All property managers have horror stories of tenants that made their lives miserable and left thousands of dollars of damage to the rental unit when they moved. Tenants also have horror stories of neglectful, rude or downright criminal landlords who they couldn't wait to get away from. To attract and keep great tenants, you need to treat them well and show that you appreciate them.
Allow Reasonable Alterations to the Rental Units
If a tenant has paid his rent on time, never caused any problems, and taken excellent care of the property, the least you can do is let him personalize his unit with paint to make it feel more like home and a place he would like to stay long term. There can be rules, such as having you approve the colors or get a written agreement that he will return it to the original color before he leaves. Likewise, if he would like to update the light fixtures or ceiling fans, the same rule about setting things back as they were would apply.
Attend to Maintenance in a Timely Manner
Whether it's a minor or major emergency, tenants expect their maintenance requests to be responded to as soon as possible. If there will be a delay, have the courtesy to call and make other arrangements, especially if it involves the tenant taking time off from work or other obligations to be present for repairs.
Do Not Disturb
Good tenants like to have a quiet and peaceful place to live. They don't like being disturbed by things such as noisy lawnmowers outside their window early on weekend mornings or unrequested and unannounced visits from their property manager. There will be times when no solution can be had for a problem, such as having a roof repaired during daytime hours for someone who works nights, but giving sufficient prior notice allows them to make arrangements to avoid the disturbance.
Don't Ignore Complaints
If a tenant calls you to complain about another tenant, deal with the problems immediately. Don't wait for it to resolve itself, especially if it involves a lease violation, such as excessive noise or illegal activity. It is your duty as a property manager to see that your good tenants are not run away by your bad tenants. Enforce the terms of the lease and the property rules. If a good tenant is obeying all the rules and you are allowing others to break them with no recourse, you will lose that good tenant and be stuck with the bad one.
Make Good Tenants Feel Safe
Even something as small as providing good lighting in parking lots, over entry doors and in hallways can go a long way toward making your tenants feel safe in their homes. If your property is in a less-desirable part of town, consider installing a security system, or at least motion-detecting security lighting in poorly lit areas. Provide substantial locks on all doors and windows. Having a policeman live on the property is an excellent way to keep crimes like drug dealing out of the parking lots and public areas.
Good tenants are hard to find and harder to keep. Treat yours with respect by upholding your end of the lease responsibilities and allowing them a few perks, and you will have less turnover and fewer move-out expenses in the long run. Contact a company, such as MGR Property Management Inc, for more information.