You want good tenants, but sometimes you end up with a terrible tenant and you have to try to do what you can to get them to comply. Then there are the great tenants that you never want to see leave because you have it so good with them. You feel lucky to have them and don’t want to lose them.
Here are seven tips to help you hold on to those amazing tenants:
1. Be Responsive
It’s not hard to answer the phone when tenants call. It’s easy to call a tenant back when they leave a message, and to at least leave a voicemail if they don’t answer. Whoever is the main contact point for tenants should make it a priority to acknowledge tenant comments, questions and complaints.
2. Address Problems Quickly
Most tenants aren’t allowed to make repairs or alterations themselves. Tenants certainly shouldn’t address issues with other tenants either.
Tenants rely on building owners and managers to address their issues in a timely manner. Failing to do so will lead to frustration and resentment.
3. Use Quality Materials and Appliances
If you use high quality materials and appliances to start with, your tenants will likely experience fewer issues in their units that require repairs. Do your research for durability and longevity when purchasing appliances for your units. Investing a bit more for the carpets and flooring so they don’t become threadbare and worn may also be beneficial in the long run.
4. Perform Regular Maintenance
Check those high-quality appliances regularly and perform maintenance on them. Take a quick look around the unit to see if there are any little issues you can fix for them, like fixing broken cabinet handles or oiling squeaky doors. Maintenance also includes changing burnt-out light bulbs in common areas, mowing the lawn, cleaning rugs in entryways, etc.
5. Respect Tenant Privacy
Just because you own the property doesn’t mean you can barge in whenever you want. Call in advance and schedule a visit if you need to address some issues with your tenants. Only in the case of an emergency should you enter a tenant’s unit without permission or without notifying them first.
6. Be Friendly
Say “hi” when you see tenants and ask them how they’re doing. If you have to send them a correspondence or notice, include a note in your envelope asking them if there’s anything in the unit that requires attention. Sometimes these simple gestures can open a floodgate to things you didn’t know about.
7. Restrain From Raising the Rent
There are a variety of reasons why you might want to raise the rent. Maybe the tenants signed up under a special rate or the market has changed and you’re able to charge more for the same units. Maybe you really need to raise the rent to cover the cost of improvements. Review the numbers and see if you can hold back or if there is another option before drafting a new lease.
By raising the rent your tenants may look to see what else is out there. All they have to do is find a comparable place that is a little cheaper or closer to where they work, and instead of getting more rent from them you have an empty unit.
Many tenants are good tenants, but not all of them are amazing. When you find amazing tenants, you want to do what you can to keep them because when they leave you can’t be sure that you’re going to be as lucky next time. Do a good job screening potential tenants first, then once they move in, treat them as you would want to be treated if you were them. The tips in the list above are a good place to start.