Top Tips: easy ways for landlords to keep their tenants happy
Replacing tenants regularly can be costly: letting agent fees, void periods, inventories, check-in and check-out costs and admin fees all add up if you have to replace tenants every year. You could say good tenants are worth their weight in gold. Once you find tenants who you’re confident will take care of your property, it’s well worth investing a little extra effort to keep them happy so they’ll stay.
With that in mind, here are eight easy and cost-effective ways to keep great tenants happy.
1. Leave them a housewarming gift
A thoughtful housewarming gift doesn’t have to be extravagant. A bottle of wine, or tea, coffee, milk and bread, will be greatly appreciated after a tough day moving.
2. Give them the right tools
Get off on the right foot by outlining your expectations at the start of the tenancy. Are there any noise restriction clauses they need to bear in mind? Or maintenance they’re expected to undertake, like maintaining the garden.
Each home is a little bit different, so provide them with practical information on how the property works, too. When they move in give them a run-down of how the boiler functions, where the gas and electric meters are and what day the bins should be put out. By educating them at the start of the tenancy hopefully you’ll answer most of their questions so they feel more confident and capable of taking care of your property.
3. Don’t get too friendly
A month or so into the tenancy, give your tenants a courtesy phone call or email to see how they’re settling in. This is a great opportunity for them to ask any extra questions they might have about thir home. After that, keep your distance. While your heart might be in the right place, popping over regularly might leave your tenants feeling a little harassed. You do have the right to enter the flat as long as you give 24 hours’ notice, but people want to feel like it’s their home to enjoy. Living under the constant pressure of landlord inspections is enough to send a great tenant running.
4. Address all questions and problems quickly
When possible, reply to your tenants’ emails or calls on the same day. You don’t have to provide an immediate solution — a quick email, text or call to say you’ve received their message and will get back to them with an answer to the problem will do. That way, they won’t think you’re ignoring them.
5. Consider allowing pets
It’s a common concern that pets might damage your property. The thought of replacing carpets at the end of a tenancy isn’t great, but look at it this way: if most other landlords are issuing a blanket ban on pets, your fabulous tenant might think twice about leaving if they know it will be tough to find another pet-friendly rental.
6. Take pride in your furnishings
At some point, you’ll probably have to replace a washing machine or a broken bed. When this happens, don’t just go for the cheapest option. It could be more economical in the long run to spend a bit more to get more sturdy or reliable furnishings rather than having to continually replace cheaper items. Your tenant is also more likely to notice that you’re furnishing your rental with quality items and feel more inclined to take care of it on your behalf.
7. Send them a Christmas card
A Christmas card is an easy way to remind tenants that you’re not just some faceless entity. And everyone loves getting a Christmas card!
8. Offer a renewal incentive
A month or two before the tenancy’s up for renewal, provide extra incentive. Offering to keep the rent the same for another year is a very attractive offer to tenants. And you’ll save in the long run because you’ll avoid having to pay another round of letting fees, or the risk of a void period.
If you do have to increase the rent, refreshing the property with a lick of paint or some new furnishings could be gesture enough to convince them to renew.
If you have any other great ways to keep great tenants happy (and in your property), please share them with us on our Facebook page or on Twitter.
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