Running a thriving and profitable rental property is no easy task, especially as a property owner. Issues such as dealing with constant vacancies, never ending maintenance repairs or tenants sending in their rent checks late can negatively impact your business.
However, a great way to remedy these issues is finding a quality long term tenant who can take care of your property and pay their rent on time. If you have managed to find this type of tenant, it is crucial to keep them living in your unit as long as possible.
Not only will this maximize the fiscal return of your investment, it will also minimize stress and frustration for you. Here are four simple ways you can keep tenants from moving out of your rental property.
Be Friendly & Respectful to Tenants
This piece of advice is pretty obvious, but as a property owner, it is important to treat not only your tenants, but everyone else with respect. This includes guests, maintenance workers and other professionals going through the property. In most states, entering a unit unannounced is illegal and an invasion of privacy, so if you need to enter a unit for any reason, be sure to notify renters at least 24 hours in advance. At the same time, being friendly and respectful does not mean you should be a pushover when it comes to late rent payments. Remember to stay firm when it comes to rent collection, since this is your bread and butter. Consistently late payments are unacceptable, and repeat offenders should be dealt with properly.
Keep Rent Prices Reasonable But Competitive
If your rental property is plagued by constant tenant turnovers, this could be because you are overcharging for rent. Consider where your real estate is located. Is your property in a neighborhood with a high crime rate? Or perhaps your prices are above the neighborhood average, and the rental properties across the street are offering the same type of unit at a lower rental price. Either way, be vigilant and stay on top of current market costs. To ensure that prospective renters stay for at least a year, have them sign a 12-month lease agreement as opposed to a month-to-month lease. As for current tenants, be sure to re-evaluate their rental agreements once it has ended and strategically increase rent so that it is still lower than your competitors.
Address Emergencies & Repairs in a Timely Fashion
Nothing is more frustrating for a tenant than an inaccessible landlord who does not care enough to respond to emergencies or properly repair broken facilities. A responsible and caring property owner is communicative, empathetic and expedient when addressing tenant issues. As a guideline, emergencies should be fixed within a week, and minor repairs should be addressed within 30 days. When issues such as plumbing, unkempt hallways, detrimental elevators, pests and pipe bursts are left neglected, not only will your good tenants start looking for other living options, the overall value of your property will decrease from the damages. Both of these possibilities usually result in lost time and income.
Add Amenities That Can Make More Income
Installing useful features such as coin laundry machines or a vending machine can also keep tenants living in your building. If your rental property is in an area with limited street parking, you can also create extra garage spaces for parking, and offer tenants the option of paying more for a monthly or annual parking spot. Not only will tenants see that their landlord cares enough to upgrade the building, these additional amenities will also bring in more revenue every month and add value to your building when it comes time for resale.
Securing excellent tenants from the beginning can be made possible through a stringent application process. Checking a potential tenant's background, credit and previous rental history can give you a good indication of whether or not they will be a dependable renter. However, if you find that you are taking on more responsibility than you can handle, try seeking professional assistance to help protect your investment. Using an experienced and reputable property management company can yield many benefits such as guaranteeing the appropriate supervision of your property and finding quality tenants on your behalf -- ultimately providing you with peace of mind.