As a NYC property owner, one of your primary goals is holding onto your tenants. Keeping your units occupied with happy, responsible tenants prevents you from blowing money on frequent turnovers or even sustaining losses from vacant units.
But how do you keep your tenants happy?
At Jack Jaffa & Associates, we’re committed to your success. To help you hold onto your tenants, we’ve compiled a handy list of 10 ways to be the best landlord ever.
1. Screen your tenants carefully
Before you can work on treating them right, make sure you choose responsible, conscientious tenants. Call references and meet with every tenant in person before making a decision. You want your tenants to make your job easier and to keep the atmosphere of the property pleasant and clean.
2. Hand-pick your managers
If you own multiple rentals, you’ll probably need to outsource your property management. Be super careful about the company you choose to do this job. A manager will not be personally invested in the property’s success the way you are; make sure they’re competent enough to do the job well.
3. Keep it clean, safe and secure
One of the biggest turnoffs to existing and potential tenants is a poorly-kept property. No one wants to live in a dirty, unkempt building. Make sure the exteriors and interiors of your properties are kept meticulously clean and free of debris. Floors should be washed regularly and all garbage around the building should be disposed of promptly.
It’s equally important to keep your properties safe and secure. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly, your building locks are secure, and your HVAC systems are functioning optimally.
Lastly, your properties should be fully compliant with all NYC housing codes. If you’re not absolutely positive you can pass any kind of inspection, be sure to give us a call. At Jack Jaffa & Associates we’ll have you fully compliant with NYC law in no time!
4. Make repairs promptly
Your tenants want to feel cared for and respected. When one of them notifies you of a broken appliance, a leaky pipe, or a defunct furnace, take action as soon as possible. Nothing makes a disgruntled tenant like ignored complaints about a dripping sink or a useless washing machine.
5. Respect their privacy
Respect the privacy of your tenants. To you, it may be one of your dozens of rental properties, but to them, it’s home. Make sure you notify your tenants well in advance of any visits or inspections. It’s best to provide them with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice before coming to call.
6. Go the extra mile
Don’t just be a good landlord, be a fantastic one! Try to go the extra mile with some of these ideas:
- Put out a welcome note for your new tenants. You can include general information about the neighborhood and local businesses, along with your own contact details.
- Host an annual building event. Whether it’s a barbecue at a local park or a quick get-together in your own place, it will create a feeling of family among your tenants.
- Contact your new tenants one month after they’ve moved in. Ask them about the rental and assure that everything is in working order.
7. Conduct regular inspections
Most landlords fall into the habit of sprucing up their properties only when they are vacant. Get ahead of the game by scheduling routine inspections of your units. Take note of anything that needs repair or maintenance, like a broken appliance, torn carpeting, or peeling paint. This way, you’ll keep your rental properties in perfect condition and looking spiffy at all times.
8. Implement a reward system
As in every business, it’s important to show your customers – or in this case, your tenants – how much you appreciate their patronage. If you have several long-time tenants, consider implementing a reward system. You can offer complimentary carpet-cleaning, painting, or even new furnishings for an extended lease. Promise a free month’s rent for all referrals that end in a newly signed lease. You can also gift your tenants with a small holiday present to show your appreciation for their loyalty.
9. Put it in writing
Prepare your lease document carefully. The lease should detail all of your expectations and responsibilities as a landlord, including the rent collection procedure, property usage, maintenance, repairs, inspections, conflict resolution, lease terminations and evictions.
Having your expectations in writing will help you avoid disagreements and misunderstandings later.
10. Be professional, not personal
If you want your tenants to respect your property, first they need to respect you. Always be friendly and courteous to your tenants but maintain a professional distance. Never indulge in building gossip or engage in overly casual conversation.
By respecting your tenants and their properties, you can be the best landlord ever!