Every rental property owner dreams of getting those great tenants who stay long-term and pay their rent on time, every time. It’s not impossible! In fact, there are several things you can do to ensure you get great tenants who tend to stay longer. Here are some tips:
Update and beautify your property
The condition of your property is critical for attracting the best tenants. If your rental home looks run down or in poor repair, we guarantee you’re not going to get the best tenants. To start, you’ll want to make sure your rental home is move-in ready before showing it to potential tenants. That means have it professionally cleaned, invest in a fresh coat of paint, and perform any necessary repairs before photographing it or showing it.
As far as two other specific things we would recommend doing, the first is to spend some time on curb appeal. Get some fresh mulch for your landscaping, rake the leaves, and place a few flower pots.
Next, think kitchens. Kitchens sell homes and attract the best renters. If you have an older home, consider having the cabinets painted, replacing countertops, and updating the appliances. You don’t have to use expensive materials, but modern and clean kitchens will attract the best renters, and allow you to charge a bit more rent.
Screen prospective tenants well
Maybe the most critical part of ensuring you get great tenants is to have a great screening process. Checking a prospective tenant’s income, credit score, criminal history and civil history, as well as if they have any prior evictions, are all part of a thorough screening process.
You should also ask for both personal and professional references. In doing so, you are trying to determine what kind of person your prospective tenant is. In addition, try to speak to past landlords. This will give you a good look at what kind of tenant this person will be.
This is part of the reason why many hire a property management company. Property management companies have the best tools and lots of experience performing tenant screenings.
One last thing about tenant screening: it pays to have a professional property management company. They have access to screening tools and have a lot of experience that just can’t compare with DIY landlords. Consider hiring a property management company if only just for this reason!
Charge an application fee
This one kind of goes hand-in-hand with the tenant screening process. We highly recommend that you charge an application fee for applicants interested in renting your property. An appropriate amount for an application fee is typically around $25. It’s not so much that it will scare people away, but if applicants are not really serious about the property, it prevents them from applying and wasting $25 bucks.
The cost, of course, doesn’tcover the expenses of the background checks, etc., but it does weed out those who might just be wasting your time.
Keep up with maintenance and complete repairs promptly
Fixing issues as soon as possible after renters report them probably sounds obvious, but almost nothing irritates tenants more than a landlord who drags his/her feet on rental repairs. If you want to keep your tenants long-term, make sure you respond and fix the problem quickly. In some cases, this means approving the repairs with your property management company as quickly as possible after being notified of the issue.
Along with this, we recommend that you perform regular maintenance on your rental property. It saves you money in the long run, because things are less likely to break. And it keeps your tenants happy!
Communication is key
We touched on this above, but to ensure your tenant has the best possible experience and wants to stay in your rental long-term, keep the lines of communication open. Make sure either you or your property management company is easy to reach and gets answers quickly when needed.
If you do have a property management company, in some cases it’s good to check in directly with your tenants once in a while, to ensure things are going smoothly.
Finding and keeping great tenants who stay long-term save you money as a rental property owner. We hope you found some good tips in this post to keep your renters feeling happy and respected!