As a Maryland landlord, you probably already know that keeping a good tenant around is a lot less stressful and cheaper than having to find a new one.
However, finding and retaining high-quality tenants can be a challenge, even if you have a lot of experience with Prince George’s County property management.
Not to worry – there are still several things you can do to get great tenants living in your property for a long time.
Here are 9 tips to help you make it happen:
How to Get Happy Tenants:
Getting tenants who are happy to live in your property will make your job as a landlord much easier. Here are a few ways to ensure you choose tenants who will be satisfied with their experience renting from you.
1. Check their references
Some tenants are problematic and won’t be happy no matter how hard you try to please them. A good way to avoid these kinds of tenants is to check references. Contact your prospective tenant’s previous landlords to get a rental history report and ask them questions like:
- How reliable is the tenant as far as paying rent on time?
- Does the tenant use drugs?
- Does the tenant often throw large, noisy parties?
Remember to be consistent with the questions you ask tenant references and avoid asking about things like race, religion, sex, etc. Otherwise, your actions could be perceived as discriminatory under the Federal Fair Housing Act.
2. Don’t be swayed by money
Keep an unbiased view when it comes to the tenant you choose.
Remember, just because a tenant has a lot of money and can offer to pay more does not mean that he or she will take care of your property and be easy to work with. A wealthy tenant can just as easily trash your property and cause you unnecessary stress.
Instead of focusing only on money, prioritize finding a responsible tenant who will pay your rent on time and respect your rules. By doing so, you can avoid having relationship-harming arguments with tenants in the future.
3. Be hospitable when showing your property
The first impression you make when you show your property will set the tone for your future relations with your tenant.
Dress nicely, be prepared and polite, and make an effort to get to know your tenant. A little kindness can go a long way and build a foundation for a happy tenant/landlord relationship.
How to Keep Happy Tenants:
So, you’ve chosen a high-quality tenant – great! Now, you need to think about what you can do to keep them living in your property. Here’s how you can encourage tenant retention:
Start by creating a welcome package for your tenants and giving it to them when they move into your property – this could be as simple as a first aid kit, map of the area, or even a bottle of wine locally made Brandywine.
You may want to also consider rewarding your tenants when they pay rent early or on time consistently – something as simple as a gift card is a great way to express your appreciation.
You can even try setting up a “rewards program” where you reward your tenants for maintaining your property, providing a referral, or renting from you for a long period of time. If you do this, think about allowing tenants to earn things like new appliances for the property or carpet cleaning service. That way, you can improve your property while keeping your tenants happy – a win-win situation!
(And trust us, they’ll be telling their friends about the perks of renting with you, paving the way for a quality referral in the future.)
5. Repair quickly
Pretty much nothing is more frustrating for tenants than a landlord who is unwilling to resolve problems quickly. If you want to keep your tenants happy, you’ll need to handle repairs as fast as you can.
Consider keeping a list of trusted maintenance providers with you if you don’t have your own team to handle problems with your property.
6. Clarify rules
Want to avoid conflict with your tenants? Then you’ll need to make sure they know what is expected of them upfront.
After all, if they are unaware of your rules, they’ll be much more likely to end up breaking them, which could harm your tenant/landlord relationship.
Clearly explain the terms of their lease and make sure they know what is allowed (number of house guests, number of pets, etc.) so they can easily adhere to your rules.
7. Answer the phone
Sounds simple, but this action goes a long way with tenants.
Being a landlord isn’t a 9-to-5 gig – you need to be available to keep your tenants happy 24/7. Be sure to answer the phone when they call and help them as promptly as possible.
If tenants are calling you at crazy hours too often, start enforcing specific office hours. Let your tenants know to only call you during the specified time frame unless there is an emergency.
8. Respect boundaries
No matter how friendly you are with your tenants, they won’t want to hear from you very often. Avoid being an overbearing landlord and randomly showing up at the property.
Remember, if you’ve chosen a good tenant, you shouldn’t have to worry about checking up on them too often. When you do check in, respect their privacy by giving them proper notice.
9. Avoid outrageous rent raises
Tempted to raise the rent rate? Not so fast – a major price change can send your high-quality tenants looking for a new place to live.
Instead, be reasonable about rent raises to retain your tenants, and you’ll save a lot of money by avoiding turnover costs.
Overall, being proactive about keeping your tenants happy and keeping your Maryland property in good living condition is what will encourage high-quality tenants to keep renting from you. Be a good landlord consistently, and you will reap the rewards.
If you struggle to find and retain high-quality tenants, consider professional property management in Prince George’s County.
Here at Bay Management Group, we specialize in Prince George’s County property management that makes your job as a landlord much less stressful and demanding. That starts with us screening your prospective tenants to find the best possible fit.
In fact, we’re so thorough in our screening process that less than 1% of the tenants we place end up getting evicted!
We also help you retain tenants by offering a wide range of maintenance services so any problems at your property can be fixed promptly. Our maintenance staff is available to you 24/7 so whether your rental property is in Laurel or Fort Washington, your tenants can rest assured that their issues will be taken care of quickly.
Interested in learning more about how Bay Management Group can help you find and retain great tenants? Contact us today!