Kevin Davidson, Director of Marketing, welcomes you to the first of a 10 part series on the Top 10 things that will save you thousands in tenant turnover. These are things that we implemented in our company, and it will also work for you if you are a self-managing landlord.
Establish a great relationship with your tenant
This relationship starts off on the right foot when you make sure that the rental agreement is clearly written so that everyone understands what their responsibility is and who is responsible for what. It is a contract and agreement between the two of you. As a landlord, you have things that you have to adhere to as well as the tenant, so it is important to have a very clear agreement. Make sure that the tenant has a copy, and they understand their responsibilities.
When is rent due?
Paying rent by the due date is one of the most important responsibilities of the tenant. Collecting it is important for the landlord. Problems occur if the due date is not clearly written in the agreement. The absence of a required rent due date can cause confusion later. The agreement should also describe what happens if the rent is not paid on time. Are there any late fees? How are the late fees assessed? Having the answers to these questions clearly included in the agreement removes the potential for confusion and negativity in the future.
Who pays the utilities?
Who pays the utilities and what utilities have to be paid by the tenant should also be included in the agreement. Power, cable, water and other utilities should be clearly covered as to who is responsible for paying them. Paying utilities on time is one of the responsibilities of a tenant living in the property.
Who is responsible for repairs?
Another topic that should be clearly covered in the agreement has to do with repairs. Who’s responsible for repairs? What kind of repairs should they call you for. What is considered an emergency? Do they call you to replace a light bulb or are they responsible for that?
What happens if the AC goes out or there is a plumbing leak?
How do your tenants contact you about repair issues? Email, portal, or phone call?
Who is responsible for the yard work?
Is a yard service provided or is the tenant responsible for the upkeep of the lawn? If you require that a tenant take care of the yard themselves, it needs to be spelled out in the rental agreement.
At Empire Industries we include all these specific topics in our rental agreements so that our tenants are clear on what their responsibilities are. It is important that tenants know how and when to contact you regarding any of these issues.
This is the first of ten ways that you can reduce turnover and decrease your costs. Hopefully having these items covered in the agreement helps you get a responsible tenant that stays in your property for a very long time.