Finding a tenant that pays rent on time, notifies you of issues on time, and cares for your rental property isn’t easy. However, once you find such a tenant, it’ll obviously be in your best interest to keep them renting from you for as long as you can.
Luckily for you, in today’s article, we’ll share with you a quick guide on how to keep renters happy so that they can stay with you for as long as possible.
The National Center for Housing Management found that a whopping 54 percent of apartments turnover to new tenants every year. Now, a high tenant turnover rate is bad for your rental investment business. It’s expensive, and it means a lower return on investment.
When a tenant moves out, you’ll incur several expenses in order to ready the home for a new occupant. Common expenses include cleaning costs, pest control. deferred maintenance, utilities, painting, flooring, commissions and so forth. In addition, without a tenant, it means zero income at the end of the month.
The best way to minimize tenant turnover is by retaining great tenants as long as possible. This will benefit you in a couple of ways, including enjoying consistent rental income, saving costs of re-renting the unit, and avoiding the uncertainty that comes with renting to a new tenant.
The following are tips to help you keep renters happy.
1. Rent to the right kind of tenant.
Your journey to keeping a renter happy begins here. Lease to the right person that pays rent on time, notifies you of maintenance issues, and cares for the unit like they would their own. Making a snap decision to "get it rented" can cost thousands dowwn the road if you rent to the wrong tenants.
To do this, you’ll need to take prospects through a proper tenant screening process. Establish your rental criteria in writing and provide it to potential renters before they apply. A comprehensive tenant screening process involves checking a prospective tenant’s income, credit rating, criminal background, employment history, and even their eviction histories.
2. Respond to maintenance issues on time.
One key factor that contributes to a high tenant turnover rate is the inability by a landlord to respond to maintenance issues on time. The last thing a tenant wants is an unresponsive landlord.
As a landlord, you’ll want to stay on top of maintenance issues. Address any issues your tenant may have with the necessary urgency. This will be a win-win for both you and your tenant.
What’s more, ensuring your tenant lives in a habitable rental property is a requirement under the statewide warranty of habitability. It requires landlords to maintain their properties in a habitable state and respond to issues within 7 days.
3. Be a great landlord.
The human factor also plays a significant role when it comes to keeping renters happy. Your tenants are more likely to renew their lease when you are friendly and cooperative. After all, property management is a service industry. So, essentially, how you treat your customers will have an impact on your bottom line.
The following are some tips to help you in this regard.
- Provide your tenant with timely responses. Respond to urgent issues within a couple of hours, and non-urgent ones within a couple of days, ideally.
- Have open lines of communication to allow your tenant to reach out to you easily when they need to. Basically, show your willingness to stay in touch with your tenant.
- Be courteous, respectful, and professional when interacting with your tenant.
- Respect your tenant’s peace and quiet. Always notify them in advance prior to entering their rented premises.
4. Provide your tenants with the right amenities.
This is also another way to keep your tenants happy. Know what your target tenants want in a rental property and try your best to provide them with it.
The following are examples of amenities that can help improve your rental’s desirability.
- Stainless steel appliances.
- Available parking.
- An updated kitchen.
- A washer and dryer.
- Pet-friendly amenities.
- Granite countertops.
- Extra storage space.
- Programable thermostats
- Upgrade from carpet to vinyl faux wood flooring
- 2" blinds on the windows
- Ceiling fans
- LED light bulbs
5. Be proactive when it comes to lease renewals.
Let your tenant know that you want them to renew their lease when their current lease is up.
90 days before their lease expires, reach out to them and ask them whether they would be interested to renew their lease. If they aren’t interested, then start drafting a rental ad in preparation for the next tenant.
Beginning the marketing process early enough will help minimize the amount of time the property will stay vacant, ensuring minimal rent losses.
You may also want to encourage the tenant to renew their lease by offering them some incentives. Remember, you can write off expanses, you can't write off lost rent. The following are some great ideas to get you started.
- Upgrade their rental unit.
- Offer them a free month of rent.
- Offer them a gift card
- Allow them to keep a pet if you didn’t allow them before.
- Allow them to personalize the home, for example, repaint some rooms to their favorite colors.
6. Treat them fairly.
The odds of a tenant that feels targeted by their landlord renewing their lease are low. That’s why it’s important that you familiarize yourself with local and federal housing laws.
In Texas, you must treat all tenants fairly regardless of their race, color, religion, nationality, sex, familial status, or disability. The City of Austin has additional protected classes as well.
In addition, you must also be consistent in the way you treat people who rent from you. If, for instance, you require one tenant to pay a fee for late rent payment, then you must require the same for all other tenants.
7. Hire a property management company.
This is arguably the best way to keep renters happy. A good property management company will have tried and tested systems to ensure your investment is a success. We guarantee it! They will have experience to know what exactly to do to make renters renew their lease multiple times.
In addition, they will save you time and stress when it comes to responding to issues, collecting rent, marketing the property, and screening tenants.
Improving your tenant retention ratio is great for your bottom line. For professional help, get in touch with Rollingwood Management Inc. today! We have been serving property owners in Austin and the surrounding areas since 1986!