Good tenants are like gold dust to landlords. They make everything easier; they pay their rent on time, so you pay your bills on time. They look after the property. If they have an issue, you manage to work together to resolve the problem as a team. They are polite, courteous, and they leave far too soon.
Finding a long-term, good tenant is the holy grail for most landlords, but it’s not necessarily easy. A standard lease is around six months, which means you have barely gotten to know how a new tenant is and then they’re off again.
But do they have to be?
1. Appreciate Them
Long-term tenants that pay their rent and look after your property are not to be taken for granted. You should acknowledge that, and make sure that they know how appreciative you are. The benefit to you in terms of your investment and return is overwhelming, so be the nicest landlord in the world. That alone might make them want to stick around; they might decide it’s better to stick with the nice landlord than risk a move and a bad one!
2. Make Your Property Perfect
Few proper landlords are letting out a property they know is substandard, but you really have to go above and beyond if you want prospective tenants to stay for as long as possible.
The idea of carrying out renovation work is probably unattractive when you’re between tenants. After all, every moment you spend working on and developing the property is just delaying how long it’ll be until you collect rent again… isn’t it?
Not necessarily. If you explain to a prospective tenant that you’re having major work done to improve the property, then they might be willing to move in sooner – for a reduced rental price. Bear in mind their concerns, especially if you are doing major renovations like an extension. They might worry about security, so reassure them you’re going above and beyond to keep the property safe. To that end, chain link fences are also a great option for construction sites and can help tenants feel more secure while you continue your development. Make sure you also keep them up to date on all building work and when you expect it to be completed.
This benefits both parties: they get a nicer place to live and reduced rent while they wait, and you don’t have to go without a rental income.
3. Offer An Incentive To Stay
If you don’t need to worry about attracting new tenants – you just want your existing good tenant to remain – then it’s worth offering an incentive. You could offer to do further development work as above to improve their home, or you could even offer a discount in the rental price.
If you worry that’s not financially worth it, you’re wrong. Think of the potential costs of them leaving: you will have to renovate to an extent anyway, advertise the property, deal with legal fees. Then the new tenants might be terrible and never pay their rent! If you’ve got tenants you like and trust, it’s worth making the effort to convince them to stay.