5 tips if you find it hard to keep tenants
Having tenants in a property is always better than it being empty. However, if you find that they aren't renewing their tenancy agreement and you are constantly having to advertise the property, this can work out as being more expensive in the long-run.
There are more costs associated with having to get new tenants in compared to renewing tenancies to keep tenants for longer periods of time. This can mean that you're spending more than you want on keeping your house occupied.
If this is the case for you, here are five steps you can take to try and address the issue:
Ask tenants why they don't want to renew
The simplest way to see if there is a pattern is to simply ask tenants that aren't renewing their contract why this is the case. You may get a few generic answers but if there is a problem, you may find out what this is too.
It's important that you ensure each tenant knows that the answer they give isn't going to affect their reference. You may also want to issue a standard questionnaire at the end of a tenancy so everyone is being asked the same questions.
Look at the contact you've had
Have several tenants complained about the same issues ' Have you always got back to them in good time? Have your responses been professional?
All of these things can affect a tenant's willingness to renew their lease and so you should check there isn't something you're doing to put them off. If several tenants have complained about the same thing, it could be worth addressing the issue. Similarly, if you haven't always responded to calls and emails quickly, you should see how you can change this in the future.
Perform a thorough property check
Not all tenants complain about problems in a property, so it is definitely worth performing a very thorough check. Even small things like the place looking a bit run down or being hard to keep clean can affect whether a tenant wants to stay for the long term.
Do an in-depth check and perform any works that are required, even if they are just cosmetic. This will help the property look as inviting as possible and reduce the likelihood that the next tenant will have complaints.
What don't you allow?
If you don't let tenants decorate or say no to pets, you might want to reconsider this. Tenants are more likely to renew a lease and stay for a longer term if they can make a property feel like home. Similarly, tenants with pets often opt for longer leases as it can be difficult to find pet-friendly properties.
Check all the terms in your tenancy agreement and see what could do with being updated to help encourage longer tenancies.
Offer longer tenancies to start with
Rather than simply offering standard six-month tenancies, it is a good idea to offer longer options, especially if there are charges payable when it comes to renewing. If tenants know that they can stay in one place for longer, they are often more likely to choose this option. This means that 12-month, 18-month and even 24-month tenancy agreements can be a good idea.
If you want to encourage longer tenancies or just avoid the cost of having to find new tenants every six months, encouraging a longer contract term at the start is a good option. With renting being the more affordable option for many people nowadays, this offers a sense of security and ensures tenants feel like they can make a rented property a home.
article by Gary Whittaker
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