Finding and keeping good tenants – RP Data
It’s important to keep your investment properties well-tenanted. Having good tenants can decrease the amount of property maintenance you need to make and provide you with a stable and hassle-free source of income. Keep the following tips in mind when searching for tenants and when trying to keep them, to save you time and money.
- Search at the right times. Certain times of the year tend to have more or less active rental markets. Traditionally, December to February are the busy months, while June to August are quieter. By taking applications during a busy time, you’ll give yourself a greater selection of potential tenants to choose from.
- Take your time making a selection. While it’s true that every day a property is empty its landlord is losing money, it will be worth it in the long run to find the very best quality tenants rather than settling for second best to start an income stream quicker.
- Keep rents realistic. It’s a tough market to be sure, but chasing every last cent of potential rental income could do you more harm than good, scaring off potential new tenants and rendering current tenants dissatisfied. If you do increase the rent, be sure to inform your tenants well in advance as a courtesy, and if the lease is a longer one, have a rent rise clause built into the documentation.
- Check references thoroughly. A good tenant should come well-recommended, and a bad tenant can be sniffed out easily enough with a little investigation. Ensure that your real estate agent gets plenty of identification from prospective tenants, as well as proof of income.
- Make tenants want to stay. The longer a current tenant stays in your property, the longer you go without losing time and money replacing them. If possible, set up the property to be as low-maintenance as possible to make it easier on the tenant, but don’t expect them to maintain the property for you. Try to promptly deal with any problems that come up, and conduct regular inspections to keep the property in good condition to make the tenants’ experience a pleasant one.
- Make the connection personal. It’s easier for a tenant to value a property and try to take care of it if they think of their landlord as a person and not a mysterious, unknown figure that operates solely through real estate agents. Although making friends with your tenants runs the risk of introducing personal issues into a business relationship, it’s worthwhile to at least let tenants put a personality to the impersonal position of landlord.
For more information on how to find and keep good tenants, talk to your agent, or if you can afford it, hire an experienced property manager with good references to handle the entire process for you.
Article supplied by RP Data