Keeping good tenants in place is the easiest way to reduce voids and time to let.
Here are our tips on how to keep tenants longer:
The average length of a Private Residential Tenancy is normally thought of as between 18 and 20 months. This means that as a Landlord you will be looking for a new tenant, on average, every year and a half or so. This will almost inevitably lead to some void time between tenants plus there is all the hassle of marketing, viewings and worrying that the new tenant may not be suitable. The easiest and best way to avoid this stress is to keep good tenants longer, and for as long as possible. To do this, tenants need to feel that they are getting value and that landlords and agents are engaging with them.
Obviously some changes of tenancy are bound to happen even if the landlord and tenant have a good understanding. Tenants will change jobs and locations, need larger properties as families grow or buy their own property. What landlords and agents can do is to try to retain tenants who have proved over the first six months or so of their tenancy to be worthy tenants. It is worth making good effort to retain these tenants as long as their circumstances don’t change significantly.
A few ways in which this can be done are prompt response to tenant queries and problems. Tenants like to be kept in the loop as well as landlords so, if problems and issues are reported it’s always good to keep them posted on progress. Not all issues can be resolved right away but if tenants know they are being worked on then this helps a great deal in their overall view of the property.
Allow tenants some degree of personalisation – always a big source of concern for landlords and I would certainly not suggest that a new tenant be allowed to paint the property from top to bottom! However, if tenants have been in place for some time and have been shown to be looking after the property then it may be good to allow some decoration by tenants. Proviso for this is that work be done to good standard and that colours chosen, if not “neutral”, must be returned to original at time of leaving. This just gives the tenants the feeling the property is more like “home”.
Have a budget for ongoing upgrades – this is not for major work but for areas that are bound to suffer wear and tear such as carpets. If you replace carpets every few years, even on a room by room basis then this is not too expensive and again gives tenants the re-assurance that the property is not neglected and therefore that they are not neglected.
Following easy guidelines like these will hopefully encourage good tenants to stay longer at your property rather than moving to a similar property just down the road and in turn this will help you maintain better rental income.
If you have a question, would like an expert opinion or a free valuation, please contact us.