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How to improve your tenant-landlord relationship

By Andrew Bell

We all know it's hard to find good tenants, and even harder to keep them. According to MrCrindle Research, the average tenant only sticks around for 1.8 years. Considering 30 per cent of the population rent, that's a lot of people moving about year to year.

Happy tenants are good tenants, and the happier they are the less likely they'll to look around for something new. Here's a few things rental property owners can do to improve your relationship with your valued tenants so that they'll settle down for the long term.

1. Keep up maintenance

As a landlord, the first thing a tenant looks at is the quality of the house. If you wouldn't want to live there because of broken or faulty features, neither will your tenants.

Promptness is key when dealing with an issue that needs attention. Tenants don't want to feel as though their requests are ignored, especially when they're paying their hard-earned money to live in the property. Renters are also more likely to take care of your property if the place is well-maintained and will likely follow your example when it comes to its upkeep.

2. Establish communication

As with any relationship, a strong one is built on the foundation of effective communication. However, it means more than simply responding to tenants requests to be effective. Communication is a two-way street, and a little initiative on the part of the landlord can go a long way to establishing an open conversation with your tenants.

There are many little things you can do to be active about communicating with your tenants and make them feel special and acknowledged. Simple things like sending them a welcome letter once they move in, or following up with them at the end of their first month moving in. If your tenants are new to the area, you might also want to give them a package on what the local transport options or amenities are around them and what makes the Gold Coast great. It'll go a long way to let them know you appreciate them and make them feel more positive about living there.  

3. Consider upgrades

A fresh coat of paint, new blinds or even a brand new dishwasher are great ways to make your rental property more liveable and improve the relationship between you and your tenants.

However, upgrading isn't just good for tenants. You might be surprised at how much you can save by claiming tax deductions when installing new appliances. Speaking to News, BMT Tax Depreciation CEO Bradley Beer explains that a lot can be claimed for the reducing value of common household items:

"Generally you can scrap the old item, and on top of the deduction for the new item, the residual value of the old item should be an instant 100 per cent deduction in the year that you throw it away," he says.

Importantly, this rule doesn't just apply to items, you can write-off tax on rooms as well. So not only are you improving the value of your property – writing off tax in the process – you're also making the home more pleasant to live in which will hopefully keep your tenants around for the long-term.

An interesting take-home from the McCrindle report on renters was that the majority (72 per cent) are "stable" – preferring to stay in the same place for a while. A good landlord-tenant relationship would go along way to seeing more tenants stick around for the long term. If you own a rental property in the Gold Coast, get in touch with the team at Ray White Surfers Paradise today to find out how you can improve the relationship between your renters.

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