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Top 5 Tips For Tenant Retention – How To Keep Tenants Renting For Longer

Posted by Natalie on May 13, 2021

Every Adelaide landlord wants a perfect tenant. Someone who is clean, respectful and most importantly, pays on time. But finding good tenants can be challenging – even in the busy Adelaide market.  

Poor tenant retention can be costly. The time and money required to promote a listing can escalate quickly, so it’s important to make sure tenants are happy with their rental property to keep them in there for as long as possible. It’s also important to have a plan in place to address any potential issues that may arise within the property. That way, you can resolve them as quickly as possible without too much upset. We recommend creating a list of service providers (plumbers, tilers, etc.) who can be on standby if you need them!

Salvan Property Management are Adelaide property managers that specialise in tailoring solutions to help property investors achieve their financial goals with a stress-free, hands-on approach. If you’re new to property investment, you don’t have to endure bad experiences. We’re here to help you from start to finish.

So what can you do to keep good tenants in your investment property long term? Read on to learn our top 5 tips for tenant retention – how to keep tenants renting for longer.

What is tenant retention?

Tenant retention is keeping high-quality, good tenants in your investment home long term. In turn, you can feel confident that your property is well maintained and taken care of. But most importantly, securing good tenants for your investment property means that you are being paid promptly and regularly.  

Why is tenant retention important?

What was the main reason you purchased your investment property? Because you saw a good deal? Or because you had the opportunity? The most likely answer is because you wanted to make a financial investment for the future and hopefully or pay off your mortgage. 

Tenant retention plays a critical role in your investment. By finding ways to maximise tenant retention, Adelaide landlords can save money and optimise their profit. Tenant retention can save costs with:

  • Marketing
  • Leasing fees
  • Vacancy time
  • Turnover expenses

Not only will tenant retention save you money, but it’ll also save you time. As an Adelaide landlord, your time is valuable. By not having to spend your free time creating rental listings, property showings, tenant screenings, managing repairs or conducting inspections, you will have more time for other business or personal tasks. 

Pre-qualify and screen all tenants

It’s essential to find a qualified and quality tenant to ensure that your property will be well taken care of. A poor tenant will not only cause you stress but you may be forced to evict them from your property. This is why the tenant screening process is perhaps the most important part of the rental process. 

Request to see your potential tenant’s income, credit, and background history. And remember to get a reference from their former landlords. Ask the previous landlord open-ended questions such as:

  • Were rent payments made on time and in full?
  • What was the fortnightly rental rate?
  • Describe how the tenant maintained the property?
  • How did the tenant communicate with you?
  • Would you rent to this tenant again?

The answer to these questions will give you an insight into who could cause damage to your property, break their lease or pay rent late. 

If you are screening a couple, remember to screen and qualify both partners equally. You may be dealing with one partner, who has no prior evictions or ongoing litigations, while the other does. Ensure that both names are on the lease – or separate leases if you want to be extra diligent. 

Read: How to get approved for a rental property

Make maintenance a priority

Any Adelaide landlord will tell you that keeping up with maintenance repair is vital for any rental property. But remember to be proactive in scheduling regular and routine services for all major systems in the home, like the water heater. Not only will this avoid any costly emergency repairs, but it will show your tenants that you are diligent and care about their comfort and safety. 

When an issue does arise, respond to your tenants as promptly as possible. Keep them informed throughout the repair process. 

Here at Salvan Property Managers, we pride ourselves on our extensive list of trusted and reliable service providers who can assist our clients and tenants at any time. With one quick phone call, your tenants will have their issue resolved quickly and professionally. By caring for your property, you are caring for your tenants as well.

Keep rental rate increases consistent and reasonable

You purchased your investment property for financial security. As the costs of maintaining your investment rise, it’s understandable that you may need to increase the amount of rent you charge your tenants.  

But being aggressive with your rental rate increases will drive tenants away. Good tenants will expect periodic increases in their rent, but only if they deem it fair and reasonable.

Research similar listings in your area to understand what the rental rates are. Are you requesting more rent than what other properties are? Then consider lowering your rates.

By keeping your rates competitive and your increases fair, your cost-savvy tenants will know that they will be hard-pressed to find a better deal – keeping them in your investment property longer.   

Be professional and understanding

As an Adelaide landlord, there are laws and regulations in place to protect both you and the tenant. But sometimes an extreme circumstance may arise, such as the passing of a loved one, or loss of employment. And as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, you may be faced with more late or missed payments than before.

Maintain a professional and understanding relationship with your tenants. If an otherwise good tenant starts to fall behind on their rent, reach out and check in with them. Work with them to find a solution or alternative payment plan. 

Working together shows your tenant how much you care, and builds a strong landlord-tenant relationship.

Hire a Property Manager

You can’t be everywhere at once – you may have multiple investment properties, or a full-time job, or maybe a busy social and family life. By hiring a professional Property Manager, you can ensure high customer service for your tenants.

With over 25 years of experience, Salvan Property Management understands the trials and tribulations associated with using real estate companies, strata managers and large companies to look after your investment property. We specialise in finding the right tenant that is suited to your apartment, house, townhouse or unit so you receive consistent income and a better return on your investment.

If you have trouble with tenants constantly moving on or leaving you without income for weeks on end, it’s time to make the switch and find out how easy your life can be with Salvan Property Management looking after your property.


Natalie Salvati, Principal of Salvan Property Management, is a registered Real Estate Agent (RLA 276287) with over 20 years of experience in the property management market. She specialises in looking after metropolitan Adelaide landlords, or as we like to say, ‘property investors’. Request a free property appraisal with Natalie here.

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