There is nothing that kills rental profit more than high tenant turnover. When it comes to operating a rental property, the costs of re-renting a unit are some of the most expensive and labor-intensive tasks for landlords, especially if mistakes are made.
So, the key to maximizing your rental income is improving your tenant retention ratio. But how exactly do you do that? Well, that’s what this article is going to teach you.
In this post, we are offering 6 tips to keep your renters happy.
1. Have a Clear Lease Agreement
A clear lease or rental agreement will help foster a good landlord-tenant relationship. A good agreement should be able to spell out each party’s responsibilities.
The lease should also clearly outline all your policies, such as:
- Pets: Will you allow pets in your premises?
- Smoking in the unit: Will it be allowed?
- Subletting: If you’ll allow it, what are the rules?
- Alterations: Will you allow tenants to make changes to the property, such as paint the unit a different color?
2. Communicate the Right Way
How you treat your tenants can have an impact on how successful or unsuccessful your rental investment becomes. To succeed, you need to view your tenants as equals.
In order to better your communication with your tenant, you’ll need to take into account their preferred mode of communication and where you live in relation to them.
If you’re renting to a millennial renter, then you may need to text more. If renting to a baby boomer, then you may need to shift to phone calls and emails.
No matter how you choose to communicate, always do so in a respectful way.
3. Be Responsive to Maintenance Issues
This is a big one!
Nothing frustrates a tenant more than having an unresponsive landlord. In fact, failing to respond to maintenance issues is one of the leading causes of high tenant turnover.
Remember, as a landlord, it’s your responsibility to ensure your tenant lives in a habitable rental property. And if you fail in that responsibility, your tenant may have several options to choose from.
Here are their options:
- They can withhold further rent payments until you fix the repair or maintenance issue.
- They can report you to relevant local authorities.
- They can move out without further responsibilities under the lease or rental agreement.
Neither of these options are ideal, right? So, make sure you’re proactive when dealing with maintenance issues!
4. Respect your Tenant’s Privacy
You cannot show up at your tenant’s unit unannounced. In fact, even stopping by to say ‘hi” can be an infringement of their privacy rights, especially when done repeatedly.
That said, as a landlord, you have a right to access the property under certain conditions. You may need to do so in order to carry out important responsibilities, such as:
- To show the property to prospective tenants.
- To make requested or needed repairs or improvements.
- Under court orders.
- If you have reasons to believe the tenant has abandoned the unit.
- If given permission by the tenant.
- In case of a genuine emergency.
Different cities have different laws in regard to landlord entry. In Alberta, for example, landlords must provide their tenants a notice of 24 hours prior to entry. The time of entry must also be reasonable.
5. Consider Allowing Pets into your Rental Property
Whether or not you allow pets in your unit is your choice. That said, according to GlobeNewsWire.com, a whopping 58% of Canadian households own at least one pet.
This means that one in every two Canadians own a pet. And that figure continues to rise with each passing year!
With that in mind, it only makes sense for you to accept tenants with pets. Why? Well, for one, you’ll have a huge tenant pool to work with. And two, your rental may become more desirable as only a handful of landlords accept pets.
Admittedly, though, allowing pets into a rental isn’t without its fair share of challenges. Pets can cause property damage, noise, and more! However, you may be able to minimize such issues by having a pet policy in place.
In your pet policy, you can specify the number, size and type of pet allowed.
You may also want to ask the tenant the following screening questions before accepting them and their pet in your rental:
- What type of pet do you have?
- Is your pet housetrained?
- Who cares for your pet when you are away?
- Can you provide a written reference for your pet from a current landlord?
- Is your pet healthy? If so, can you provide a letter from your vet confirming it?
- How long have you had your pet?
6. Charge the Proper Rent Amount
No tenant is going to be happy if you’re overcharging them. In fact, they will be looking forward to moving out the first chance they get.
If you want to attract and retain a good tenant, you want to charge them the right rent amount. The right rent amount is one that allows you to maximize your income while ensuring your rental is competitive in the market.
Also, when raising rent, be realistic! In Alberta, landlords are free to raise it to whatever amount they like. That said, overcharging your tenants will only mean long vacancies for you. Prospective renters do their research and will only rent reasonably priced units.
If your renters are happy, you will be happy! Happy tenants tend to pay rent on time, care for their premises, and rent long-term.
This means you will be able to maximize your ROI!
We hope these 6 tips are helpful for you! If you want more tips on how to be a great landlord, read our post here!
If you still feel overwhelmed and are seeking more help, contact Real Canadian Property Management Solutions today!