Why Tenants Leave

While residential real estate is one of the best forms of investment, it all depends on one key thing – keeping the property rented. You need the money coming in to make your investment pay. While it’s important to find good tenants, it’s even more important to have them stay! It takes a lot of time, effort and expense to prepare an apartment, condo, townhouse or house to attract a new tenant.

A successful property management service in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada stresses that one of the best ways to keep your good tenants, is to know why tenants leave, and then to make sure those situations don’t happen on your watch!

PESTS & BUGS: Nothing makes a tenant leave as quickly as a problem with insects or rodents that’s not immediately handled. Trying to save money by attempting to do it yourself not only wastes time and money, but shows the tenant you may not be as serious about this issue as you should be. Contact a professional exterminator and take care of this right away – or the only thing you’ll see scurrying away will be your tenants!

ROOF PROBLEMS: A leaky roof is not just an inconvenience, it’s a serious and scary situation that can lead to all sorts of other problems. Mold and mildew can grow from even the smallest of leaks, and these can cause serious health problems – which may even result in a law suit. Leaks left untended can also cause water damage, and part of the roof may eventually cave in! No good tenant will stay under these conditions.

DELAYING URGENT REPAIRS: This is the number one reason good tenants leave. Take care of these kinds of repairs immediately, or at least within a couple of days: a blocked toilet, burst water pipe, broken down furnace or air conditioner, etc… Not having a furnace working in the dead of winter can actually be life threatening. A blocked toilet may not seem like a big deal to you, but try living with it for even a couple of days! Good tenants won’t.

IGNORING REGULAR MAINTENANCE: Those perfect tenants take pride in themselves and where they live. That includes more than the space they pay for. Hallways left unswept and unwashed, lawns not mowed and hedges untrimmed, garbage left unemptied for weeks – all make for a slovenly look. How proud can a tenant be coming home to this every day – much less inviting friends and family over! Regular maintenance is the duty of any good owner or property management service – whether in Waterloo, Nantucket, or San Diego! Good tenants will look elsewhere.

LOWERING YOUR SCREENING PROCESS: Quality tenants prefer living beside other people who respect the rules. Renting to people below those standards – even if you’re worried about having an empty unit – can cause major problems. New tenants who’re careless about where they toss garbage, have loud parties or arguments around the clock, take part in illegal activities, and have no respect for others can result in the loss of more than one good tenant! If they don’t feel safe, if they feel their quality of living is compromised – you may see a convoy of tenants leaving your property!

NOT RESPECTING TENANTS’ PRIVACY:  Yes, you may own the property, or manage the property, but that doesn’t mean you can walk in and out of a tenant’s rental when you please. Tenants must feel they have control over the space they’re paying for. They have an expectation of privacy. Always follow the rules regarding entry – 24-hours written notice is the legal way. Give them a quick call as well and let them know the reason. If it’s a visit they’ve initiated for repair, call them and arrange a mutually convenient time. Showing this kind of respect for your tenants is the basis for good communication, and a long and productive tenancy!

POOR COMMUNICATION: Last in this list – but far from the least important – good communication is critical. If you don’t answer phone calls or texts, or fail to reply to phone messages or emails for days, tenants feel their needs are not at the top of your list – where they feel they should be! What may not seem important to you, may be a make or break situation to a tenant. Answer all contacts, questions and complaints in a timely manner, calmly and considerately. Strive to find a conclusion that both of you can live with. Tenants who feel ‘heard’ feel respected. These tenants will stay.

It seems like a lot of work to keep good tenants, but it takes even more hard work, and costs money – that comes out of investment gains! –  to find new tenants, and hope they’ll be good! As an owner trying to handle this on your own, it can be overwhelming. That’s why having a quality property management service handle it for you – whether your investments are in Waterloo, Montreal, or New York or in all three cities! – is the best way to go. Before you hire, make sure you do your research to ensure the company you choose will deliver the quality service you expect!