Most people are used to having their rent slightly increased year after year, but our advice to landlords is to not overdo it too much when dealing with ‘good tenants’.
We consider ‘good tenants’ not just those who pay their rent on time, but those who also keep the property to a high standard, even paying for routine maintenance out of their own pocket.
Yes major issues to the property need to be taken care of by the landlord, but a person who looks after the home as if it’s actually their own, and who strives to keep it in pristine condition to the point of personally investing in it, is worth keeping happy.
A ‘bad tenant’, someone who doesn’t care as much about the home he’s living in, will more likely stain a carpet, damage kitchen fittings, not keep interior or exterior walls clean and not look after the garden. All of these things, if damaged and overlooked by the tenant, will end up costing the landlord a fortune to fix and replace. Obviously a landlord isn’t forced to repair what was broken and put things back to the way they originally were, but this decision will inevitably have its downside. Renting a property that is not well-maintained will not only cause a drop in rental income, but it could also suggest to the next tenant that the home isn’t really worth looking after, allowing for more damage.
Before raising rent a landlord should therefore weigh up how much the property is costing him, its overall condition, and how well the current tenant is maintaining the home. If the person or the people renting the home are keeping standards high and pay their rent on time, it’s best to not insist on putting the rental up by excessive amounts every year, even if this means the rental is lower than other properties in the area.
As much as they may love the house their living in, good tenants won’t stay in a home if they feel a landlord is taking advantage of them, and since losing a good tenant often proves to be a costly exercise, we believe that the risk of upsetting them is not worth the extra money of the annual rental raise.