Long-term renters are a landlord’s dream. It means no vacancy costs, no marketing costs and fewer repair costs. Keeping your tenants happy is important to your business. Here are a few things to stop doing to keep your tenants happy and keep your business on the right track.
Requiring Check Payments
If you’re not set up to take payments digitally, you’re going to have some disgruntled tenants. With the rise of peer-to-peer money exchanging apps, online bill pay and the prevalence of credit cards, many people can’t recall the last time they wrote a check unless it was for rent. Digital payments are the norm and you need to follow suit. Online payments are often more reliable (they can generally be set up as recurring payments) but they are also more secure and convenient for tenants.
Only Accepting Repair Requests by Phone
While online requests are convenient for tenants, they also help to protect you. Using an online system creates a paper trail to protect you from tenants who claim a repair wasn’t completed. For instance, if you charge a former tenant for a broken dishwasher and they claim they requested a repair shortly before moving out, you will be able to look at your request system to verify. An online request system will also help to keep you organized and ensure no request falls through the cracks.
Not Posting Properties Online
Renters turn to the internet first when looking for housing. If you don’t have your rental property listed online you are missing out on a huge population of potential renters. You can have your available units posted on your website or use a third-party platform such as rent.com or your local MLS platform (if applicable). Include the price and an easy way to get in touch for more information. FYI, email is preferable to phone calls for most renters.
Offering Vague Move-Out Expectations
Nothing will frustrate a tenant more than getting a bill in the mail after spending a day cleaning after move-out. If you don’t treat tenants well on move-out, you open your company up to negative online reviews and worse. Provide your tenants with a clear list of move-out expectations. From cleaning drip pans to stain-free floors and empty fridges, be as clear as possible. Outline what potential costs could be for failing to meet move-out expectations. Upfront communication will prevent back-end frustration.
Making Tenants Ask About Renewal
It’s easy for a tenant to forget when they signed a lease and when it expires. Ask most renters when their lease is up and you’ll get a blank stare while they do some thinking. So, be up front about asking if tenants are planning on staying or leaving. Make a note of when leases are expiring and email your tenants 60 days before (90 if you require 60-dayay notice instead of 30) letting them know what the rent increase will be and asking for a notice of renewal or departure. This is a great reminder to tenants and allows them to spend some time looking at the rental market before giving you a final decision.
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