lives as if they are the owner? It is a fact. Keeping good tenants for a long-term creates dependable income and less stress.
Then, shortly before lease renewal, bam, you receive notice. Bummer! Was there anything you might have done differently to keep those good tenants?
There are a few time-tested actions a landlord can take that will make a difference. Here are a few tips to make sure your good tenants remain as your good tenants.
Keep Offering Good Tenants The Best Rates
Be aware of the rental trends in the area. Owners love to hear that supply is less than demand so raising rents are an option. They are not as receptive to the news that rentals are proliferating an area and the competition is bringing rents down. Of course, it won’t be long until good tenants find this news also.
Most areas offer similar homes, no matter how much you think your tenant loves the master closet. Finding a comparable home for less per month, well (excuse my take off on the commercial) even a caveman can figure that one out. Adios nice owner, we are going to save $30 a month!
If you love your good tenant, make sure you keep offering them the best rates. Not below market rates. The best market rates.
Don’t Assume Your Good Tenants Are Happy
Another issue can be that we misinterpret the renter’s quietness. Many people just do not bother to let the property manager know that the drain in the tub is so slow it is like taking a bath. Every day though they take a shower and every day they get just a little bit more unhappy with the house.
Suddenly, the window that is so tough to open just becomes another reason to move.
We can’t assume a tenant is as happy as a dog next to a fireplace just because they are quiet. The manager has to check with the tenant every now and then. Regular inspections are not just about lease enforcement. These inspections can be handled so they are not intrusive, but a chance to say hello to the tenant and see if anything is bothering them. This attention just might provide some insight that the great tenant is considering moving. With this notice, we might be able to figure out how to persuade them to stay.
Stay Proactive for Repairs and Maintenance
Some of the most common complaints heard from tenants who are applying for one of our rentals is:
- their old landlord would not fix anything and it took them forever to respond to a maintenance request, or
- that the home was in need of new carpet or a furnace, or some other update, and the owner would not even consider making the home nicer.
These issues seem pretty obvious. Unfortunately, owners sometimes do not have the financial whereabouts to hire that plumber for a non-emergency repair. Or spend the big bucks on new counter tops. Maybe there is something that the finances will allow that will show your tenant you care.
The problem with deferred maintenance is not only with keeping your existing good tenant. The next tenant may be harder to find and keep. An owner that does not want to quickly make repairs is often the main reason your good tenant does not renew their lease.
If you own a rental, just like your home (the one you live in), budget to spend some money making it a better place to live!
How To Keep Your Good Tenants?
Simple. The same way most relationships work.
Keep them happy!
Sometimes tenants need to feel connected to the property beyond finances. For example, let them paint the interior. Maybe even provide the paint of their choosing and color. It will make a big difference.
Remember, a great tenant will likely expect more, or possibly become unhappy faster. Our goal is to keep them happy, and feeling like the owner appreciates them. It may take a little extra time, money and effort, but it will be worth it!