With all the investigations you have to do and with the employment situation still uncertain, it's difficult to find tenants who pay for their rentals on time, don't complain, and keep your property spotless. When you find such a treasure, you want to do all you can to get him or her to renew your lease. Here are a few guidelines for keeping these prized finds happy.
Listen to their complaints.
Don't just pay lip service to tenant issues like leaky faucets, cracked sidewalks, or neighbors taking up their parking spots. Resolve them as quickly as possible. If a problem poses a safety hazard, such as a broken stairstep, you must repair them immediately, or risk injury to the occupants. If tenants feel that you have their best interests at heart, they'll fight to renew their leases.
Give them a grace period.
Just as all vendors and suppliers offer grace periods to their customers when collecting payments, you must offer some leeway on when the rent is due. For example, if payments are due on the 31st, you may want to allow them to submit the check up to the fifth without assessing a late fee. And while you must clarify the amount of any late fees after that time, you may want to allow tenants who always pay promptly to pay beyond that just this once, especially if they ask in advance.
Tenants are more likely to consider leaving when their lease period is up. Offer incentives before that time to get them to stay. The most obvious is keeping the payments the same or increasing them less than for new tenants. Adding an upgrade such as new room paint or new appliances can also be worthwhile. During the rest of the lease period, you can also stay in their good graces with small gestures such as sending a birthday card or giving a Christmas gift.
For more information on keeping tenants happy or if you want someone to manage your rental properties, please contact us.