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How to Keep Good Tenants – Top 10 Tips

Finding quality tenants in this day and age can seem impossible, but the truth is, there’s plenty out there. 

Unfortunately, a small minority have had undesirable experiences with Landlords in the past and this has consequently damaged their levels of trust with Landlords to a certain extent.

Building strong links with your tenants can help reduce tenant churn, minimise arrears and can make difficult conversations like increasing rent a lot easier.

So, let’s get stuck in. Here’s 10 great tips you can use to help retain quality tenants.

Be the Landlord you'd want to have.

Generally, we encourage Landlords to put themselves in their tenants shoes.

Would you be happy living in one of your own rental units? 

Would you feel comfortable renting from a Landlord that has the same qualities as you?

Take these questions into account and just take a moment to think. If your immediate thoughts are negative, why?

Understanding exactly what you can improve to become a better Landlord will contribute greatly to keeping hold of fantastic tenants.

Be hands on with inspections & maintenance.

From a tenant’s perspective, chasing Landlords over and over again just to get a leaky tap repaired can be extremely frustrating.

Spotting potential problems or cases of disrepair before a tenant does will only serve to your advantage. 

Your tenant will see you as hands on and they’ll also love the fact that you’ve addressed a maintenance issue before it’s turned into a larger problem.

Performing maintenance as a Landlord

Performing regular property inspections can be a great way to show your tenants how serious you are about your investment and gives them all the more reason to not move on.

However, you need to ensure you’re not being intrusive and are providing ample notice before you perform one.

If you’re not entirely sure on how to approach a Property Inspection, click here to read the blog we wrote. We also give away free copies of our property inspection checklist too, so you know exactly what to look out for.

Setting expectations with tenants.

We always urge Landlords to lay out expectations with tenants first, so no miscommunications happen.

For example, do your tenants know whose responsibility it is to maintain the lawn?

Setting firm expectations with tenants can help avoid confusion. It’ll also ensure that the requirements you have for your tenants are met during their stay. 

This’ll make for a more pleasant relationship between you and your tenant and can remove any prospect of conflict, keeping your tenants cool. 

Issuing a Rent Increase to a Tenant

Happy tenants are long term tenants!

Providing a welcome pack can help outline expectations pretty much immediately, and better yet, you can keep a copy for yourself as proof that you’ve asked your tenants to look after certain aspects of your property.

If you don’t have a welcome pack template already, we’ve got one you can have for absolutely free in our blog ‘The Landlords Welcome Guide for New Tenants.’ 

Our blog covers ways you can make your tenant’s move-in experience more comfortable and one to remember. Click here to learn more.

Reward good habits.

If your tenants are keeping your property in good shape and are making rental payments on time, reward them. Show them that what they’re doing is appreciated and isn’t going unnoticed.

Doing so will go a long way with those who proactively make an effort to follow their rental agreement to a T. They’ll understand that you care enough to realise that they’re doing a fantastic job.

Buy them a bunch of flowers or send them a lovely card. Inexpensive gestures like these can really show that you enjoy having your tenants in your property and they’ll be encouraged to stay.

Host communal events.

If you’re a HMO Landlord or you have multiple rental properties in the same vicinity, try and host a communal event to get to know them better or to show them that you’re attempting to actively engage with them.

This of course isn’t a must, but will help you build stronger foundations with your occupiers.

Man and Woman Hosting a BBQ

In the summer months, inviting your unit’s tenants to a communal BBQ or a pizza lunch in a communal space can really show your tenants that you care and can encourage them to keep living there.

This also increases the chances that your existing tenants befriend each other. Living local to your friends is a great reason for you to not move out!

Be firm but fair.

If you’re a HMO Landlord or you have multiple rental properties in the same vicinity, try and host a communal event to get to know them better or to show them that you’re attempting to actively engage with them.

This of course isn’t a must, but will help you build stronger foundations with your occupiers.

In the summer months, inviting your unit’s tenants to a communal BBQ or a pizza lunch in a communal space can really show your tenants that you care and can encourage them to keep living there.

This also increases the chances that your existing tenants befriend each other. Living local to your friends is a great reason for you to not move out!

Don't ignore tenant complaints.

As a tenant, feeling like your complaints fall on deaf ears is incredibly frustrating. Especially if it’s about another tenant. Things can become sticky pretty quickly.

Typically, tenant complaints can be caused due to:

  • Maintenance issues and ignored repair requests.
  • An intrusive Landlord who turns up unannounced at the property.
  • Nuisance neighbours.
  • Unwanted pets, pests and rodents.
  • Dirty or unkempt communal areas.
  • Bad tenant relationships.

So it’s imperative to address complaints from tenants as soon as you possibly can before the situation simply becomes unbearable and forces them to move out.

How to address tenant complaints.

As a Landlord, you need to fully understand the best method to approach a tenant complaint.

Be empathetic, ask lots of questions and try to wrap your head around the situation to the best of your ability. 

If the issue is about maintenance or repairs, it’s best to fix it if the cost isn’t substantial. After all, it’s more expensive to host a non-paying tenant than it is to fix a broken boiler.

Girl with Anxiety

If the complaint is about another tenant, ask what compromises both parties might be willing to make.

More importantly, you should document everything. If complaints are brought up, make sure that a complaints procedure is followed and documented the entire way.

Distressed Man Writing on a Piece of Paper

Any communication with the tenant should be noted down too.

This is simply to protect you and your investment. Should the matter ever go to court if the tenant refuses to pay rent, you’re going to need to show you did everything possible to offer a resolution.

We’re not complaints experts, and we don’t pretend to be either. If you’re stumped to the point where you need to bring in the experts, we encourage you to do so.

A tenant refusing to pay rent can cause a huge hole in your pocket, so it’s important to try and offer a resolution where you can.

Get to know your tenants.

An easy one. You don’t want to be saved in their phone as just ‘Landlord.’ Get to know your tenants. Conversate with them and more importantly, check in on them.

You won’t know how your tenant feels if you don’t communicate with them. 

Having a solid relationship will contribute to them opening up about any potential complaints they may have which could lead to a resolution. 

Who knows, it might be a simple fix!

Understand your tenant's needs.

Knowing what your tenants require can help make their property more suited towards them. For example, a student who lives in a HMO might need a lock on certain areas of their room. 

If your tenant is a work from home professional and you pay the broadband bill, you might want to consider upgrading the Wi-Fi package. 

You probably get the gist by now!

Meeting these needs might stop tenants from shopping around and keep them firmly put which is exactly what you’d want if your tenant is desirable!

Give tenants a reason to stay.

It’s all fine pointing out things that might make great tenants stay longer, but if you want to guarantee that your tenants stay under your wing, you can do things like:

  • Bring up renewing before they’re due and potentially offer a discount if they stay put.
  • Offer to upgrade certain aspects of the property if they keep living there.
  • Offer them another property within your portfolio if they are insistent on moving.

Cutting above the noise is important, as rental properties are now in demand more than ever before.

Your tenants are the lifeblood of your property business, so remember to treat them right!

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