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Real Estate Investing Tips: How to Keep Your Tenant Renting Longer

Aug 17, 2007
Holding on to a good tenant is a wish that every landlord has, but seldom does it come true. Sometimes tenants can be a problem right from the start, and sometimes, if it is a responsible tenant, they may decide that they don't want to stay long. The reasons for not wanting to continue with the rental agreement may be many; but the primary among them are usually a rent hike, very strict guidelines formulated by the landlord, or the lack of upgradation of the property even after a very long time. There can be many other issues as well, like personal problems with the landlord, or some job related problems like the renter getting a better paying job in another city. In the latter two cases the landlord is not in a position to do anything about it, but the others can be addressed, and good tenants can be kept for long.

Let's begin with the first one, the rent hike. Usually, most tenants get disturbed by the fact that their apartment owner is going to hike up the rent, and hence they start searching for another apartment. However, that doesn't mean that you need to keep your rent the same for another ten years. The best way to increase your rent without scaring your tenant away is to keep the hike reasonable. Secondly, explain to your tenant the reasons for the hike, such as a rise in taxes and property prices. If you are responsible for the maintenance as well, you can tell your tenant that with rising prices it is no longer possible to carry out the maintenance wit the same rent amount.

Before hiking the rent check out a few basic factors like whether you are under any restrictions to raise the rent as per any agreement that you may have signed? Also, check the current average market rent of your area. Plus, in many cities a 30-day advance notice has to be given to the tenant for a rent hike. If the rent is raised by 10 percent, a 60-day notice in writing has to be given. If the reasons for hike in the rent are given appropriately and well in advance, then usually the tenant agrees to the hike.

The next important aspect is the transparent communication between the landlord and tenant about the guidelines that are to be followed by the tenant. The communication should be clear, to the point, and minus any jargon or words that the tenant or you cannot understand. Although clear-cut communication is required all through the tenancy, it is especially important when you interview prospective tenants. You need to make all the guidelines for tenancy absolutely clear right from the beginning, and that you expect them to be strictly adhered to.

For example, you need to tell the prospective candidate that the rent has to be paid on time, and that if it is going to be late, you expect to be informed in advance. The other rules could include factors like taking proper care of the apartment, being amicable to the other residents of the building, adhering strictly to the lease agreement, etc. However, try to keep the rules and conditions reasonable, making sure to be flexible sometimes when exceptional circumstances demand it.

A good candidate will usually understand all the rules and regulations, and will like to go through the building policies and the terms of agreement thoroughly before moving in. You can help such a person by explaining everything in a friendly manner, which would also serve the purpose of building a healthy landlord-tenant relationship right from the start. This will also prevent the tenant from bolting off at the first sign of a change in the rules, because he/she will come to you first to clarify the matter.

Finally, you should continue to make upgrades to the house or apartment that you rent out at regular intervals. Customizing your home will make your tenant feel more at home, and he/she will be reluctant to leave it even if you hike the rent up a little.
About the Author
Get more Real Estate Investing Tips and free advice from http://www.ezlandlordforms.com. We offer Rental and
Lease Agreements for landlords. We are the only online document system for landlords.
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