Being a successful landlord has much to do with holding on to good tenants and not having a high turnover that increases your expenses and increases your vacancy periods.
A few simple steps to ensure you keep your excellent tenants:
Treat your tenants as human beings. I am so tired and dismayed at short-sighted landlords who are only interested in the next rental paycheck and lack the foresight to understand the importance of building a good tenant-landlord relationship.
Create an environment where it’s simple and easy for your tenants to stay.
You can achieve this a few ways, the most influential being a set renewal structure in your tenancy that doesn't involve ludicrous agency fees for sitting tenants.
Most tenants want the security of knowing they can make a place home; they cannot do this if they are worried about being made to move out in a few months. Make it clear upfront to prospective tenants that they will have the ability to stay for years with you as long as they remain good tenants and caretakers of your property.
One of the largest gripes tenants have is the trouble that comes around when they renew their rental agreement, is how much they will pay. You can avoid this headache and give your tenants an enjoyable experience (and more financial stability) by agreeing upfront how the rental increases will work. It can be a simple as a set percentage increase or just linked to inflation. Keep it simple, and you will save much hassle for both parties.
Before your tenants move in, make it clear who takes care of what. This is so often overlooked and leads to a lot of hassle and headache for many tenants and landlords down the line. Tenants will take care of X, and the landlord will take care of Y. Moreover, keep this wording straightforward, not buried in legal jargon 60 pages deep into a rental agreement.
If this is done well, then you will be surprised to find how much less you need to do with little things that the tenants can take care of.
Always ensure that your property is looked after and inspected on a reasonable basis. Though never infringe on your tenant's privacy and don't become a bother to your tenants when they take care of your property. The more you make them feel like it's their home, the better decent people will take care of it.
Find a way to reward good behaviour. This may seem like a wasted expense, however, keep in mind the cost of finding new tenants, sprucing up the property, and cover costs of the property while vacant. It's worth giving back in some way. You could do this through discounts on renewals, getting tenants inputs when you do works on the properties, covering costs for things like a smart meter, or some improvements that would make living there better and potentially add value to the property. A great example of this was a friend whose landlord let them choose the colours for the paint of the apartment when the apartment was repainted a few years into their tenancy. What an excellent way to make the apartment feel like their home. Years later they are still faithful tenants.
These are a few simple steps to ensure you retain tenants for as long as is reasonably possible. This will make your life as a landlord much better and ensure you have happy tenants. *
If you have had a pleasant experience as a tenant or a landlord, please contact me and share your experience.
*there are always exceptions to this, some people are just hellish tenants, but they are not the kind of people whom you want to put effort into retaining.