How to Hold on to Good Tenants
Finding good tenants is any landlords dream. They pay their rent on time, their quiet and well mannered, they even maintain good care of the property. So wouldn’t you rather keep these tenants in your rental property instead of putting large amounts of effort and money into finding new tenants?
We have put together a few tips for you on how to retain good tenants and ensure that they renew their lease.
Maintain the Property
Remember that being a good landlord goes far beyond just handing over keys and cashing rent cheques. By maintaining the property you will provide a home that tenants can be proud of. Make sure that you’re keeping up with the landscaping and/or snow removal, answer complaints promptly and efficiently, ensure that any burnt out lights are looked after right away. By being a landlord that goes above and beyond for their tenants will help build trust and loyalty.
Communication is Key
Ensure that you are responding to your tenant’s inquiries or requests in a prompt manner. If the situation will take more time to resolve, ensure that you are communicating the situation in its entirety to your tenants. Don’t leave them hanging and wondering what is happening. Clear communication and openness about certain situations will help to further develop a trust-based relationship with your tenants. Offer support and understanding so they know that they don’t have to solve everything on their own.
Try being proactive in your landlord duties. Check in with your tenants periodically and see how things are doing and if they have any issues that need to be addressed. It’s a good idea to do a yearly property inspection to ensure that your tenants are living in the best conditions possible. This will allow you to make any upgrades if necessary and again helps to build a positive rapport with your tenants.
Stay within Market Price
Tenants will not continue to rent from you if they can get another apartment with all the same amenities and square footage in the same neighbourhood for less money. Offer comparable rental prices for your tenants to ensure that they aren’t shopping around for a better price.
Institute Reward Incentives for Good Tenants
Larger property management companies have started to implement a rewards system to encourage and recognize good tenant behaviour. For instance, you can institute a points system that rewards tenants for paying rent on time or for tenant referrals. Over time these points add up and can be redeemed for free gifts or upgrades within their suites. Such systems will only be beneficial for those buildings with a high number of tenants.
Encourage Tenant Activities
One of the biggest draws that will help to keep your tenants is if they have neighbours within the building that they can get along with. If you have a common area such as a patio or garden area set up a monthly social event where tenants can hang out and meet their neighbours. Create a sense of community so that your tenants have the opportunity to meet the people in their building. This will not only help to create friendships but mutual respect among your tenants. If you can create a safe and secure environment among your tenants it will help to increase their desire to continue living in the building.
If you manage a large property it may not be possible for you to address every single tenant concern yourself. Make sure that your employees in the rental office interact with your tenants in the same manner as you would. Your tenants need to feel respected and that their issues are being properly dealt with. Ensure that you hire people who share your ideals and level of service.
Contact tenants before their lease is up for renewal to discuss what their plans are. Offer them rental incentives if they renew their lease such as upgraded parking or new appliances. Find out from them if there is any upgrading they would like in their suite and see if you can come to an agreement. Alternatively, come up with a list of upgrades that you can afford that your tenants can choose from to make modifications and enhance their living conditions for the next year.
Like any relationship, it takes time and effort to make it work; the tenant/landlord is no different. By following the tips provided it will help you to become a better landlord and help to prevent frequent tenant turnover.
However, tenants will move on eventually and it’s important that there is no hard feelings or bad blood that prompted their decision to vacate the unit. Find out from them what made them decide to move on and if there was anything you could have done to persuade them to stay. At the very least you will know where you went wrong for next time!