Top 4 Tips to Keep Tenants Happy

In order to get the best return on your rental property, it’s important to ensure you retain excellent tenants long-term. As most landlords will know, a high turnover of tenants can be costly, as there will often be a period in which the property is vacant and thereby failing to earn an income. As well as this, there can also be costs relating to advertising, utilities, cleaning and repairs – all things that can add up fast!

But how can landlords keep great tenants from moving on? While your property manager will oversee the bulk of the day-to-day operations, there are actually few of simple things that landlords can do to encourage tenants to stick around for longer.

Complete cosmetic improvements

Prior to leasing out your property, it’s a good idea to do a full sweep of the premises and identify any minor cosmetic upgrades that could help improve your properties livability. We all want to live in a beautiful, comfortable home, and you might be surprised at how important aesthetics are to tenants when it comes to choosing whether or not to stay in a property long-term.

While your potential tenant might be willing accept an old, outdated interior for a year or two, they are far more likely to remain in a property that aligns with their personal preferences – or one that at least offers a blank canvas which they can decorate as they see fit.

Respond to maintenance requests

One of the most common complaints heard from tenants is the timeframe in which their landlord responds to their requests, particularly when it comes to important home upgrades that may affect the tenant’s comfort and ability to enjoy their home.

According to Victorian legislation, heating is considered an essential service, but cooling is not. However, once the summer heat sets in, your tenant is likely to disagree! While you may not be legally required to arrange prompt repairs and maintenance to cooling units, it could be within your own best interests to tend to these requests with speed.

Make the property pet-friendly

New reforms regarding rental properties in Victoria will soon give tenants the rights to keep pets in rentals unless the landlord obtains a specific order by VCAT. While the reforms won’t be in full effect until 2020, it’s a good idea to start making your property pet-friendly now to prepare for the change and ensure your property appeals to responsible pet owners.

Start by ensuring that all fencing is secure, and consider adding a pet door to the property. If you’re concerned about your carpeting, you might even want to think about replacing it with an alternative flooring that will be easier for your tenants to maintain. Your tenants are likely to appreciate the extra effort you have taken, and in turn, go to great lengths to ensure your property remains well cared for.

Remember that the property is their home

While you may own the property itself, the tenant will soon start to see the premises as their home, and as such, it’s important to be respectful of their privacy and accommodating of their schedule wherever possible.

As the landlord, you legally have the right to enter the propertywith as little as 24 hours notice, but for many tenants, this can offer little time to prepare and actually leave them feeling that their privacy has been violated. By giving as much notice as possible, your tenant can make the necessary arrangements to be present during your visit (if they choose to be), which is likely to give them a greater peace of mind and show them that you respect them as a tenant.

To find out more about Stockdale & Leggo’s property management service, get in touch with your local office today.