Landlord Guide: Do’s and Don’ts of Retaining Long-Term Tenants

Securing quality tenants is one of the most important tasks you have as a landlord. When trustworthy renters live in your properties, you know that you will receive rent on time and the units will remain in stable condition. However, your work doesn’t stop there. 

While software such as TurboTenant can help you screen potential renters, online rental applications and background checks won’t help you keep them. The following guide will outline some key tips for keeping your tenants happy and encouraging them to renew their lease. This way, you can keep the units occupied and a steady stream of income flowing. 

DO be easy to contact. 

The first step to being an excellent landlord is to communicate with your tenants. Be easy to reach by phone and email. You might even allow your tenants to text you for simple communication. If you miss a call, call back right away. Tell your tenants that you are available to answer questions and make their rental experience as positive as possible. You should also alert tenants as soon as possible of any routine maintenance or construction projects, so they can prepare accordingly. By being available and communicative, you show your tenants that you care about their living situation and want them to be satisfied. 

DON’T ignore maintenance requests. 

While your tenants are paying rent, your job as a landlord is to ensure that the property is in sound condition and well-maintained. So, when a tenant alerts you that a pipe is leaking or that their refrigerator is broken, be sure to act quickly. Tenants who wait days or weeks for service aren’t going to be happy. And if you know that a certain repair will take longer than normal, keep your tenant in the loop. In an emergency situation, like a flood, you should quickly arrange alternative accommodations for your tenant while the unit is repaired. 

DO maintain the property.

Some landlords will only address maintenance issues when the tenant calls or in an emergency. However, this negligence can catch up to you. Routinely check on your properties and notice areas that require small fixes. For example, the bathroom might need a fresh coat of paint or the porch stairs might need repair. These details count in a tenant’s living experience, and they will appreciate your effort to keep the property in great condition. As you continue to make fixes and improve the appearance of the unit, they will be more likely to rent for another year. 

DON’T forget to ask about renewals. 

Your rental agreement likely states that your tenant needs to give notice if they will or will not be renewing their lease. However, you can improve tenant relations by asking them directly. Proactively ask ahead of time whether your tenant plans to renew, and ask what you can do to encourage them to stay. In some cases, tenants may want certain cosmetic improvements made to the unit before they renew. By communicating with your renter a few months in advance, you can either prepare for lease renewal or get ready to show the unit to new potential renters. 

DO listen to tenant feedback. 

Renting property is a business, and you should know what your customers are thinking. Send a survey out to your tenants to ask for feedback. They may reaffirm that you are taking the right steps as a landlord, or you may learn some areas where you can improve. Either way, your tenants will appreciate your reaching out for feedback. It shows that you take their opinions seriously and want to improve. 

While it may take time to learn rental property best practices, you can improve your job as a landlord by listening to your tenants and staying on top of your rental units. Remaining available and addressing issues quickly will set you apart as a landlord, encouraging your tenants to renew their leases year after year.