Happy tenants also mean happy landlords. But many landlords overlook this crucial element of property management, and it has a direct impact on the financial stability of a rental unit. Dealing with bad tenants is an unfortunate reality of landlord property management in Howard County or anywhere else. Virtually every property owner has had interactions with unruly, disrespectful, or completely unreasonable tenants, and many times frustrations between landlords and their tenants can boil over into stressful altercations. However, it’s important to know how to keep good tenants once you find them. So, think about it—when was the last time you performed a happy tenant check on your rental units?
If you’re interested in how to keep tenants happy in Howard County rental properties, the following tips can be beneficial.
Managing Rental Property Tips: Seven Ways to Reward Tenants’ Good Behavior
Don’t take good tenants’ behavior for granted. Remember, it is equally as important to learn how to keep those good tenants happily paying their rent once you find them. If you want to learn how to ensure you get good tenants and you keep what ones you have, the following positive reinforcement ideas can be the groundwork for successful landlord-tenant relationships.
1. Keep Properties in Top Condition
It doesn’t matter how great your tenants are; no good tenant will remain in a rental unit for long if the property is in disrepair or you take forever to respond to maintenance requests. Maintenance is an unavoidable part of property ownership. Landlords can save themselves a tremendous amount of stress and money with regular maintenance checkups and “refreshers” to check on vital systems within a rental property.
If you find the perfect tenant in Howard County, Maryland who respects your rental property, pays rent on time, and doesn’t cause any problems for you, you should make it a point to go out of your way to ensure that tenant has a great experience with your rental unit year after year. If you have had a great tenant for a few years, it may be time to consider professional carpet cleaning, paint touch-ups, and other cosmetic issues that will keep the space feeling comfortable.
2. Perform Upgrades on Occupied Rental Units
Handling ongoing maintenance issues quickly is great, but consider adding some valuable upgrades to their living spaces as well to keep your tenants happy. A tenant may not confront you about chipping countertops, compressed carpets, faded paint, or other minor cosmetic issues around the property. But these issues may linger in the back of their minds and encourage them to find a new rental unit.
Consider reaching out and asking your tenants if they have noticed any issues that they would prefer to be fixed. If several things need to be fixed and you’re concerned about cost, ask your tenants for one of the items they would like most and do your best to make it happen. By expressing interest in upgrades to your tenants’ units, you’re showing them you care about the space they’re living in and creating a good working relationship.
3. Reduce Rent for Holidays
What are some rewards for good behavior that every tenant will appreciate? Saving money on rent is a major one, and most tenants will appreciate any and all rental fee discounts that come their way. Many landlords offer their tenants discounted rent for December and/or January for the holidays. Even if you only reduce rent by a hundred or a few hundred dollars, your tenants will undoubtedly appreciate the extra cash for the holiday season.
4. Incentivize Referrals
If you want to reduce the turnover rate and keep tenants happy, offering your tenants referral rewards for finding other good tenants is a fantastic strategy. If a good tenant recommends someone, chances are that someone will become a good tenant, too! Consider offering a rental discount or offer a cash bonus if one of your tenants successfully refers someone new to one of your rental properties. You should plan for a one- or two-month waiting period to make sure it works out.
5. Don’t Push Rent Increases
Every property owner must modify their rental prices from time to time to adjust for economic factors, quality of living in the area, and other reasons. Unfortunately, some rental property owners increase their rental prices at the end of every rental lease. A tenant may wish to remain in the rental and sign on for a new lease, but driving up the cost of rent with each renewal is not a great way to keep them happy.
For example, increasing the rent on a $1,500 per month rental property to $1,600 per month at the end of a rental agreement may seem reasonable to you—but that extra $100 per month could mean the difference between keeping or losing a good tenant.
6. Gift Cards
If you truly want to foster a sense of community and maximize Howard County rental income, show your good tenants how much you appreciate them by sending them gift cards for their birthdays or during the holiday season. This is an inexpensive but effective way of keeping tenants happy and cultivating better relationships with them.
7. Offer Grace Periods
If you want to know how to manage a rental property in Howard County, MD effectively, consider the lifestyle of your average tenant. Many renters live paycheck to paycheck and plan their expenses accordingly. Sometimes, rent is due before the next paycheck hits a tenant’s bank account, resulting in late rental payments. While nothing beats the feeling of seeing your tenants pay their rent on time, try to be understanding that some may fall short of their due dates by just a day or two because of their pay schedules.
In Howard County, renters have a five-day grace period following the due date to pay their rent without incurring late fees. This shows your tenants you are reasonable and understanding and helps them breathe easier knowing they won’t have to pay extra if a payday happens to fall a day or two after a rent fee due date.
If you want to keep tenants happy and reduce turnover, ideas like these are great starting points for cultivating better landlord-tenant relationships. Keep this list in mind and review your rental properties to look for unique ways to reward your tenants’ good behavior.
If you need a little extra help coordinating any of these above rental property benefits for your tenants, reach out to a team of property managers like the ones at Bay Property Management Group. We can help you manage payments, unit upgrades, and more.