Getting tenants to renew their lease
The end of the year often marks the end of rental leases and finding new tenants can be a time consuming and costly exercise for landlords and property managers. Not only do you have to pay to advertise the property, your property manager needs to screen the tenants, open the property for inspections and all while you are losing important rental money.
Research shows that renters move for 3 main reasons:
1. New job or career and they need to move closer to their new job
2. Lifestyle changes such as getting married, divorced, having a baby, a pay rise or a pay reduction
3. They find a better property for the same or less rent, in a better location, the landlord has a better reputation or makes repairs and maintenance fixes quickly
Whilst 2 of these reasons are out of our control, you can do things to ensure your tenants want to stay in your property.
Incentivize tenants to renew their lease
Keeping quality tenants should be a priority, if your current tenants look after your property well, pay rent on time and are not unrealistically demanding then perhaps you could agree to not increase rent if a lease is renewed. This could be especially valuable to your tenants if rents have been going up elsewhere around the suburb. If you raise rent as well, then they’re going to start looking at what else is available and if they leave, it probably wasn’t worth it.
Create a trusting relationship
It is easier to get somebody to cooperate if they like you, trust you and are happy to deal with you. With a typical rental lease you have a year to create a relationship with your tenants. This can be done easily; make sure you handle repairs and complaints quickly and competently, return calls and messages promptly and, in general, be nice and friendly. By quickly resolving problems that are under you control goes a long way to keeping them happy and ensuring them that any issues that need ‘expert’ attention are being prioritized.
Make sure you have a regular property maintenance schedule to help prevent ‘issues’ from arising. Ensure you schedule in regular check such testing smoke alarms, replacing batteries where needed, look for leaks in the roof, around the water heater, toilets and sinks. Working with your property manager to ensure a trades person regularly visits your property is a good idea and will help create trust between you and your tenants.
Make Your Tenants Proud of the Property
Everyone likes coming home to a well maintained property, and tenants are no different. Spending time making sure your property has good curb appeal will go a long way to making tenants proud to live there. If your property is a house, professional landscaping and landscape maintenance are two of the best, most cost effective ways to increase the value of the property, from both financial and aesthetic viewpoints. Plant flowers and decorative shrubs in the front yards and in the common areas. If your investment is in an apartment, making sure the entrance way to the apartment is
Ask Your Tenants to Renew the Lease
At about 90 days before the lease expires, make sure your property manager contacts your tenant/s and asks them to renew the lease. If you’ve been a great landlord by following the tips above, then you should have no problem convincing your tenants to renew their lease.