Everyone has heard horror stories about bad tenants. They make movies about them because melodramas sell at the box office. While there are bad tenants who cheat owners out of rent and can be destructive, the majority of renters are simply good people. What investors really want is good tenancy, as well as the best return on their investment. These are the very reasons why property owners should care about what good tenants want.
Most people are thrilled when they can get a great deal or an underpriced commodity, but the bottom line is that everyone wants a fair price for their expenditure. Therefore, it makes sense that tenants want fair market rent, not only when they rent but throughout their tenancy. Most tenants, when satisfied with their residency, will adjust to a reasonable rent increase. It's when property owners raise the rent drastically or unfairly (i.e. retaliation), that it becomes a problem.
A safe environment
The best way property owners and managers can contribute to the safety of any community is by obtaining good tenants and by working with neighbors and law enforcement when necessary. However, in any neighborhood, investors need to provide a safe residence for their renters. There are many ways to do this, such as adequate locks, working doors and windows, safe electrical, good plumbing, well-maintained flooring, etc. Fire safety in and around the property is extremely important. Tenants want to know that they can enjoy a safe and reasonable living environment.
Like fair pricing, people want fair treatment. Below are common areas where many investors fail.
- Tenants want what property owners and/or managers promise them. They have the same expectations if they report maintenance calls. When there is failure to follow-through on promises and nothing happens, it creates bad landlord/tenant relations.
- Tenants do not want rude surprises. Generally, this means they do not want property owners or managers to show up unannounced at the property. They want everyone to abide by the federal and/or state housing laws on the right-to-enter. While the tenant does not own the property, this is their home and they want owners and managers to respect this.
- Tenants want a fair return of their security deposit. There are times when tenants should lose all or part of their security deposit. However, property owners need to have reasonable expectations regarding deductions because there is going to be normal wear and tear in any property.
- Tenants want a reasonable guarantee they will not lose their home during the agreed upon period of occupancy. There are circumstances that do arise where property owners have to sell a property or lose it due to financial circumstances. If this happens, property owners need to do their best to extend fair treatment to their tenants during this process.
You know how this song goes, "R - E - S - P - E - C - T, find out what it means to me." Good tenants want respect and appreciation from property owners and their managers, just as they expect on-time rental payments and proper care of the residence from their tenants. When property owners provide fair pricing, a safe environment, and fair treatment to their tenants, they give them what they really want. In turn, investors are setting up the best possible scenario for a successful tenancy.