4 Practical Ways to Increase Tenant Happiness (& Quality)

by | BiggerPockets.com

Vacancies can cost you money in lost rents and in turnover expenses. The best way to ensure profitability is to keep your tenants in your units long-term and avoid recurring vacancies. Some tenants move because of a change in their job, life situation, or circumstances you can’t control as a landlord. Others move because they are no longer happy where they live or feel their needs can be better served elsewhere. So, how do you keep your tenants happy?

Today, I’m going to give you four practical tips that will help keep your tenants happy and increase tenant quality. You might be wondering, “Why is it so important to have happy tenants?” In today’s video, I give a few other reasons that it pays to keep your tenants happy, outside of avoiding a vacancy.

Related: What to Do When Your Tenant Drives Through the Living Room

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4 Practical Ways to Increase Tenant Happiness (& Quality)

In the video, I go over a few tips on how to keep tenants happy. Here are the first two:

  1. Treat them like people. This means just treating them with respect. Treat them how you would want to be treated. Speak to them the way that you would want to be spoken to. This is important because it will remind you that when it comes time to make tough or expensive decisions, you base your decision off of the human factor and not just the bottom line.
  2. Take care of maintenance, preventative and reactive. Take care of maintenance issues in a timely manner. This doesn’t mean drop everything you’re doing for small issues, but when it comes to major issues, make sure you address the issue quickly. Also, take care of the small things that will need to be taken care of in the future. Make sure your tenants see you and that they notice that you’re looking out for them.

Watch the video for two more tips on creating long-term tenant happiness!

In conclusion, the happier your tenants are, the better quality property you’ll have. I would even say that happier tenants will create a better performing asset and increase your ROI long-term. Take the time to treat all your tenants with respect and find small ways to show you appreciate them. After all, if they’re paying you rent, they’re putting money in your pocket, and for that, you should always be grateful. Please leave a comment below to share some thoughts on tenant happiness!

Hope this helps! Until next time, have a great and profitable week!

Leave a comment below.

About Author

Matt Faircloth

In 2005, Matt founded The DeRosa Group along with his wife, Elizabeth. At the time, the two person company owned and managed two assets – a single family home and a duplex. Over the last nine years, they have grown the company to a 12 person team owning and managing over five million dollars in residential and commercial assets throughout the central NJ and Philadelphia area.

One of DeRosa’s mantras is “to make money while making a difference.”


  1. Nathan Richmond

    I agree with everything you say Matt, especially the give backs and thank you’s. I like to buy Christmas presents for each of my tenants that have paid their rent in time throughout the year. Usually it’s gift cards to the movies. I also included Popcornopolis variety gift baskets this year since Costco had a good buy on them! It makes a difference and it makes me happy as well! Treating them like people and developing even a small relationship with them makes them appreciate the little things and a small rent increase is usually taken without complaint.

  2. Brian Grant

    Really a great article and I am glad to hear about the turkey idea. I also like the idea of decorating the out side of an apartment complex. I have often thought about doing things like a turkey, Bday cards, Xmas cards, etc. but don’t want it to be to much. Thanks for this article.

  3. Domenick T.

    Excellent points! I think allowing pets is the one thing you can do to retain tenants longer. Tenants with pets stay in their rentals 2.5X longer than those without pets according to a Firepaw survey. It’s too hard to find a good rental that allows pets. Your tenant gets to keep a pet and you get to avoid costly turnovers. Just be sure to include a rock-solid pet addendum to cover yourself.

    • Cindy Larsen

      It has always been hard to find a nice rental that allows pets. In fact, I bought my first property, a condo, 35 years ago because I was a frustrated tenant who didn’t want to live in a grungy apartment complex: all the nice ones did not allow pets. Now, I see pets as a cash flow increase. If the property cash flows without pets, how much better would it be if you got an extra $35/month or $70/month?

      I charge pet rent for each pet. I use those funds, over time, to:
      A. upgrade flooring to nearly indistructable tile ( but < $2.50/sqft) with epoxy grout in a nice brown or grey stone look tile. Look for PEI rating on the tile box. Urine will have no impact on epoxy grout and tile: this is how vet clinics do their floors. Dog claws have no impact. Only the living room gets wood floor. No more replacing or cleaning carpet: tile reduces maintenance/turnover fees. Nicer floors increase rentability. People who want rugs buy throw rugs. I keep a set of throw rugs to put in when I am staging a unit to be rented.
      B. Add chairrail molding, and paint the bottom half of the walls with semigloss (when tennant moves out and painting is needed anyway). Semigloss doesn’t need repainting as often: it can be washed. You may not need to paint the upper half of the walls either, as most paint damage seems to be below 4’, especially from kids and dogs.

      Once this is done, you have increased long term income, and decreased maintenance costs.

      If the pets destroy something (dog chewed door moldings for example), it just comes out of the tenant’s deposit, the same as if the tenant damaged it. Those pet loving tenants like living with flooring and walls that their animals can’t easily make unattractive, as long as they are nice looking flooring and walls to begin with.

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