If you are preparing to list your home for rent in Windsor Ontario, no doubt you want to find those responsible tenants who make your life easier and treat your property with respect. It is good business sense then to find long-term, happy tenants for your property. The cost of constant turnover in renters as well as a property that often stays vacant, is not what a successful landlord needs nor wants.
Here are our suggestions for not only finding the best tenants for your home, but keeping them as well.
1. It is your responsibility to educate your tenants when they move in.
Renters often don’t read the lease. It can be highlighted and written in large print, but tenants often don’t pay attention. Therefore, you need to clearly explain the rules to them and perhaps highlight and discuss certain points you want to make sure they understand.
2. Make your property something to be proud of.
If you are renting a highly desirable property, with curb appeal as well as a clean and comfortable space, then you will attract more responsible renters. It is well-known that the higher quality of your rental unit, the higher quality tenant.
3. Let them know they are welcome:
When a tenant moves in, let them know they are welcome. Have a welcome gift basket as well as all repairs finished. Include a list of popular restaurants and nearby shopping if they are new to the area. Better yet, throw in a gift card to a local store or coffee shop, welcoming them. Make sure the landscaping looks good and the lawn maintained. Renters are often so busy that any extra little comfort makes a world of difference.
4. Reward good tenants:
If you want to keep current tenants, offer to have the carpets cleaned at your expense at the one year mark. Or maybe do a little updating if a room has older flooring or light fixtures.
5. Take note of birthdays/holidays.
Find out your tenants birthday and send them a nice card. Give a small gift during the holidays to again thank them for taking such good care of your property (if that is exactly what they are doing!) Let them know you appreciate the fact that they are treating your home like their own.
6. Respond promptly to calls:
If a tenant contacts you, it is important that you return their call as quickly as possible. This is especially important if a major repair is needed. And make sure that all repairs are handled in a timely manner as well. If the air conditioning goes out on the hottest day of they year, then keep your tenant apprised of what you are doing to get it repaired quickly. And if you go out-of-town, make sure there is someone who will be available to handle any emergencies should they come up and leave their number with your renters.
7. Paying rent on time:
As a landlord, you obviously want your rent paid on time. It is important that this is stressed at the very beginning. Should a renter be late, make sure that a notice is sent to them after the last day it is due. Don’t waive any late fees either and try to be a nice landlord because they may take advantage of you and not make paying their rent on time a priority. There are some things you need to be very clear about and this is one of them.
8. Don’t be a pest:
Unless you have a very valid reason, don’t continuously drive by the property to check on it and to see how everything is going. Stopping by at various hours of the day and night makes any renter feel uncomfortable. The goal is, you want your tenants to feel like they are at home, and they can’t if there is constant contact. Be respectful of your tenants and their privacy.
Overall, a successful landlord and tenant relationships depends on both parties. But setting the stage for a successful partnership needs to start on day one. Think of it as a business relationship where both sides are rewarded: You, with tenants helping defray the costs of home ownership and your renters, who desire a warm and welcoming place to temporarily live.