Keeping good tenants is key to long-term profitable rentals, so here are 7 proactive maintenance tips that keep tenants happy and staying in your rental property.
By Justin Becker
As a landlord or building manager, there are several responsibilities that will take you on the path to success. It’s not just about collecting rent from tenants, being firm, and making sure the rules are always followed. If you want your business of being a landlord and property manager to be lucrative and thriving, it’s only logical to hold on to great tenants when you find them.
Good tenants are great to work with; they’ll call you up for any issue, pay the rent on time, and respect the rental property. These might come around only once in a blue moon. So, you should be doing proactive maintenance in order to retain these good residents.
Whether you’re thinking about considering mobile homes for lease or renting out apartments, keeping your property tenants happy should be on the list of priorities. Not sure how to achieve this in the long run? Take care to follow these tips:
How to Keep Tenants Happy
A major chunk of property management includes finding ways to enhance the appeal of your property for good tenants. Hopefully, the following tips will help in keeping your tenants happy. Proactive maintenance means you’ll be more likely to keep good tenants for the long run in this manner.
What’s even better is that not every property maintenance idea for your tenants will cost an arm and leg. As long as you find something that will appeal to tenants about the property, go ahead and invest in it. Do proactive maintenance. There are also non-monetary and inexpensive options.
1. Address All Concerns as Soon as Possible
Every decent landlord wants to keep their tenants happy, especially if the aim is to extend the lease agreement on the property. Staying on top of property maintenance and responsibly performing inspection are just two great tips to retain and keep your tenants for the long run.
While you take care of the tenants, you should place yourself in their shoes; there’s probably nothing more frustrating in everyday life than having to deal with maintenance delays. No tenants want to live on a property with a leaking roof, dripping pipe, or broken toilet. While a landlord is a busy person, proactive maintenance is one of the main forms of property management that makes tenants happy.
In addition to property management, landlords can also go for incentives such as offering tenants carpet cleaning, deep cleaning every year, and other services that won’t cost too much. They’d still be appreciated by the tenants and be an influential factor when they’re thinking about extending the lease.
What’s more, routinely checking up on the property’s maintenance issues and fixing problems when they’re still small has an additional advantage. This way, you’ll avoid having the tenants’ issues develop into something difficult and expensive to fix. Property management costs will then go down in the long run if you take care in keeping your tenants happy.
2. Never Forget the Human Factor
A landlord might sometimes forget that their tenants are human and liable to make errors. If you really want to keep tenants happy, try to empathize with them more often. Tenants are more likely to stay on when the landlord of the property is cooperative with them.
One way to be cooperative is to make it easy for tenants to have access to you to talk about the property. This doesn’t mean giving them permission to call you at all hours, but to have some form of open communication. This will solve misunderstandings and make for a better relationship with the tenants on the property.
Additionally, keep the needs and comfort of the tenants in mind as well as the property issues. If you’re hiring a team to come for proactive maintenance and repairs on the property, have them over when most of the tenants have gone to school or work. This way, you won’t be ruining their downtime or naps on the property.
3. Stay Updated on What Your Tenants Want
The younger, modern generations require certain things from the places they’re living in. High-speed Wi-Fi is one of them, while beautiful outdoor spaces and open floor plans are also very welcome. If required, you might want to fit these in your property-management budget to keep your tenants happy.
As a landlord in the current times, you need to prepare for the long run. Take care of these requirements so that the lifestyle quality of your tenants is a good one. This will go a long way in keeping your tenants happy.
For instance, you might offer features like study rooms or bike racks if most of your tenants are students. For families, upgrading to stainless steel appliances or providing a laundry room might be great ideas.
Thinking like this might also help with your mobile homes for sale as well as other types of property. In fact, most of these tips are useful for anyone looking to rent to tenants or sell property.
4. Stay Proactive about All the Lease Renewals
Among the top tips for keeping your tenants happy is to let them know well before you offer to renew their lease on the property. Don’t wait until they’ve paid the last month’s rent; consider informing them around three months before the lease expiry date.
Even if your good tenants decide to move out of the property, you’ll have the chance to advertise that space for rent well in time. This way, you won’t have to worry about the lost months of rent.
If the good tenants seem a bit hesitant, ask them if they want a decrease in rent. Communication and honesty are key. So, don’t underestimate these concepts when you’re dealing with property management.
5. Aim for Longer Leases
See if your good tenants will agree to sign a lease for a longer term in exchange for a reduced rent. Renewing every six months can be extended to a year if the tenants are agreeable. Tenants who extend after a year might be convinced to go for two years if they’re satisfied with the property.
These tips might mean that the landlord of the property loses out on some profit. However, such tips will also make sure that reliable, decent tenants stay on.
6. Treat All Tenants the Same
There might be some tenants on the property that you get along with more than others. But don’t show that to everyone so clearly. Every landlord needs to know the federal and local housing laws. So, there’s no room for discrimination between tenants on the basis of race, physical abilities, religion, body size, etc. Sometimes, keeping your tenants happy simply means seeing them as people instead of income sources on a property.
7. Stay Firm about Rules but Know When to be Flexible
There are several rules to follow when it comes to rental property, but there’s still room to be flexible when it’s appropriate. The regulations might not allow pets or waterbeds, for instance, while things like closed toilets might elicit fines.
While most of these rules are for the tenants’ own safety, there are times when you might want to make an exception. For instance, you can waive the fine for tenants who are really having financial difficulty.
Communication is the best way to deal with rental property. If the people next door are complaining about the noise coming from a rental unit at night, talk to the tenants first. Don’t be so quick to blame; you might find that the problem isn’t so big after all, and you could even end up helping someone out.
The National Center for Housing Management has reported that around 54 percent of apartments will go to new tenants every year. This is not good news for landlords, as it means they have to bear the cleaning and repair expenses after the tenants leave. The rent is also lost which means that paying the advertising fees, mortgage installments, and utilities will become even harder.
By following the tips above, though, you can learn how to keep your tenants happy and satisfied on your property. This will reduce the turnover expenses by a mile. So, take care to do proactive maintenance in order to be maintain your property better.
About the author:
Justin Becker is a property owner in the state of Michigan and has a passion for managing communities. He owns apartment complexes and mobile home communities, and has been writing his own blogs for his properties for several years.