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Agony Agent is here to help!

15th July 2017

Q:  How can I retain a good tenant in my property?

A:  This is a question all landlords should be asking.  As a landlord, it is important to recognise that keeping your tenants happy will make your life a lot easier, and your property investment more profitable.  If your tenants decide to stay when their original tenancy expires, you’ll not only avoid months of lost rent and time spent searching for new tenants, but you’ll also avoid signing a contract with possibly troublesome replacements.  Provided that they pay on time, keep up to date with any maintenance that they’re responsible for and don’t cause any problems, good tenants are worth their weight in gold, and you should do everything in your power to keep hold of them.

Here are my top tips:

Inform tenants of all rules from the start

To avoid confusion and conflict further down the line, make clear what is expected of your tenants at the very beginning of your agreement.  Provided that you stick to this, your tenants should be happy, as chances are they will only sign the contract if they can live with its terms; ensuring that they know exactly what they’re signing up for, the tenancy should run much more smoothly.  Make these stipulations as specific as possible.

Address complaints as quickly as possible

Whether the problem is a neighbour or a leaking pipe, if your tenants feel that they are a priority and that you take their concerns seriously, they will be much happier to stay.  Although it is acceptable in some instances for the resolution of some issues to take their time, you must also know that some situations should be handled immediately.

Keep up with property maintenance

When tenants are proud of the property they live in, they are far more likely to stay.  Nobody wants to pay for a place with stained carpets and cracked tiles, so make sure that you stay up to date with maintenance.

Respect a tenant’s privacy

Once your tenants have moved into the property, it is only fair that you avoid visiting without giving them proper notice.  Although you have the right to inspect the property, bear in mind that your house is this person’s home, and that inspections can feel intrusive.  No-one likes being caught unaware by visitors when their house is in disarray, so try to give at least 48 hours’ notice.  The easiest way to do this is by including it as part of the tenancy agreement. That way, everyone knows exactly where they stand.

Offer incentives

Little gestures go a long way, especially in areas where tenants have more properties to choose from.  When your renters first move in, try and perform some small gesture of goodwill, whether that’s providing your tenant with a package of moving day essentials or a bottle of wine.  During the year, small measures, such as sending a Christmas card, help to create a human face and encourage loyalty. On a less personal level, you may wish to consider holding off on increasing rents annually, or offer to re-carpet or repaint a room.

These tips should help; but if your tenants have their minds set on moving then there is nothing you can do about this, but to keep your fingers crossed that your new tenants will be as good as your last.

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