Recently I moved into a new town-home in Denver and have been overcome by the amazing attentiveness of my new landlord. Since day one, he has done nothing but make me feel important and excited to live in his property. Below, I’ve compiled a list of details I’ve come to realize a renter expects and what every landlord should take into consideration to keep their tenants happy and renewing their leases! As you know, retaining renters is all about forming great relationships.
6 Things Every Landlord Should Do to Win Over Tenants
1. Make yourself easy to get ahold of.
It shouldn’t be a difficult task to get ahold of your landlord, and if you aren’t readily available, you should be in contact in a few short hours. I have had a landlord who took two or three days to get back to me about a leak, and by then, it was a larger mess for the both of us than it had to be.
2. Replace things that need to be replaced.
This shouldn’t be a hassle for you if you want your tenants to be happy, nor should it be anything but obvious. Before settling into my current town-home, I walked through a good 10-15 properties, and I couldn’t believe the state that some of the homes were in. Please tell me why you think someone wants to move into a place that has old, stained carpet? How about a sink or shower that has water marks? Trust me — we don’t.
After the walkthrough with the landlord I have now, he asked me what I would change about the rental if I was able, and he suggested I point out anything that would make me possibly choose another location over his. Personally, I didn’t at all take this as an uncomfortable moment and let him know the carpet in the basement was a little concerning, with some staining and a few holes in the walls. Upon leaving, he assured me if I chose his property that he would replace the carpet and patch the holes. Lo and behold he actually came through with his promises, and he replaced the carpet (yes, it’s cheap carpet — but it’s brand new and clean), and he patched up the holes. Those changes made the difference of a lifetime, and now I am even more inclined to keep it clean and pristine.
3. Hire a cleaning crew.
Who wants to move into a dirty house or apartment when you just spent your whole day moving boxes and furniture? No one. I most definitely have moved into apartments supposedly left “cleaned” by the prior tenant that were not even close to what I would think would be standard. These situations have left me spending a full day of cleaning before I can even begin to think about unpacking. I personally think that landlords should make it a requirement for tenants to leave $50 of their deposit for one small deep clean before your new tenant moves in. You have no idea how much of a difference this makes.
4. Stock a few household & yard maintenance necessities.
Now, I know not every landlord is renting out a location with a yard, but if you do, help them out with the little things and keep a few things at the home for upkeep. Invest in items such as a mower, rake, snow shovel, and ice salt — because these are things most renters don’t already own, and it will help persuade them to actually do work around the property that is needed. I know this might be a push, but the home I just moved into was also stocked with a week’s worth of paper towels, toilet paper and soap. These things make a move easier on your tenant so they don’t have to run to the store on their moving day and can take their time unpacking, instead of digging through boxes to find that one roll of toilet paper.
Bonus: Above-and-Beyond Tips That’ll Make You the Landlord of the Century!
5. Offer a bottle of champagne or sparkling cider upon move-in.
I have actually had this happen at a few of my rentals, and it’s a small gesture for a landlord that feels like a HUGE gesture to your renter. I think sometimes landlords forget that moving into a new place is a really exciting time in someone else’s life, so make your tenant feel special and let them know you understand it’s a big step for them!
6. Compile a list of nearby attractions.
This is something special that my current landlord did that was extremely helpful. Moving into a new neighborhood can be a bit confusing for a new tenant, so to let them feel a little more comfortable in their new surroundings. Make a list of all the closest restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, liquor stores, and hospitals. I realize we live in a day and age where people can look to their cellphones for all their questions, but it has personally been extremely helpful, and again, something simple and easy that has made a large difference for me.
Personally, I have loved being a renter, especially since I am not ready to settle down into my own home — but my experiences have been largely shaped by the actions of my landlords. If you’re a property owner and are looking for long-term tenants, remember that sometimes the small actions make the difference between whether your renter stays or moves onto the next best thing.
Renters (or landlords): What tips would you add to this list? What small actions have you found make a big difference?
Leave a comment, and let’s talk!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.