There are some things that, as a landlord (or rental property owner), on which you cannot bend. City, state and federal laws can't be bent. There are, though, other areas in which a little bit of flexibility can help you quite a lot - especially if part of your job is keeping your property filled to capacity.
1. Keeping Your Complex As Safe as Possible
Nobody wants to live in a neighborhood that has a reputation for being unsafe. As a landlord, there are some things that you can do improve the safety of the property that you manage.
Gated entry and tall walls surrounding the property (particularly if there are multiple buildings) is always a good idea. Switching to keycards instead of actual keys for main doorways and gates is helpful as well; they're easier for tenants to manage and harder for them to replicate without your knowledge. On site security is helpful as is putting together a neighborhood watch to improve the area for other residents who live nearby.
2. Keep the Property as Well Maintained as Possible
There are lots of things that you can do, like staging the rental units well, to make your property more appealing to new tenants. If you want to keep your tenants, though, you'll want to make sure that the buildings and units are kept in tip top working order.
Don't let maintenance requests go unresolved for more than 24 hours. Have an onsite emergency maintenance technician for problems that happen spontaneously outside of normal business hours. Do regular and routine maintenance checks for things like grouting, leaky faucets, etc and then get someone in to fix the problems you find.
The better condition the apartment, the less likely someone is to want to move out of it.
3. Get Great at Conflict Resolution
Part of living in a rental community is having to deal with disputes between tenants. One thinks another is too loud; another might complain that his neighbor smells weird, etc.
Learn how to work out these problems peacefully and facilitate compromises that keep your tenants happy. It is especially important that your tenants feel comfortable approaching you when they do have problems or want to file a complaint against someone else.
When tenants trust you, they're more likely to stick around.
4. A Little Flexibility Goes a Long Way
Your city and state are going to require that some rules be followed no matter what. Your property's owner (if that isn't you) might have a few of his own as well. Beyond that, though a little flexibility goes a long way.
For example, allowing tenants to paint the interiors of their apartments (provided they repaint them before moving out) is something that many renters would love to see from their landlords. Easing up on patio and balcony rules can be helpful as well. Allowing vertical blinds as well as horizontal blinds will be a major bonus for people who want to be able to keep the sun out of their apartment, especially in the summer when they need to keep the apartment cool.
5. Communicate Communicate Communicate
In addition to verbal communication, having things spelled out in writing (often) is a good idea. This way your tenants donÃ¢'t have to worry about accidentally breaking property rules.
For instance, if your property is multi-family and has rules about quiet times, make sure those rules are posted throughout your building or around the property as well as in the tenantÃ¢â¬â¢s lease. Have laundry room rules posted in the laundry room as well as on its door.
These are just five things that can help you keep your renters happy and encourage them to stick around. What are some of the methods you've tried?