A tenant turnover rate refers to the frequency of tenants vacating a rental property. As a landlord, you want to keep this rate as low as possible because it can get expensive to have to deal with a revolving door of tenants. Each time a tenant leaves, you are responsible for cleaning, repairing, and painting the unit before you can rent it again. It can also be hard to find new tenants, making you can lose rental income in the interim. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to reduce rental turnover rates, even when you live in a transient area such as a college town or area with a high military population.

Pre-Qualify Tenants
If you aren’t already pre-qualifying your tenants, start doing so this year. This involves doing a thorough background check to examine their rental history. Look for things like broken leases, a history of moving frequently or legal issues, and avoid tenants who don’t seem to have reputable rental habits.
Make Improvements to the Property
If there are any issues with the property you are renting, it might be worth it to invest some money into basic improvements to get a higher tenant retention rate. For instance, adding a dishwasher, repairing an old washer/dryer, updating the fixtures or renovating the kitchen/bathroom can all give current tenants a reason to stay longer. Likewise, if there is a community area in the apartment complex, incorporating nice features like a little park, a pool, or a playground are all features that will make your property more enticing to long-term tenants.

Foster a Relationship with Your Tenants
Once new tenants have moved in, check in periodically. If you maintain a relationship with them and respond quickly to complaints or questions they have, they will be less likely to move. Make necessary repairs as soon as you can and, if there are issues that you can’t resolve right away, discuss a timeline with them so they feel as though their concerns are being addressed quickly and respectfully.

Offer Them Incentives
In addition to forming a relationship with your tenants, you can also offer incentives for lease renewal. If certain tenants have stayed for a few years, you can offer them a week or a month rent-free, for example. You can also offer a gift card (or some other form of a gift) to tenants who decide to renew their lease.

Lower Your Rent
It’s possible that tenants are leaving your property because they can find cheaper rent elsewhere. If you haven’t researched average rental rates in your area recently, now is a good time to do so. You can find out where your rates fall on the scale according to the quality and size of your units. You don’t want to lose money on the property but you could save yourself money over time by adjusting your rates.

Some areas suffer from higher turnover rates than others. Following these tips can keep your tenant turnover rate as low as possible, helping to save you money over the years.


POSTED March 10 2015 11:00 AM

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