4 ways to keep good tenants renting your property for longer
Part 4 in the Schwarz Landlord Advice Series.
When you’re ready to find tenants to rent your property, signing up just anybody isn’t a good tactic. A better tactic is to use a Real Estate Agency that is experienced in matching tenants with properties. They have the necessary know-how to tell if applicants match your criteria.
For the most part, owners will want their property to be tenanted for as long as possible – with as few changes in tenants as possible. This maximises rental return, reduces stress and guarantees your property a better caretaker.
So, what are some of our tips for keeping those tenants in your property for longer?
1. Slow and steady rental increases win the race
When it comes to increasing the rent on your property, stick to small, incremental rises. You can keep these increases in-line with the market by reviewing what’s happening in your area and property type once a year.
If you keep the rent the same year after year, then suddenly panic and whack on a huge increase – you’re likely to see your tenant wave goodbye to your property.
Instead, ensure your tenants are aware of rent reviews from the outset, to avoid any nasty surprises.
2. Change it up a gear for property maintenance
Speed is the key here! When your tenants report property maintenance issues, such as leaking taps, broken down water heaters or general damage – the best response is a fast one. Otherwise your tenants may eventually become frustrated and decide your property isn’t worth the hassle to live in.
First up, you’ll need to work with them to find out how urgent the issue with the property is. When it comes to hot water, electricity and flooding for example, these things can be considered urgent. Not only is your tenant’s comfort highly important, but you also need to ensure no long-term damage happens to your property.
Make sure you communicate with your tenant regularly whilst the issue is being dealt with. And you’ll potentially need to work out access for tradespeople, as well as update the tenants on timelines.
3. Don’t be excessive in your requests to access the property
It’s a balancing act. You need to make sure your property is well cared for and not storing up problems for the future. Plus tenants need to be flexible when you’re trying to solve problems for them.
However, you also need to bear in mind that the property is someone else’s home. So, when you discuss access, remember to accommodate the fact that your tenants need to go about their daily lives and maintain their privacy.
If you want to inspect the property, make sure that the tenant knows the frequency of these inspections up front. You might decide to do a quarterly inspection. If that’s the case, make sure you give plenty of notice of the exact day.
Last minute demands to enter a property can make tenants feel insecure, not trusted or frustrated. Repeat occurrences are likely to see them move on as soon as possible.
4. Consider updates and refurbishments of your property
This is about making your property sustainably attractive to tenants – as well as easy and affordable to maintain.
The first step here is to assess when and what is needed in order to update/refurbish your property. You may decide to do regular checks of your property for small updates that are needed, such as paint touch ups, new blinds/curtains, window locks or shower heads.
An annual review is a good way to assess, plan and budget for larger-scale refurbishments. These could include a full paint job, ceiling insulation or new cabinetry in the kitchen.
Of course, all of these works cost money. But they are also more likely to attract and keep good tenants in your property for longer (and ok with the rent increases)!
That’s it for our current series of advice for landlords. Feel free to get in touch to request other topics you’d like to hear about though!
And remember… There can be a lot to consider as a Landlord. The on-going job of looking after your property may even seem daunting on top of everything else. We honestly believe that having an experienced expert take on the management of your property is a great way to maximise its potential income. A good Property Manager relieves a lot of the pressure on you and makes sure you don’t fall on the wrong side of any current legislation.
Still not sure? Send us a message or call to ask for more information about why it’s important to #RentWell.