One of the keys to success with owning rental property, especially in San Diego, is to have a good relationship with Tenants.
If tenant retention has been a problem for you in the past this article will provide you with seven tips you can use to improve the relationship with your tenants and keep them happy.
#1 – Start Your Relationship Right
From the very beginning you should be focusing on building a great relationship with your tenants. To do this you need to make sure you hand over a “turnkey” property.
- Have the rental professionally cleaned, including the windows, sills, appliances, and carpets.
- Don’t let minor repairs ruin a relationship. There may be the little things that you miss, but make sure lights are working, screens, smoke detectors, air filters are in good condition. Do the best to ensure there are no leaks or clogs in the drains.
- Make sure all keys and remotes work and that if there are any parking passes or community keys/fobs, confirm that these are ready for your Tenant.
#2 – Stay Available To Your Tenants
One of the very best things you can do for all of your tenants is communication. You don’t need to be available 24-7 for everything, but responding within (1) day to most requests is important. Set the tone for the Tenant so they know what to expect. For emergencies, you definitely want to be able to respond within 1-2hrs max.
#3 – Don’t Surprise Your Tenants Unannounced
Remember that you do have to follow the law with your San Diego Tenants and this means that you have to give them an advance notice of at least 24 hours before you arrive to make repairs or inspect your rental property. This is the biggest issue because landlords often feel like they can inspect or even show up whenever. Don’t make this mistake or you can alienate your Tenant. A monthly drive by as well as one interior inspection every 4-6 months is about the most you can do.
#4 – Be Consistent
The rent is due on the first and is late on the 4th (or the 6th depending on your lease). Stick to your late fees and start the eviction process if rent is not received by the 6th. Do not bend for the sob story or you this behavior of not paying on time will continue. I have waived late fees in the past on a “one time” occurrence. But once we post the notice to pay or quit, that train doesn’t stop, no matter what, until the Tenant pays in full. Whatever you do, do not accept partial payment, you lose your leverage in eviction court if you do this. People scoff and say “that’s not reasonable” but when you have been doing this for as long as we have, you will realize that being consistent with rent and repairs is the most important thing you can do as a Landlord.
#5 – Resolve Problems Fast
If you own rental property in San Diego you should always resolve problems with tenants with the most reasonable solution. Don’t be so content to stick to the letter of the law, because the court doesn’t always give you that luxury. Be prepared to compromise on everything but the rent. If it’s a reasonable solution, than agree in writing and move forward. If the Tenant is a pest, then at lease renewal, they will be asked to move on…it’s a two way street, not always your way or the highway.
#6 – Reward Your Tenants
Last of all, but most important, don’t hesitate to reward your tenants if they pay their rent on time, or keep their rentals spotless, or do things to upgrade the home. Just paying the rent on time is not enough to make someone a good Tenant. We have many rude and vulgar Tenants who pay the rent on time and demand your home be perfect at all times at your expense. That’s not a good Tenant…
Remember it’s a relationship. For those Tenants who take care of your home and with whom you have a good working relationship, do not hesitate to give back. A yearly repair spree where you send in a handyman to make upgrades and improvements is a great thing. Professional carpet or house clean at no charge is another great reward. In addition, don’t be in such a hurry to raise the rent, or if you have to raise make only minimal increases. This is a relationship that needs to be a win-win for both sides.
Get Professional Help…Hire a Property Manager
For more information on easy things you can do to build the relationship with your San Diego Tenants, or to speak with us about San Diego Property Management, contact Goldenwest Management, Inc today by calling us at (858) 792-3442 or click here.