Replacing tenants regularly is costly and inconvenient. You have to get the property ready to rent and pay agents to advertise the property, hold open homes, screen new tenants and deal with the loss of income that comes with a vacancy period. Once you’ve found an ideal tenant, retaining them becomes an essential aspect of maintaining a consistent income from your investment. Here are some tips on how you can keep your tenants happy and living in your rental long term.
Ensure the Property is in Good Condition
Tenants who stay in rentals long term do so because it feels like home. When a property is in poor condition, it’s very often what motivates a tenant’s decision to leave. This includes:
● Windows and doors that lock properly
● Adequate insulation
● A heating and cooling system
● Good water pressure
● Fittings, fixtures and appliances that are operational and suitable
Always take care of repairs in a timely manner. Make your tenants feel like they are important to you by ensuring you or your agent are responsive and resolve any issues promptly. Remember that poorly maintained properties are also more likely to attract tenants who won’t respect the place.
Establish and Maintain a Good Relationship
Initiate a positive relationship with your tenants, starting with a clear rental agreement that sets out who is responsible for what and how situations like urgent repairs are handled. Provide a list of important contact details. Outline times for necessary contact and what is defined as an emergency or a request.
Be professional and punctual when they contact you and show an invested interest. You want a tenant who is reliable, respectful and responsive and your tenant wants the same from you. Ensure you also respect their privacy and the right to enjoy their home in peace.
It’s routine to make upgrades and improvements in preparation for getting a new tenant. If you have secured a long term tenant, you should offer the same thing. For example, getting the air conditioner serviced, offering garden maintenance or even a fresh coat of paint. Ask your long term tenants for feedback on what they’d like to see improved about the property.
Don’t expect tenants to fund additions to your property like heaters and air conditioners. Remember that accidents happen and an unreasonable approach will only make things worse. By being friendly and flexible, your tenants are likely to return the favour.
Go easy when you are considering raising the rent. Offering good tenants rent that is slightly below market rates can be a powerful retention tool that can save you hundreds or thousands in turnover costs.
Check out our other blogs for insights and helpful information. For assistance in managing your rental property in Geelong, get in touch with our team.