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When you rent out homes, your ultimate goal should be to keep them occupied. If your tenant have a negative experience, however, they may feel compelled to leave. Then you’ll have to deal with property marketing, applicant screening, and the move-out and move-in processes—and moving is a significant affair on the tenant’s end as well. It will benefit both of you, therefore, if your tenant chooses to stay at your property. We’d rather that neither of you have to experience the hassle, which is why we’ve created a list of ways to get your tenants to renew their lease.
Make Things Easy for Them
In this day and age, it isn’t difficult to find a landlord who offers a convenient way for tenants to communicate with them and pay bills. Ideally, everything they have to do will be gathered on one website. If you can’t offer this, the tenant is more likely to consider moving on.
If you work with a property management company or rent out several properties, you likely have a tenant portal already set up. Tenants should be able to pay rent and submit any maintenance requests using this portal. If you don’t have one of these in place, you should still give them the option to submit rent electronically, and you should be available via phone or e-mail whenever they need something.
A broken appliance does not a happy tenant make. Renters don’t expect to have to live long with broken air conditioning or a leaking pipe—and you shouldn’t expect them to. If you’re hard to contact, they may eventually hire someone to repair it themselves and ask you to deduct this from their rent. This is an effort they shouldn’t have to make, and they may not be able to handle the cost upfront. Neglecting necessary repairs is one of the top ways you can lose a tenant.
Allow a Grace Period for Rent
There’s a reason for everything, so if your tenant misses a rent payment, they likely have a reason. It’s one thing if they do this regularly, but it isn’t uncommon for an individual to fall behind once in a while. If this happens, don’t immediately chastise your tenant. Instead, gently remind them that their rent is due, and if they need a short extension, be sure to allow it if they’ve been model tenants. Many leases also allow a three-day grace period each month.
Whether or not tenants should be allowed to bring their pets onto a property is an ongoing debate. People who are against it bring up the possibilities of accidents and noise. These are certainly valid concerns, but a pet deposit can often alleviate some worries. Ultimately, tenants are more likely to renew their leases if they know their home welcomes little Fido. They also won’t have to worry about finding another place that allows them.
Don’t Say “If”
When it comes time for the lease to end, assume that your tenant will renew. Approach them a month or two before their lease is up and ask them when they’d like to sign the new one. It’s good to sort things out before they consider perusing the market. If they’re a good tenant, their re-signing will ultimately benefit both of you.