Ten ways to Increase Tenant Turnover and Lose Money on a Rental Property
Good tenants are at the heart of every financially successful rental unit. Professional property managers know that tenants can make or break a property owner’s livelihood and because of that, need to be treated accordingly. Excellent customer service, though time-consuming, is essential in keeping tenants happy, and happy tenants mean less costly tenant turnover.
Property managers such as Martin Feinberg understand how to avoid the most common landlord mistakes listed below, ensuring that the tenant/landlord relationship remains cordial.
Don’t Answer the Phone
Communication is key for a great landlord/tenant relationship. Avoiding phone calls, emails or text messages from tenants will produce frustration. Being hard to reach can cause good renters to leave, and can also keep good renters from leasing in the first place. Always answer any communication from a tenant in a timely manner.
Make them Hand-deliver Checks
Most tenants prefer to pay online, and giving them a way to do that will help keep them happy while making it more likely to get rent payments on-time.
Avoid Resolving Maintenance Issues
Legally, rental owners have a responsibility to ensure that the property they are renting out meets the implied warranty of habitability. Not meeting the requirements or addressing livability issues is a great way to ensure frequent tenant turnover. It’s also very likely to get a rental owner into legal trouble. Using a reliable property manager is one way to stay on top of maintenance issues.
Only Solve Maintenance Issues after a lot of Time has Passed
It’s not just about responding to maintenance issues though. They need to be responded to in a timely manner. This ensures owners are meeting their legal obligations and also keeps tenants from unnecessary frustration.
Show up Unannounced
Most states require that a landlord give a notice of at least 24 hours before inspecting an occupied rental property. It’s important to check in with tenants but always give proper notice. This will keep tenants from feeling blindsided by a visit.
Show up too Frequently
Visiting too frequently will eventually get on any tenant’s nerves, even if advanced warning is given. Tenants want privacy, and a good tenant might leave if they feel like their landlord doesn’t trust them.
Raise the Rent in Huge Amounts without Warning
This is an all-too-common issue, and is a great way to lose money on unnecessary tenant turnover. An annual incremental rent raise is normal, but increasing the rent in huge amounts every 3-5 years will likely cause your tenants to find housing with more stable rent increases.
Speak Poorly about your Past Tenants
Always avoid complaints about your past renters to new or perspective tenants. Speaking poorly of tenants looks unprofessional and can cause current tenants to distrust their relationship with their landlord. Find ways to brag about good tenants without throwing previous tenants under the bus.
Find Creepy Maintenance Workers
Vendors, even though they don’t work directly for the rental owner, become the face of the brand when they are sent to make repairs. Creepy or unprofessional maintenance workers reflect directly upon the management team. Always fully screen vendors to ensure they are qualified and professional in every interaction with renters.
Don’t Explain Property Rules until they are “Broken”
Always explain property rules and lease terms with a new tenant as soon as possible. Tenants who understand the specific expectations of a rental owner or property manager will feel more secure in the tenant/landlord relationship.
Keeping tenants long-term is sometimes a matter of knowing what not to do. While the list of dos and don’ts in rental property ownership can seem long, using a reliable property management company can make sure that owners are getting the most out of their investment.