Landlords often struggle with the difficult task of finding and keeping good tenants. Property owners who feel that they are being fair to their tenants may actually be scaring them away with outrageous rules and regulations. How can you figure out if you're being the best landlord that you can be?
There are a few simple tips you can implement to ensure you attract and retain good tenants, including:
1) Leave Your Tenants Alone
It's understandable that you want to check up on your property periodically, but don't be the landlord who drops by unannounced every week. The first problem with frequent visits is the fact that your tenants have a right to their privacy. Tenants who are constantly being visited by their landlord may feel uncomfortable about the situation, and you don't want to scare away good tenants by making them feel that they are being constantly monitored.
If you do feel the need to check up on your property outside of emergency situations, tell your tenants exactly how often you plan to visit. At the end of the day, it is best to make these visits infrequent. Checking up on your rental properties every six months is a good compromise between efficiency and leniency.
2) Overlook Normal Wear and Tear
You obviously don't want your property to be abused by tenants, but living in a home naturally means that tenants will unintentionally scuff up floors, nick paint or let a pristine bathroom counter turn from white to off-white. Don't make tenants feel bad about normal wear and tear. Dealing with this minimal damage is part of being a property owner. You shouldn't press your tenants for compensation for damage unless it's out of the ordinary or severe.
3) Small Rent Adjustments
Raising the price of your tenant's rent is necessary from time to time as costs of living also increase. Rather than lumping a substantial increase in rent on your tenants every few years, instead introduce smaller increases of 2-3% each year in predictable increments. This will ensure trust is maintained between you and your tenants.
By following these tips and demonstrating trust and tolerance, you will encourage your tenants to continue living in your residence, which will help you to pay off your investment with minimal problems.