Landlord Check: These are the Ways You're Damaging Your Renting Business
For the fourth time in the last five months, you’ve lost another tenant. You’re not making as much money as you’d like to either, even though you’ve been cutting costs. Nothing seems to be working, and the questions you keep asking yourself about why you have difficulty attracting and keeping tenants and why the investment isn’t paying off yet haunts you day and night.
While some outside factors might be affecting your business, such as the current state of the real estate industry, or perhaps the quality of your rental property business itself, there is one more thing you need to analyze carefully. Take a step back and look at your own actions and behaviors as a landlord. Chances are, your tenants never stay and money seems elusive because you’ve developed these bad habits that landlords are usually guilty of:
Bad Habit #1: “I don’t believe in the tenant's rights—it’s my property!”
This is easily the biggest red flag for a tenant, and a belief system that you need to get rid of as soon as possible. It’s terrifying, to say the least, for tenants to feel as if their basic rights are being trampled on. Some landlords also openly discriminate, choosing their tenants based on ethnicity and preconceived notions alone. In this day and age, if you want your business to survive, it’s vital that you respect your tenants and their rights.
Bad Habit #2: “I'll accomplish that maintenance request...next week.” (Or never.)
Unfortunately, this is a common scenario that one too many tenants have experienced. Oftentimes, landlords do not realize the sense of urgency in tenant requests, ultimately failing to meet their tenants’ needs. When it comes to routine maintenance, time is of the essence. If the heater is broken, have it repaired as quickly as possible, otherwise your tenant will be extremely uncomfortable, especially if it’s in the midst of winter.
If the paint walls are peeling off, have them repainted the next day. Don’t wait for your tenants to remind you, because as landlords, we want our tenants to pay on time. And if we want them to pay on time, then it’s our rightful duty as landlords to deliver the maintenance requests on time as well. Think about your property, too, are you really going to let it fall into ruin? Considering all of that, then it’s best to get maintenance work done immediately when asked for.
Bad Habit #3: “Absolutely no pets allowed!”
You may be apprehensive of pets because of the potential damage to your property. However, in most cases, pets don’t damage the home at all. In fact, allowing pets is an inevitable part of rental property businesses now because pets have become official home companions, especially for those living alone. Approximately 62% of renters across the US have pets, and limiting your tenant selection could potentially hurt your business. Thus, dealing with pets is something you have to accept as a landlord sooner or later.
Also, there are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of pet damage, such as screening. Ask for shot records and talk to previous landlords. Has the pet caused damage? Was it a nuisance to the neighbors, or was there any incident of viciousness? Moreover, ensure that the tenant carries extra liability insurance on their pets. If possible, perhaps you can charge a pet fee or excess risk. There are many ways to look into the situation without rejecting it.
The Bottom Line
Fostering habits that encourage positive relationships with your tenants goes a long way. To ensure the safety of both parties, research on laws that govern landlords and tenants alike and familiarize yourself with them. Constantly look for solutions to keep your tenants happy, too. Once you do this, you’ll find your rental property business booming in no time!
That said, if you’re looking for property management companies in New York, we may just be for you! You don’t have to handle everything by yourself, which is why we’re here for you. We’ve been in the property management business for years now—get in touch with us today!