It’s important for any landlord to put the work into keeping their tenants happy; this can take many forms, and can range from being as clear as possible with lease agreements, through to being able to respond quickly to enquiries. Landlords should also invest their time and resources into maintenance, and should inform tenants well in advance of any rent hikes. Finally, a good landlord should try to keep their tenant or tenants happy by offering some incentives for long term renting. In all these cases, though, a landlord should try to maintain an open dialogue with tenants in order to ensure that they aren’t being denied the chance to dispute issues with a property.
Be Clear with Lease Agreements
You want to make sure that a lease agreement covers everything you expect from a tenant in as much detail as possible; this lease agreement should be tailored to a particular property, rather than set up to cover a range of different places. You should also ensure that you attend to the legal details of an agreement, which can be subject to further state ordinances. Look at past lease agreements to see where any confusion developed between you and a tenant, and be prepared to make changes when necessary. Particular areas that can be specified include penalties for noise, as well as complaints procedures and how long they should take.
Respond Quickly to Enquiries
This might not always be easy to do, but should at least be attempted if you want a tenant to remain happy. Make sure that the right contact numbers are given out, and have a work cell phone in place if you don’t want a tenant to call you at home. Similarly, ensure that tenants know when you’re going to be uncontactable, and who they should speak to instead. With emails and text messages, remember to send a notification message saying you’ll look into something – doing so will ensure that tenants at least know that you’ve received their messages.
Invest in Maintenance
A tenant will only put up with so much if you don’t invest in maintenance. While there may be cases where you can’t justify damages or minor repairs, always try to consider them, even if that means doing your own inspections. Tenants that see a landlord refusing or ignoring requests for work will gradually lose patience. Taking care of reasonable requests will encourage loyalty, and can prevent longer term damage from being caused to a property.
Inform Tenants in Advance of Any Rent Hikes
There may be any number of reasons why the rent might be going up on your properties; your mortgage may be being renegotiated, or you might be facing more competition in the local areas. Any rent hike should be explained to a tenant well in advance of it taking place, and should give them a chance to respond if they want to move out. Carefully consider whether it’ll be better to test tenants to see whether they’re willing to pay more, or whether you want the hassle of evicting them to get someone in who will.
Reward Long Term Tenants
If you’ve had the same tenants for a long time, and if they haven’t caused significant problems, consider offering incentives to get them to stay; these incentives might include keeping the rent rate the same, or may involve investing in the upkeep of a property. Some good tenant behavior might be rewarded with a flat screen television or a kitchen upgrade – not only will this satisfy tenants and get them to stay, but it will also add more value to a property in the event that you have to put it up for rent again in the future.
This article was contributed by James Broadhurst. If you’re having trouble with your current tenants then you can evict a tenant with help from LPC Landlord. LPC Landlord are specialist solicitors for landlords.