As a landlord, having a long-term tenant who is responsible and respectful of the rental property is a valuable asset to you and your business. Finding a great tenant isn’t easy! But once you find an excellent tenant for your rental property, you will want them to stay for as long as possible!
According to research conducted by the National Center for Housing Management, 54% of apartments turnover to new tenants each year. For a landlord, having a high turnover rate for your rental properties is certainly less than ideal, as it comes with some inconvenient financial consequences.
Expenses for repairs on the property and cleaning costs paired with the lost income from rent can take a toll on any landlord. The longer your rental unit sits vacant, the more you will end up paying in marketing fees and utilities.
This is why reducing your turnover rate is the best way to make sure that your rental properties remain profitable. When your turnover rate is low, you can generate consistent income from rent payments, spend less time and energy preparing the rental home for new tenants, and avoid the uncertainty of bringing a new tenant into your rental property.
But how exactly do you keep such a high-quality tenant long-term? Luckily, we have a few tips that will help you do just that.
Keep reading to see our guide to keeping your tenants long-term.
7 Ways to Keep Tenants Long Term
1. Make Repairs Quickly
Keeping your tenant happy in your property is essential, especially when you want them to extend their lease agreement. The fact is, your tenant will be more likely to stay in the unit if you are proactive with maintenance concerns and take the necessary steps to keep the property in the best shape possible.
As the landlord, you want to show your tenants that you are dedicated to providing them with an enjoyable place to live. The way that a landlord handles maintenance issues can often be the deciding factor when it comes to whether or not a tenant will renew their lease.
Further incentives such as professional carpet cleaning or hiring a cleaning service for the home are great ways to make a long-term tenant feel appreciated without spending too much money.
By addressing maintenance issues early and making frequent and small repairs, you can avoid larger, more costly issues in the future. You can also spend less time on repairs when the time comes for turning over the unit and preparing it for a new tenant to take over.
2. Be a Good Landlord
This may go without saying, but a great way to keep tenants long-term is to simply be a good landlord! If you are friendly and cooperative with your tenants, then they are sure to feel comfortable living in your rental home for a longer period of time.
Ensure that your responses are timely and professional and make it easy for your tenants to contact you. Take the time to maintain open communication with your tenants, as doing this will reduce the likelihood of miscommunications and create an overall more positive relationship between you and your tenants.
Remaining courteous and respectful can go a long way when it comes to keeping your tenants happy!
3. Know Which Amenities Are Valuable to Your Tenants
Which amenities can you offer to your tenants that are valuable enough to make them want to renew their lease? This is an important question if you want to maintain long-term tenants.
Consider things like high-speed internet, open floor plans, and desirable outdoor spaces. Knowing what amenities are popular with tenants is the best way to ensure that you are staying competitive in the market.
In your rental properties, consider offering valuable features to both attract high-quality, long-term tenants and encourage your current tenants to renew their leases. Consider things like parking, appliances, and storage.
For example, if your properties are located near a university, then the demographic of tenants interested in the home may be looking for amenities such as a bike rack or a quiet room to study in. Property upgrades like these have the potential to be worthwhile investments in the long run.
4. Be Proactive with Lease Renewals
Let your tenants know well in advance if you wish to renew your lease with them. By reaching out early, you can encourage them to start thinking about their plans so that whichever decision they end up choosing, they can give you adequate notice.
Additionally, if the tenant decides to move, then you can get an early start on advertising the soon-to-be vacant property.
5. Suggest a Longer Lease Period
Ask your tenants if they would consider signing a longer-term lease for a lower cost. For example, if your tenants currently renew their lease every six months, try extending the lease to a year. While this may result in you losing out on a small amount of profit from rent increases, it is often worth it to secure a reliable, long-term tenant.
In addition to this, there are other ways to encourage a tenant to stay in the unit for a longer amount of time. You may choose to avoid a rent increase for the upcoming year as a condition for renewing the lease.
You can also communicate with your tenant to determine what they need in order to stay on the property for longer. This will give you more insight into which incentives are valuable to them.
6. Always Treat Your Tenants Fairly
As a landlord, you always want to respect your tenants and prevent them from feeling targeted in any way. This is why it’s important that all landlords familiarize themselves with local and federal landlord-tenant laws and the Fair Housing Act.
This means that all tenants, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or physical ability are all treated the same. This also means avoiding charging too much for rent, addressing concerns quickly and respectfully, and remaining responsive to your tenants.
7. Enforce Rules Respectfully
Regardless of your rental property’s rules, it is important to put them in writing before the lease is signed. It is also a good idea to clearly explain any consequences that may occur should these rules be broken so your tenants have a clear idea of what to expect while living on the property.
If your long-term tenant starts to break your property rules or policies, try talking with them first before taking action. Most high-quality and responsible tenants will resolve the issue quickly.
By enforcing rules fairly and respectfully and indicating a clear policy on the consequences of breaking these rules, you will be able to give your tenants realistic expectations of their responsibilities while living in the rental home. Just make sure to check that all of your rules and policies adhere to your local and federal landlord-tenant regulations.
With the help of these tips, you will hopefully feel ready and equipped to attract high-quality, long-term tenants to your property. At the end of the day, every landlord wants a reliable tenant who will respect the property and pay their rent on time each month.
By maintaining positive relationships with your tenants, making quick repairs, and treating each and every resident with respect and professionalism, you will be able to significantly reduce your vacancy rates, all while maintaining a consistent profit.