3 Reasons to Retain a Tenant in Your Rental Property

Posted by Teresa on July 23, 2010 under Housing Trends, Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenantscreeningblog.comRegardless of the economy or the rental market, it is always a good time to retain your tenants. To keep tenants from moving out, some landlords have been offering incentives like free cable and even large-screen TVs to go with them. But is it really worth it to invest that kind of cash into keeping tenants?

Actually, yes. Savvy rental property owners know that keeping tenants is a good idea. Here are three reasons why you should retain tenants when possible:

1. Empty units cost money. Whether or not a rental unit is producing income, it is costing you money.. Mortgage payments, taxes, maintenance, lawn service, and sometimes even utilities continue to chip away at your cash reserves, while It could take one, three, four months or longer to find an acceptable new tenant. Why not do what you need to do to keep a current tenant in place?

2. Turnover is costly. There are a number of expenses associated with turning over a rental unit to a new tenant:

  • Advertising
  • Management fees for finding a new tenant
  • Installing new carpeting, flooring, or paint
  • Repairs
  • Damage each time furniture is moved in and out
  • Lost rental income during the changeover
  • Tenant screening

Landlords are better off delaying these expenses as long as possible. You don’t want to incur these costs before you absolutely must. And don’t forget—the time needed to complete the changeover to a new tenant is lost rental income, too.

3. Reduced rents: It’s all about perception. A full building looks like a good place to be, and frequent tenant turnover looks bad. If your tenants are regularly moving out of your rental units, it can affect the rent you can charge. Think about the impact on potential new tenants if, each time they do a drive-by look at your apartment building or 4-plex, there is a moving van out front—and it’s not being unloaded. Potential future tenants will get the impression that nobody wants to live there, and the value of your rental will decline. Stability means desirability, which means higher rent.

Whether it means giving lease-renewing tenants a DVD player, a restaurant gift card, or free cable upgrades, it is usually worthwhile to invest a little to keep a tenant happy and in place.