Perhaps the only thing more frustrating than dealing with a problem tenant is finding a new one. The process always seems to take longer than expected. And, no matter how many steps you take to ensure you approve the right applicant, there’s always a sliver of doubt about whether they’re going to work out. Plus, you’re spending money to attract new tenants all while your property remains vacant, which means you’re not seeing a return on your investment. It’s no secret that when you find a great tenant, you want to hang on to them. So let’s take a look at 5 things you can do to decrease tenant turnover.
Find the right tenant
While your property is sitting vacant, and you’re paying a mortgage without any rental income, it’s tempting to take the first interested applicant that comes along. Don’t do this! Do your due diligence. Make sure each applicant goes through the full screening process of application, background & credit checks, income verification, reference checks, interviews, etc. A stable tenant will not only minimize headaches while they’re living in your property, but will also be more likely to stick around for awhile.
Treat the tenant respectfully
You don’t have to be friends with your tenants, but you should have a professional relationship with them. In your interactions, think about how you’d like to be treated.
- Establish a reputation for honesty. Answer their questions transparently. If they move into your property and discover an issue they feel you hid from them, you’re getting your relationship off on the wrong foot. That could mean they’re unlikely to stick around longer than they have to.
- Respond to requests promptly. You’d be amazed how many complaints about landlords are based on response time. Just by responding promptly to requests (a few days for non-emergency, within 24 hours for emergencies), you’ll come out a winner.
- Consider your tenants when scheduling maintenance. As often as possible, arrange handyman visits with your tenant’s schedule in mind. Even if you’re not able to entirely accommodate them every single time, they’ll appreciate that you make an effort. Learn about our streamlined maintenance request process.
A side benefit or treating your tenants respectfully is that they’ll be more likely to recommend your properties to other renters, which could decrease the length of your next vacancy.
Keep the property looking nice
No one wants to live in a place that looks like a dump. If it’s your responsibility as landlord to keep the lawn maintained, then do it regularly. Consider planting some bushes and/or flowers. Keep overgrowth cut back, or remove it. Repaint if the property needs a new coat. You want your tenant to be proud of the place they live. Taking care of your property not only protects your investment, but also keeps your renters happy, and decreases your tenant turnover.
Modify the lease
Most leases are written for a minimum of 12 months. If yours is shorter, consider modifying it. Make sure the penalty for leaving early is a strong deterrent.
Consider property management
Finding new tenants is one of the most stressful parts of owning rental property, and treating them respectfully and attentively takes time and effort. If you’re looking for ways to decrease tenant turnover, consider a property management agency like Greyhaven. We take on the responsibility of day-to-day property management for hundreds of property owners in the Chattanooga area and can do the same for you. Contact us to learn more about our low-hassle, high-return property management services in the greater Chattanooga area.