As a property owner, finding and retaining long-term tenants is a good idea. Oftentimes, these are high-quality tenants who pay their rent in a timely manner and who don’t cause problems. In general, long-term tenants will cause you less stress. Not to mention, the return on investment is much higher with these kinds of renters.
In this article, Century 21 Doug Anderson Property Management will explain everything you need to know about attracting and keeping long-term tenants in your property.
Why Do Tenants Leave?
Sometimes, tenants may leave the property for reasons that are beyond your control. However, that is not always the case.
Some common reasons that a tenant may leave the property include:
- High rent
- Inadequate maintenance
- Troublesome neighbors
- Pest and rodent problems
- Overbearing landlord
- Misunderstanding over lease agreement
- Owner’s pet policy
- Concerns over safety
These are all things that, as a property owner, you do have control over. So, let’s determine some of the ways you can attract and retain long-term tenants in your rental property.
How to Attract and Retain Long-Term Tenants
1. Start with the tenant screening process
When you screen tenants, your goal should be to find ones that are seeking a long-term rental. The key is to identify the characteristics of renters who are likely to stay long-term. Generally, families tend to relocate less often than young people. So, renting to families may be a good first step if you’re trying to rent to long-term tenants.
2. Charge fair and consistent rent
As a property owner, your initial lease price and your following rent adjustments need to be fair and competitive. It’s a good idea to price your unit 2-3% lower than similar ones. The “loss” in rental income doesn’t compare to the complete loss of a tenant. Additionally, the small difference in price is an incentive for tenants to stay in your property.
3. Ensure the lease agreement is clear
Sitting down with the tenant and discussing the lease is crucial. Oftentimes, a tenant will leave the property because of unclear lease policies. That’s why it’s important to never assume a tenant understands the lease without explanation.
4. Be flexible with tenant requests for customizing a space
Allowing the tenant to customize your unit to their taste helps them feel at home. If the tenant feels at home, they will be more likely to continue renewing the lease. Also, tenants who have a choice in the design of their space tend to be happier. And, happier renters are more stable.
5. Consider allowing pets in your property
People who have pets are often good tenants who are more likely to rent long-term.
These are the reason:
- Pet-owners are more affluent than the general population, so they will be able to pay the rent on time
- They are more responsible because looking after an animal demands a level of maturity
- They often have trouble finding properties that accommodate pets, so when they find one they like, they tend to stay put
6. Have a good maintenance strategy
A very common reason for tenants leaving a property is because of poor maintenance. Often, property owners and renters have disagreements over who is responsible for what regarding maintenance. To avoid similar issues, the lease agreement should clearly indicate each parties’ responsibilities.
7. Respect a tenant’s personal space
The tenant is paying to live in the property. Therefore, they want to feel as though they have control over their personal space. If a tenant begins to think that you are violating their boundaries, they can become hostile. This will encourage them to leave.
8. Treat tenants as valuable partners
Tenants appreciate property owners who go the extra mile for their happiness. You can make a tenant feel welcome and valued by doing small gestures.
Here are a few ideas:
- Offer them a welcome gift on move-in day
- Give them a list of important telephone numbers
- Provide them with a list of interesting places in the neighborhood
- Buy them small gifts on holidays
- Do random and small acts of kindness
Attracting long-term tenants is not as difficult as you may assume. By paying attention to detail, responding to tenant needs and showing professionalism, you can find quality tenants who will continue to renew their lease year after year.
Feel free to reach out to us, your trusted property management company, anytime!