7 things You Can do to Stop the Revolving Door of Rental Property Management

The hassle of frequently fixing up apartments for showings, placing ads, and interviewing potential renters is not something that you want to be doing on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, that’s the nature of rental property management, but when you rent units to individuals, your hope is that they stay on a long-term basis.

While hopes and prayers won’t get you far as a landlord, there are a number of things that you can do to make sure that your trustworthy tenants are happy with their living situation.

Happy renters mean happy landlords and a mutually beneficial partnership means that you’ll be set up with long-term renters.

In fact, according to research by Kingsley Associates, tenants who are happy with their landlords are 3X more likely to renew their leases.

Kingsley Associates’ Q3 report shows that an approximate 77% of tenants are happy, yet the renewal intent continues to decrease year over year and sits at only 51%.

By taking this information to heart and working to keep your tenants happy, you can increase your personal renewal rate to reduce turnover.

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7 ways to keep your tenants happy:


1).  Educate tenants when they sign the lease

Clearly define in the lease whose responsibility it is to clear the yard, maintain the outside, etc. For high-rise buildings, this includes educating your tenants on things such as dog sizes allowed, balcony furnishings allowed, and common area use.

However, make sure that they really understand the allocation of responsibilities instead of just laying it out in a legal document that some may just skim through.

It’s much easier to explain in advance than it is to point back to the lease when they’re angry about something.

2).  Be lenient on the renewal agreement

Renewal agreements aren’t a mandatory option, as after the standard one-year lease is up, the tenants then move to a month-to-month agreement based on the rules and regulations in the first rental agreement.

However, as a residential property manager, you may wish to have your tenants sign a renewal in order to have some formality to their continued living in your unit.

Understand that there is no legal obligation for your tenants to agree to this, but after the lease is up, you can negotiate based on your proven adherence to the following commandments of respectful and mutually beneficial tenancies.

3).  Maintenance

It is your responsibility as a rental property manager to ensure that your units and common areas are well maintained.

This means that a quick response to requests for repair, as well as actually doing the things you laid out in the maintenance agreement such as yard work.

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4).  Upgrades

Certain things require upgrades as buildings age. Roofs need repair every 20-25 years, and hot water heaters may need replacement every 10 years.

These aren’t small maintenance issues that can go overlooked, but giant upgrades that need to be kept on top of to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for your tenants.

As items in your unit age, they’ll also need upgrades. Fridges, stoves, windows, bathtub sealant, as well as upgrades to common area elements, will not only please your tenants but give them a sense of pride in their home.

5).  Keep Rent Increases Reasonable

A shocking increase in rent can cause even the most seasoned renter to second-guess their living situation. Take into account that 56% of renter renewal decisions are based on the rent increase price, so keep your increases in line with perceived value.

When your tenants see that you’re spending money on not only the building but their unit, they’ll be more responsive to signing a renewal and paying the increase.

In Ontario, the law states that you can only increase the rent by 1.5% every 12 months. This notice is to be given in writing 90 days in advance, but a good rule of thumb is to have this increase coincide with a satisfactory upgrade.

6).  Practice Good Communication

It’s important to maintain a respectful relationship with your tenants. When they reach out to ask for repairs, provide professional and prompt responses. Acknowledge their issues in a timely manner, within 24 hours, and offer a solution or compromise as a response.

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7).  Deal with disruptive tenants

In any building or multi-unit home, one of the biggest struggles for renters is co-existing with their neighbours. Especially if those neighbours are constantly fighting, the cops are regularly being called on them, or they’re throwing all-night ragers.

By clearly and respectfully acknowledging complaints, as a residential property management professional, it’s your responsibility to try to smooth over these problems.

While there are laws regarding eviction, there are certain warnings you can dole out to these disruptive tenants to coach them to respectfully coexist with their neighbours.

According to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), the only recourse you legally have for disruptive tenants is if they are unreasonably disturbing tenants, causing damage, or committing illegal acts in their unit or on your property (such as selling or making drugs).

Of course, if they are also not paying their rent on time, you can apply to the Tenants Board for an eviction.

If you’ve been struggling to maintain a property, keep units filled, or are simply overwhelmed with tenant requests, our rental property management team at ICC® Property Management can help.

With extensive experience in a high-rise, low-rise, and commercial property management, our team is vetted and trained to create the best possible atmosphere for both landlords and tenants — ensuring a long-term relationship.

Get in contact today to get your rental properties under control and filled with happy, long-term tenants.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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