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How to Get Great Tenants for Your Duplex

If you’re already a multi-family property owner, we probably don’t have to tell you how terrible it can be to deal with a bad tenant.

Some tenants refuse to inform you of significant damage to your property, others pay their rent late (if at all), and still others leave without giving you sufficient notice. Things like this can create a huge mess.

So instead of dealing with bad tenants, why not get some good ones? That may sound like a stupidly simple solution, and here’s some great news – it is! There are definitely ways to help ensure that you get great tenants, and here are just a few of them.

(Hint: For tips to ensure that the tenant you select will be likely to pay the bills and avoid criminal activity, check out our guide to vetting tenants.)

It might seem backwards to tell your tenant that they’re sharing ownership in the property that you purchased, but the fact is that no one cares for a property like someone who feels invested in it.

Telling your tenant to make themselves at home and helping them to feel comfortable with you as their landlord will go a long way towards helping you to ensure that your property is always kept in top-notch condition. By making a tenant’s living situation great, you may even gain the opportunity to have a consistent tenant for years to come.

Turnover is expensive, after all. Decreasing the rate at which it happens will drastically help your ROI.

Get Your Property in Great Shape (And Then Take Some Photos)

One of the most important things that you can do before marketing your property to potential tenants is to get it into the best possible shape that it can be in. Consider the kind of home that you would want to move into if you were in your tenant’s shoes and plan out any necessary maintenance so that it can occur before your tenant ever moves in.

Doing this will help both you and your tenant to feel good about the unit that’s being rented, and it will help your tenant to have a better impression of you and their new home as well. You might even want to do some cosmetic maintenance that isn’t necessary for functionality but improves the unit that you’re offering up.

Something as simple as painting or updating a laminate countertop can go a long way and may even help you to get more from your property.

Here’s one other great tip related to this: once you get your property in top condition, take as many photos as you can. You might never have the chance to take photos again before attempting to sell your property (if you ever choose to do so). Many people do not live clean lifestyles, and it could be that your tenant never cleans up well enough to get great photos of the unit when you’re attempting to list a property.

Because of this, it’s best to simply take the photos when you have the chance.

Pets in Your Rental?

In a way, allowing pets might sound like your absolute nightmare. But hear us out on this: allowing your tenant’s to have pets could actually improve your ROI in the long run.

First of all, you may be able to increase your property’s revenue intake by charging additional rent for pets. You can protect yourself from potential damages from collecting a security deposit (or non-refundable deposit) as well.

But an often-overlooked reason to allow pets is this: few other places do. Pet owners are often frustrated by the rental market because they’re forced to sift through all kinds of properties to find the very few that allow their beloved family member into the home.

Because of this, you may be earning yourself a long-time tenant by welcoming a pet into your property.

Get the Word Out About Vacant Units ASAP

If a vacant unit in your property becomes available just one month (or a couple of weeks) before the move-in date, the kind of tenants that you get will be the ones that waited until the last minute to find a living situation.

Whether or not it was avoidable on the tenant’s end, it doesn’t bode well for their time at your property. If they’re willing to make quick moves, you may not get much notice when they decide to slip out of your property and onto the next.

On the flip side of things, it’s amazing to have a tenant that’s thought out their living situation well. If they’re booking your property months in advance, then they’re probably organized enough to give you several months worth of notice before leaving too. They’re also much more likely to stay in the property for a longer period of time. 


Also published on Medium.

How to Get Great Tenants for Your Duplex

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