So you are sitting back, relaxing, because your rentals are all full of high quality tenants who pay their bills on time. Life is good, right?
Not so fast.
When you are fortunate enough to land top notch renters, you must be diligent in keeping them feeling safe and happy on your property. Landlords that don’t stay on their toes can end up losing good tenants.
6 easy ways landlords can lose good tenants are:
Not answering the phone or reacting slowly to a current renter’s request will not sit well. One of the most important aspects of a positive tenant/landlord relationship is communication. Lack of communication can drive the relations downhill fast.
Solution: If you want to keep the renter in your property, put a priority on answering their questions and requests in a timely manner. Talk through all issues in a calm manner, and strive to reach an acceptable conclusion for both parties.
It is highly frustrating when good renter is forced to wait days for a toilet to be unclogged, or the air conditioner to be repaired. If this happens often enough, the tenant may decide to move to a better place.
Solution: When your tenants call about repair work, keep them abreast of the progress so they don’t feel like you’re ignoring them. The most important factor in handling these calls is to have a stable of high quality, dependable people on hand to tend to the situations fast. Establish relationships with plumbers, electricians, and other service providers so you don’t have to scramble when you need one.
Straying from a proper screening process.
Let’s be honest here, folks. Good quality tenants do not want to live beside neighbors who don’t respect the property, engage in domestic disturbances, or illegal activity. If a landlord becomes lax in their tenant screening processes, they will end up eventually renting to an unsavory tenant. If the current tenant feels unsafe, he will end up moving somewhere else.
Solution: Always conduct a rigorous rental background screen on every potential tenant. Check out their criminal history record, eviction history, credit report, and verify their employment. Completing a rental background screen will minimize the chance you will end up with a tenant who is dangerous, destructive, or who won’t pay his bills on time. A rental background screen also helps keep current tenants feeling secure and happy so they will remain in your rental.
Failing to respect the renters’ privacy.
Having the attitude that the property is yours and you will come and go as you please will end up irritating choice tenants. All people expect a modicum of privacy, and this is a big stumbling block in a productive tenant/landlord relationship.
Solution: Resist the temptation to barge anytime you want without notice. Call the tenants and schedule a visit that is mutually convenient. High quality renters will appreciate this courtesy.
Allowing the property to deteriorate.
High quality renters want to live in a nicely maintained and safe environment. If your property is being neglected and falling into disrepair, you could end up losing good tenants.
Solution: Make property upkeep and maintenance of your rental property a top priority. The time and money you spend on keeping the property in good condition will be less than the cost of losing good tenants because of run down rental property.
Dramatically increasing the rent.
A significant jump in rent can shock a renter’s budget. They may deem it too large of an increase and begin looking for another place to live, leaving you with the job of finding a replacement. Even with your best efforts, you may end up with the newer tenant not being as top notch as the tenant the rate increase scared away.
Solution: Apply more manageable rent increases. A small increase of 2% or so per year is more easily digestible to a person’s budget. A smaller increase will provoke fewer tenants to move, and you can keep your high quality tenants for longer.
High turnover in renters is costly and time consuming. It hurts even more if you begin losing good, solid tenants who pay their rent on time, respect your property, and abide by the law. Avoid these circumstances in order to keep your high quality tenants happy!