Good tenants are hard to find – this is something every landlord knows. And renters aren’t like homeowners. They can be relocated for work, find cheaper rent elsewhere, or just find a spot that they like better – all at a moment’s notice. They’re not tied down with property that they’d need to sell first, or a mortgage they’d need to figure out something to do with. They pack their things, and move relatively easily.
So when you find good renters. Really good ones, that pay their rent on time, are kind to your property, and don’t harass you with every minor detail (or ignore everything and let your property pay the price)? What do you do when you’ve found ideal renters, and you want them to continue living in your income property?
First and foremost, be present – but not too present. That means showing up regularly to make small, casual inspections (a full review of the entire home isn’t necessary,) and to perform regular maintenance such as seeding the lawn every spring, or going to shut off the outdoor taps every winter. When you can visit the property on a regular basis, you can not only give it a quick once over to make sure everything’s going well with it, but it will also make your tenants feel as though you’re accessible, and they can contact you should something come up.
However, this does not mean showing up on a weekly basis, or ever stopping by unannounced. That will in fact, have those good tenants running the other way to find a landlord that’s a bit less intrusive.
Finding ways to make the property even more desirable to live in is, of course, another way to keep good tenants around. The mistake many landlords make with this is that they focus on things like granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. All of these amenities within the home are very nice, and will definitely make your property more attractive to buyers. But consider what they need that will actually make life easier.
Purchase shovels for clearing the walks, lawn mowers for cutting the grass, and maybe a barbecue to enjoy on summer days if your property has a deck or patio. These things won’t just make your property nicer, but they’ll make you stand out as a landlord that goes the extra mile. And that will make you stand out to good tenants more than you think.
Finding great tenants is like hitting the jackpot for property investors. And it’s not hard to keep them. Brent Mondoux, a seasoned investor in Ottawa, puts it best when he says,
“Some of the keys to holding on to our great tenants are by going back to the basics and simply treating them with respect.”