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Attracting quality tenants is the centerpiece of a profitable rental business.

And the secret to attracting quality tenants is giving them what they want.

Here are 3 things on the wish list of the 2012 tenant:

Smoke Free Living

The majority of tenants want rentals that are smoke free, not only in common areas, but throughout the property. And this majority of tenants includes the very best–those who are willing to pay for the privilege.

Going smoke-free is a win-win situation for landlords, because costs go down at the same time rents remain strong. And once your rentals become smoke-free, there are more options for advertising your rental property– for free.

Crime Free Buildings

The International Crime Free Multi-Housing Certification Program is a turnkey way to keep your properties free from crime, and the tenant retention problems that go with it. This Certification can also prevent getting hit with fines in those cities that have passed nuisance laws over the past couple of years.

After participating in the program, proudly display your Crime Free Certificate in the leasing office, your present it to prospects to seal the deal.

Pet Friendly Rentals

Most tenants want pets–whether landlords want them or not. Rather than avoiding the problems that come with pets, consider how you could re-tool your rentals to allow pets–and the high quality tenants who have them.

Being pet friendly doesn’t mean giving pets the run of the roost. Adopt a strong set of pet policies, limiting the number of pets per unit, prohibiting disruptive pets, and require the maximum damage deposit.

If it is feasible, lessen the recurring pet expenses by changing out carpeting for solid flooring.

With AAOA, landlords have resources at their fingertips. Check out our Landlord Forms page.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at

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