As a private landlord, you'll appreciate the benefits a long-term tenant brings you. Steady and reliable income, no worries about having to find a new tenant every six months and someone who'll appreciate and look after your property.
So long term tenancies are great news for landlords. And many tenants are also now looking for the security of a longer lease. Yet despite the advantages to both landlord and tenant, the average tenancy is still surprisingly short.
Though figures vary between studies a report in late 2017 showed average tenancies of 20 months. However, there were huge variations in different areas of the country. Nevertheless, an average tenancy of fewer than two years isn't what many landlords will want to hear. The longer the better is the feeling of many when it comes to the how long a tenant stays.
But, if you're in this camp how to do you make tenants want to stay longer? Here are our top five tips on encouraging long-term tenancies.
1. Allow your tenant to decorate
A tenant will stay longer if they can make your property their home. And one way of making them feel at home is by allowing them to decorate and personalise the property. But like many landlords, you may be very reluctant to take this step.
After all, once a tenant decorates it means you have to take the time and expense to return the property to a neutral state for the next tenant. And this is a very valid point if you're bringing in a new tenant every six or twelve months. But if allowing the tenant to decorate helps extend their stay to two or three years it begins to make more sense.
2. Accept pets
This won't be popular with some landlords. But welcoming pet owners can pay off when you're looking for long-term tenants. Dog owners, in particular, have problems finding landlords who'll welcome them and their pooches.
When they do find a property, they are far more likely to be a good tenant and to want to put down roots. They don't want to go through the hassle of finding another rental any time soon. This is why accepting pet owners can pay off for you in terms of encouraging long-term tenants.
3. Be prompt with repairs
A delay in dealing with repairs is something which really antagonises tenants. This can lead to a deterioration in the tenant/landlord relationship and will almost certainly drive a tenant away. Having a landlord who responds swiftly and carries out repairs promptly is a huge plus point for any tenant.
The same goes for routine maintenance. Keeping the property and appliances in good repair will score plenty of brownie points with tenants. And make them much more likely to remain in the property long-term.
4. Maintain a good relationship with your tenant
We're not suggesting you become best friends but a good working relationship with your tenant can encourage them to stay longer. To help establish a good relationship you should:
As we've already mentioned keep on top of maintenance and repairs.
Always give plenty of notice if you need access to the property.
Regularly service or upgrade appliances.
Always reply promptly and politely to any requests or communications from your tenant.
Schedule repairs or maintenance around the schedule of your tenant.
Make sure your tenant has copies of all essential paperwork.
Ensure the tenant always has your up to date contact details.
Remember a tenant is more likely to remain in a property if they have a cordial relationship with you. In short – be a good landlord.
5. Don't raise the rent (too much)
Encourage your tenant to stay by not raising the rent when the current fixed term ends. Alternatively, offer a discount if they sign a two-year tenancy instead of a year. A third option is to offer a rent freeze for twelve months with a small rise in the second year. Maintaining the current rent can encourage your tenant to stay long-term.
Private landlords can find tenants fast by listing their property with MakeUrMove the online letting platform bringing landlords and tenants together.