Updated: Apr 13
We often use the term ‘good tenant’ but the majority of us don’t really know what we refer to. A good tenant means steady cash flow. That is why a good tenant has a direct relation with your profit. Bad tenants on the other hand have the potential to decrease your profit in a variety of ways.
Therefore, it is critical to have good tenants and we make sure that they stay as long as possible.
If a good tenant is leaving, you want them to stay. But if you don’t know why they are leaving, it is going to be tough for you to even attempt to stop them. Here are common reasons why tenants move out.
1. Rent vs. Market Options
According to statistics, rents have been on the rise in recent years. And some markets have reached a point where the only thing that makes tenants is moving out and shifting to a place where the rent is more reasonable according to the market.
Sometimes it is their budget that does not allow paying high rent. Other times they just feel the rent went up too quickly and is now more than the other options available in the market.
The market is subject to change. And resonating with the market is a good strategy to keep your market share. If you are charging more than 20% as compared to other options in the same market, you might experience substantial move-outs.
The reason is, many tenants out there hate the concept of paying more for the same property. However, you can charge tenants higher than is moving in from a local market by giving them a few reasons why your property offers better location, amenities, and environment.
Even if you are raising rents of the same property, don’t drop it as a surprise. Let them know upfront so that they make their mind for the raise. It works in the majority of cases. Even some good tenants might consider moving out because of a raise of more than 10%. Therefore, it is highly recommended to keep it under 5% to minimize the chances of move-outs.
2. Problems with neighbors
Bad neighbors can make life very difficult for tenants, they can prove their housing experience worse. Neighbors could be loud, intrusive, or annoying. If landlords ignore such complaints from tenants, it shouldn’t be surprising for the landlord when tenants start moving out.
The ultimate solution is to keep open two-way communication. This is a very helpful way to not even make it easier for landlords but tenants as well. Tenants will not renew their lease if they complaints if their problems are not solved. Even if the annoying Neighbors have a different landlord. Solve the problem by contacting their landlord.
Establishing rapport with tenants is critical. Make them feel comfortable so that they can be open in communication with you. Showing a friendly but professional attitude by being respectful, reliable, and responsive will help create goodwill that will last longer. Fulfill the promises you make. Avoid making promises that you know you either can’t fulfill or don’t have time to fulfill. Because this will cost you their trust.
Answer their phone or at least give them a call back within a day. If you don’t, tenants will think the only purpose was to make money and not help them solve their problems. Keep in touch directly via phone or let them connect with the property manager if they are managing your property on your behalf. So that they may feel that they can reach out to you or your manager anytime they run into a problem.
Some property managers or landlords pay less attention to repair requests. Damages happen, and it’s the responsibility of landlords to send professionals to repair the property.
For instance, if a tenant requests an AC repair in summer and it takes the landlord a week to send an HVAC professional. It will not make tenants happy.
Sometimes tenants avoid calling for everything. They don’t complain about small things. But small repairs add up and they start thinking about switching. It is better to pay equal attention to small and big problems so that the tenant have their peace of mind.
How do you find out of these small issues that tenants did not want to complain about? A simple solution is to check in with tenants and ask them if they are having any issues. It will save you thousands of dollars in the long run. For example, ignoring a simple pipe leak can result in catastrophic water damage.
5. Unexpected Changes in Life
Situations may change no matter what. Changes may happen in anyone’s life. But for tenants, it may make them move out. For example, a job change, unexpected events in the family, or moving out to stay close to their partners. These are personal situations and you cannot do anything about it to stop tenants from leaving. And on top of that, these situations come without warning.
When tenants start growing their families, they ultimately need more space. According to a survey, people who are expanding their families, are moving towards the suburbs and start living in single-family homes instead of living in apartments.
This is happening purely because of space. What landlords can do, is offer more options. Landlords can offer tenants larger apartments so that they may have more space than they needed.
7. Home Ownership
With the increase in rents, mortgages started to seem reasonable in recent years. Additionally, credit scores are getting better. With low-interest options, people are considering homeownership. And unfortunately, landlords cannot do much about it.
With that being said, landlords can only help them exit easily and return the security deposit on time. And in return ask for a review on the spot. A landlord can also offer them a condo or house.
As a landlord, what else can you do about these problems?
We discussed each issue along with the possible solution. But there are other precautionary steps you can take to tackle issues upfront. Practice these steps to make sure to stop move-outs that happen because of issues that can be solved.
1. Rental Condition
There is a hype about ‘over improving’ the property in the market. That does not mean you can’t improve the property to its best and make sure your tenants have a stunning living space.
This not only makes a fantastic living space but also has other benefits. For instance, tenants treat a property well that is in great condition. They will take care of it and make sure to result in no damage. Because nobody likes to damage beauty.
Improving property decreases the minor damages and hence gives another reason to a tenant not to move out.
Feedback is a great way to find out if the tenants are satisfied. It can even spot a few problems that tenants were likely not going to complain about.
You can use a service or simply use a Google Form Tenants will just fill the form and this way you will receive feedback you were not having otherwise.
Reach out to your tenants periodically and ask them about the unit they are living in. This immediately opens a communication window. Tenants feel comfortable by you opening communication and are likely to talk about problems they are facing. It also helps establish rapport with tenants.
Good tenants leave for a variety of reasons regardless of if they like the apartment. Great landlords face these issues and do their best to resolve the issues and make sure tenants stay.
After all, turnovers have a significant negative effect on the cash flow. For example, the exit process, fixing up the unit, bringing in another tenant. Everything costs you from applicant screening to administration to advertising and showing the property. Considering this for many units can add up to a considerable cost.
While it is impossible for a landlord to keep all the tenants that intended to move-out, but can certainly decrease the vacancy rate by simply being aware of the common causes that result in turnovers. And as a result, can improve cash flow.
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