Ensuring your existing tenants are happy and continue renting is a real issue many landlords face, especially in the current rental market in Australia. In this blog post, we break down some key areas to focus on in order to ensure your tenants remain happy.
Keep your tenant happy by being proactive with property maintenance and routinely performing property inspections to ensure everything is always in order.
There aren’t many things more frustrating to a tenant than when their maintenance requests go unanswered, no one wants to live with a clogged drain. This can play a large part in a tenant’s consideration to renew.
"Incentives like a fresh coat of paint or carpet cleaning can be very attractive to long-term renters and make them feel appreciated."
Additionally, keeping up with maintenance and addressing issues quickly will help you spend less time on repairs when you do have to turn over the unit. Regularly inspecting the unit’s condition will help you stay on top of maintenance items that need to be addressed (that the tenant may not have noticed) and can help keep smaller maintenance tasks from turning into larger issues.
Even if you are using a property manager, it is very important that you respond to requests in a timely manner and are respectful of your tenants.
A good property manager will filter out unreasonable requests, so you should only be receiving important updates and requests. This will ensure that your tenants feel heard.
It’s important to know what factors tenants look for in a rental property so you can cater to their needs. Although you own the property, the tenant should be able to feel like its home. There are a number of ways you can promote this atmosphere, and in doing so, encourage your tenants to stay longer.
"The tenant should be able to feel like its home."
Some strategic upgrades that can turn a house into a home include:
- Hardwood flooring
- Central air conditioning
- Stainless steel appliances
- Bathroom upgrades
- Kitchen backsplash
- Updated cabinet hardware
While these come with upfront costs, these upgrades and/or renovations can be good, long-term investments to ensure tenants stay longer, especially when you consider the high expense of tenant turnover.
It is important that your property manager stays on top of lease renewals to allow enough time for your current tenants to renew. At :Different, we ensure tenants and landlords are aware well in advance (accessible via the owner portal and tenant app) when the lease is ending.
"Giving tenants ample time sure they are thinking about their plans easy and can give more notice."
This means you can get a jump on advertising before the tenant moves out and perhaps have someone lined up to take their place without losing even a month of rent.
When it comes to rental increases, it is important to work with your property manager to figure out the appropriate amount (if any) to recommend for an increase. A good property manager will understand what incentives are most meaningful to the tenant (e.g. they may request some home maintenance upgrades) and will be able to handle the negotiations successfully to ensure all parties are left satisfied.
You may find that fulfilling a tenant’s request may turn out to be less of an expense for you than turning over the unit and taking a risk on a new tenant.
You may also consider asking the tenant to sign a longer-term lease at a reduced rate. If they renew every six months, extend the lease to a year. If they renew yearly, consider extending the lease to two years at a reduced rate. While this method could mean you lose out on the profit from rent increases, it could be worth it to keep a reliable, rent-paying tenant longer. Make sure you properly crunch your numbers so you know what option is best for you.
Unless your tenant has a problem, they don’t want to hear from you. Respect that. You’ll occasionally need to gain access to the property for one reason or another, but when you do, be sure to give proper notice, and try not do so more than twice a year.
At :Different, we conduct a minimum 2x inspections per year, however, we can do more depending on the landlord, this should depend on the state of your property, the kind of tenants who are renting your property and what ongoing maintenance issues you have.
Keeping your tenants happy can have a lasting financial impact on you and your investment property. Small investments such as proactive maintenance and renovations could mean the difference between a short-term and long-term lease. These are important things to consider when weighing out the risk of having your property sit untenanted for an unknown period of time.
Here at :Different, we work hard to ensure both our landlords and tenants remain happy. Our technology means owners and tenants have 24/7 access to the information they need and maintenance requests are simpler and streamlined.
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