5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Tenants Happy
Now that you are a successful investor with a multifamily property and a community of good tenants, you may wonder how to keep them happy. Good tenants are respectful of your property, follow the rules and pay their rent on time. So how can you encourage them to stay on so you don’t risk vacancies and incur expenses associated with finding new tenants who may not live up to the current renters?
#1: Strengthen your Relationship
Tenants who feel they can count on you to be a cooperative landlord are more likely to renew their lease. If you made any promises to your renters, follow through on your commitments. If you promised your tenant a new refrigerator or if you said the rent will include water or heat, live up to your word. Be a good landlord by keeping the lines of communication open and making sure your tenants can contact you or your property manager easily should any issues arise.
#2: Keep Up with Maintenance
It goes without saying that a unit in need of a paint job with broken appliances and other issues is a turnoff for tenants. As a landlord, you can show support for your tenants by performing routine property inspections to find any maintenance or repair issues. Have your property manager replace filters in the heating and air-conditioning systems as needed, and check out the plumbing to find leaks or clogs before they become major problems. Regular pest control is a must. If the tenant advises you about a problem like a broken appliance or a malfunctioning smoke detector, respond quickly.
#3: Put Rules in Writing
Avoid confusion by putting regulations in writing so your tenants can refer to them as needed. There should be no misunderstanding about the procedure for paying rent, the penalty for late payment, parking regulations, trash, recycling and bulk pickups, noise regulations and penalties for damaged property. You should also provide contact numbers for yourself, your management company and emergency services such as the police and fire/rescue.
#4: Offer Desirable Incentives
Sweeten the deal by providing an incentive that will improve your tenants’ quality of life. Incentives can vary according to the makeup of the apartment community. Upgrades to the unit like hardwood floors or a tile backsplash will improve your property while make your tenants happy. For some investment properties, it makes sense to go the extra mile with strategic improvements and install bike racks, invite multiple internet providers, provide free Wi-Fi and create a fitness center. More multifamily buildings are offering common area amenities like conference rooms and resident lounges.
#5: Make Contact Before Renewal Time
Contact your tenants 2 – 3 months before their lease expires to find out if they are planning to stay. Make them happy by offering a lower than expected rent increase, or none at all. Negotiate a lease that is a win-win for you, the landlord, as well as the tenant. Giving in to upgrade requests or agreeing to a lower rent can mean less expense for you in the long run. Carrying a vacant unit, advertising for new tenants and other turnover expenses can add up over time. If possible, ask for a longer lease.
Keeping your tenants happy so they renew their lease can save you a bundle, even if you have to improve the unit or cut the tenant a break on the rent. Landlords who have a good relationship with their tenants are more likely to find out what it would take to have them stay. Make sure to do regular inspections to keep up with maintenance, and respond quickly to tenant requests. Improvements to your property that enhance the tenant experience can go a long way toward keeping a good tenant.