Originally posted by Mary Girsch-Bock on PropertyManager.com
Property managers spend a lot of time ensuring that their tenants follow the rules, which include timely payment of rent, reasonable noise levels, parking in their assigned parking spot, and keeping their apartment home in reasonably good shape. If they live up to their end of the bargain, what are you and your staff doing to ensure that you live up to yours? Are you doing your best to keep your tenants happy, or are your actions (or inactions) driving them away?
Here are a few things that can be deal breakers come renewal time:
- Constant rent increases. We all know that there are times when there is no alternative but to raise rents. However, if your tenants have never seen a renewal without a major increase in rent, it’s likely that they’ll be looking elsewhere when their current lease expires. Before you raise rents across the board, take a closer look at your long-term tenants, and perhaps give them a pass. After all, it costs more to find a new tenant for the vacant unit then any rent increase you may forfeit.
- Excessive Noise. While tenants are notoriously fickle when it comes to tolerable noise levels, I can almost guarantee that the tenants that are considering moving are not the tenants causing the disturbance. While everyone hates to lose a tenant due to noise violation issues, you’re likely going to lose a tenant anyway – the one that doesn’t make any noise. The moral of the story: Be sure noise violations are addressed promptly.
- Unauthorized entry. Aside from being illegal in most states, no one wants to come home and find property employees in their home. While property managers are acutely aware of their responsibilities when it comes to managing apartment communities, short of an emergency, there is never an acceptable reason to be in a tenant’s apartment without prior notice.
- Inadequate maintenance. This can range from unkempt landscaping, dirty hallways and parking lots, to ignored maintenance requests to sub-par repairs. It’s the job of the property manager and the maintenance staff to determine the level of urgency in which a repair request should be addressed. Obviously, water dripping into an apartment downstairs is more urgent than a dripping faucet, but all tenants deserve the same level of care, no matter what their maintenance issue is. Address every request as if it’s important, because it is.
While there are numerous reasons why tenants choose to leave, by being cognizant of these frequent deal breakers, you may find your retention rates rising.