One of the biggest headaches landlords have with apartments and other rental properties is high tenant turnover rates. The good news is that there are seven things landlords can do to keep their turnover rates as tight as possible.
1. Require Advance Notice of Tenants' Intention to Move
Even though you have your tenants sign a year-long contract when they first move in, you should also include a clause that states they must give you a minimum of 45 days’ notice if they don’t intend to renew their lease. This advance warning gives you time to advertise that you will have an apartment available, allowing you to find new tenants who can move in as soon as the current ones move out.
2. Stay on Top of Repairs
When one of your current tenants calls you to tell you that something needs to be repaired in his or her apartment, you should make every effort to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. The sooner repairs get handled, the happier your tenants will be, and the less likely that they will decide to move on to a new space when their contract is up.
If there is a problem with the completion of the repairs, contact your tenant and explain the cause of the delay.
3. Consider Offering Incentives
Offering long-term tenants special deals or occasionally providing them with a free month of rent is a great way to encourage your good tenants to stay in their current apartment rather than looking at different housing options.
4. Be Proactive
The biggest complaint that many tenants have when they rent an apartment is property managers who don’t respond to complaints in a timely fashion. In order to reduce turnover, you need to treat every single person in your building as the most important person in your life. No matter how large or small the complaint might be, you need to respond to it quickly. Good communication skills and proactive behavior from landlords is an important key to keeping apartment turnover minimal.
5. Keep Rent Increases Reasonable
The cost of living goes up each year, so you’re perfectly within reason to increase the amount you charge for rent, but keep in mind that you shouldn't make sudden or drastic increases in your rates, especially not to individuals who have been loyal tenants for years. The rule of thumb for each apartment is an increase of about 2% per year. You should also make sure that you give your tenants plenty of warning before the increase goes into effect. If circumstances force you to increase your rates by more than 2%, be sure to provide your tenants with an explanation.
6. Maintain the Entire Property
Making sure your tenants' living area is in good repair is another great way to reduce turnover in your property. You also need to keep the entire building and surrounding grounds in a state of high repair. Make sure the elevators always work, the corridors are kept clean, and the landscaping gets updated on a regular basis will all help you to keep your apartment turnover rate tight.
7. Don’t Make Policy Changes
If you want to change the way things are run in your apartment building, you’re going to have to make these changes with new tenants. You can’t suddenly tell current tenants that they aren't able to decorate their apartment or that their pets are no longer welcome if they were allowed to when they first moved in. Keeping things the same creates happy tenants.
When you stick to these seven simple tips, you will find your turnover rate decrease and your profits increase.
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