Good tenants these days are truly hard to come by. You know your tenants are great when they pay their rent on time, take care of your property, and are just generally nice.
But what happens when they leave? You lose a steady source of income, you end up spending more for the constant maintenance and making sure the property is presentable. There’s also some apprehension that your next tenant might not be as nice as the previous one.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep your current tenants and save yourself the hassle of looking for new ones:
As a landlord, you should clearly set your expectations for your tenants. From the get-go, lay down the ground rules and make sure the details in your lease agreement are stated clearly.
Don’t forget to indicate when rent is due, as well as the duration of the leasing contract. Specify who handles repairs and maintenance when something happens. Make sure to cover all bases to prevent misunderstandings between you and your tenant.
Attend to your tenant and keep up with maintenance
When your tenants call you, make sure you respond in a timely manner. You don’t want possible problems with the electricity or water to go unattended. If you can’t take their calls right away, send them a message and call them back within a day. Urgent repairs need to be addressed immediately. Your tenants won’t stick around if you’re going to make them stay in a house with no water or heating for a week.
Always keep up with property maintenance and check on the heating, air conditioning, and water. You can also opt to offer cleaning services once a month or so. Inform your tenants ahead of time when you intend to bring in maintenance to avoid scheduling conflicts.
Observe fair housing practices
Set a fair housing price for your tenants. Check comparable properties around your area and fix your rent accordingly. Your tenants won’t stay long if your rent is considerably higher than other places in the neighborhood offering the same amenities.
Treat your tenants fairly
Familiarize and abide by your neighborhood and state’s federal housing laws. No matter the race, religion, gender preference, or political opinion, every tenant should be treated the same. Yes, you can set the price of your rent however you want, but if you raise the rent on specific groups, you may end up with a discrimination suit, which will hurt your chances of getting any tenants.
Respect your tenants’ privacy
Your tenant will contact you in case there’s a problem. Otherwise, don’t check in on them more frequently than you should. It’s better to respect their privacy and leave them alone. Your concern may be perceived as snooping around, mistrust, or intrusion. While it is understandable to want to keep your property and items safe, trusting your tenants is key to building a long-term relationship with them.
Encourage a longer lease
One way to have your tenants stay put is to encourage them to get a longer lease. If they announce their intention to rent your apartment for six months, consider offering them a lease for a year. If their lease is yearly, try going for two years at a reduced rate. It may not get you as much income as the previous plan, but it certainly ensures you have a steady stream of income. Just be sure to check your income and revenue projections before going for such plans.
Incentivize them for being good tenants
An unorthodox way to ensure your tenants stay longer is through a rewards system. For example, if they pay their rent on time, give them 100 points. They can later redeem those points in the form of household items or even furniture. If the points system seems tedious, you can offer discounts instead. Rewarding good habits encourages your tenants to keep those habits up and ultimately ensures your source of income stays constant.
If you need more rental property management tips, Sundance Property Management can help. We are a national company that owns, develops and manages residential rental real estate with a focus on multi-family communities. We have been in the business of acquiring and managing investment properties since 1993. Sundance Property Management operates in the states of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, and South Carolina.