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Finding a tenant can be as overwhelming for a landlord as it is for a tenant who’s looking for an apartment. So when you find great tenants, it is important to keep them for as long as possible.
To do that, it’s good to know some of the reasons why tenants leave apartments in the first place. Granted, some of the reasons are out of your control, but it’s still good to know so that you can do all you can to keep your tenants.
The primary reason tenants move is because of an apartment’s affordability. A tenant is likely to look for another place when their current rent becomes unaffordable, either because of job loss or mounting medical bills.
Also, landlords often increase the rent when the tenant renews his or her lease, which might put them in a financial bind. Finding a new tenant is more expensive than keeping a current tenant at the same rent rate, so if affordability is the reason a tenant cites for wanting to move, it may be worth finding a middle ground that you and the tenant agree on to keep them in the unit. Consider offering them another, less expensive unit to move into. Or reduce their current rent for a few months to allow them time to catch up on their other financial obligations.
Space is another factor that may cause current tenants to move out. Maybe they need more space because of a new baby or additional family members have moved in or their home business is expanding. If the issue is the tenant has outgrown the space, you can offer them a larger unit if one is available.
In the event the tenant wants to downsize, you could, likewise, suggest a unit with smaller square footage that they could rent. In either situation, throw in incentives like free or reduced rent for a period of time.
Job relocation is another common reason tenants move out. Unfortunately, there isn’t much a landlord can do in this scenario — you’ll just have to look for a new tenant.
Landlords have certain limitations when it comes to tenants’ neighbors. They can provide a safe and comfortable environment to tenants inside the apartment, but they cannot always promise the same for the building’s vibes. People can be loud, dirty, and rude to one another. However, landlords can take some proactive steps in this regard. They can help facilitate a meeting between the tenant and their neighbors to hopefully address the issues between them.
Landlords are bound to the lease as much as tenants are. If you promised your tenant you’d be responsible for fixing issues or you, as the landlord, agreed to reduce the rent for a given time period, make sure to honor your word. Doing so will earn and keep your tenants’ trust and, hopefully, their occupancy.
Just because a tenant signed a lease doesn’t mean they can always stay locked into the lease term. Take, for instance, the global pandemic. No one was ready when COVID-19 swept through communities, resulting in lost lives and, for many, lost jobs.
As a landlord, try to show some compassion and empathy towards tenants as they navigate through tough times. Creating a rapport with your tenants during their good times builds trust during more difficult times. Stay connected with your tenants so you can better anticipate when someone needs assistance with staying in their apartment due to circumstances beyond their control.
People move out of apartments for personal or professional reasons, and the landlord may not always be able to mitigate their reason. It’s important to remain professional, friendly, and respectful towards anyone who chooses to leave.