Updated April 20, 2021
Keeping a Good Tenant Happy
As a lessor, taking on a new tenant carries a certain amount of risk. Having an unreliable or unreasonable tenant can be a significant burden, especially if they damage your property or you’re forced to evict them. When a quiet, reliable renter comes along, it is in your best interest to try keeping a good tenant happy and retain them as long as they’re willing to stay.
There are many ways to help your tenants feel appreciated and encouraged to renew their lease at the end of the term. Tenants leave for all sorts of reasons, but if your property or management practices inconvenience your tenants, they may decide to seek greener pastures.
These five tips will help you increase the likelihood of keeping a good tenant happy and signing lease renewals.
1. Keep Up with Maintenance
No property is perfect; maintenance is an inevitability, and the inconvenience of a maintenance issue can be a major sticking point for tenants. If you have frequent issues with the property, your tenants may have a hard time trusting in your ability to fix them —and may decide to move on once their lease is up.
Taking preventative steps can reduce the frequency of repairs. You are giving your tenants a better experience overall. Preventative maintenance will save you from the problem escalating into a worse repair project down the road. Maintenance is an essential operation. It’s important to fix something when it breaks, and regular property checks will save you from a horrendous repair project.
If you find any issues when checking the property, fixing the problem quickly, or hiring a contractor, will show your tenants that you care about their needs.
2. Provide Additional Amenities
Going above and beyond what other apartments in the area offer can help retain tenants longer. You can offer your tenants a bit extra by providing utilities as part of their rent, and access to high-speed internet can be a huge draw for many tenants. Additional packages like cable TV or a streaming device are often worth the investment if it convinces a good tenant to renew their lease.
Providing appliances is another way to retain tenants. Many tenants don’t want the hassle of owning their appliances, and a fully outfitted kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom can significantly boost the value of your space. Even adding smaller appliances like coffee makers or blenders can give your property extra points with renters. If a tenant has no trouble making a cup of coffee in the morning, they’ll have no trouble feeling at home over the long term.
3. Reduce Rent Costs
Keeping a great tenant for another year will help you save a substantial amount of money and time. Passing that benefit on to your tenant by leaving their rent the same or offering a rent reduction lets them see your appreciation. Giving back to a trouble-free tenant doesn’t have to be expensive; a discount of $50–$100 sends a very positive message.
If a tenant has lived in the space for a year or more without significant maintenance or damage issues, giving back a renewal bonus demonstrates trust and mutual respect without costing you anything in the process. When it comes time to renew the lease, the extra income offered by the bonus can be a big motivator for your renters. Money talks and nothing showcases the way you value your tenants quite as eloquently.
4. Communicate Effectively
Lessor-lessee relationships depend on effective lines of communication. Being responsive and understanding when your tenants mention an issue with the property highlights your attention to their needs. Make sure your tenants feel they’re being heard, even if you can’t directly address their concerns.
Your presence lets your tenants know you care about their well-being. When they move in, be there to welcome them into the property and take the time to show them around. In the event of a maintenance issue, being available in person when a contractor or repair technician is scheduled to arrive indicates to your tenants that their comfort is a priority, and you take the inconvenience of a repair seriously.
5. Go the Extra Mile
Excellent property owners go beyond their legal obligations. They do their best to make sure their tenants feel happy, comfortable, and safe in their apartments or homes. If your property is in an area with a high amount of lessee turnover, your extra effort can make a big difference. Small gestures of appreciation or friendliness send a loud message when it’s time to renew a lease.
Consider offering your renters a housewarming gift as they move-in. This will help them feel at home in their new space. A holiday card is another great way to build a positive relationship between you and your tenants. Be cautious about going overboard when checking; you don’t want them to feel overwhelmed or harassed in any way. Giving your tenants some space can also help them feel more at home.
Your relationship with your tenants should always be professional. Being courteous, helpful, consistent, and attentive builds invaluable trust over time. Keeping a good tenant happy should be your first goal; you’ll benefit financially over the long run by avoiding property damage and high turnover rates. When your tenants invest themselves in your property, everyone wins.
This article was written by the Rentometer Content Team. The Rentometer Blog features fresh takes and insights on rental housing topics, services, and technology. If you liked this article, subscribe to Rentometer's email newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in rental housing.