4 Ways You Can Lose a Good Tenant

As a property owner, you’re always on the lookout for good tenants who will stay for a long time. However, it’s not unheard of for property managers to make silly mistakes that lead them to lose their tenant. Following are four ways through which you can easily lose your tenants.

Bad Neighbors

Good tenants will need good neighbors. But property managers may sometimes find bad tenants too, and if these bad tenants are constantly bothering the good ones, you may lose them. Bad neighbors are those that ignore decent living including lease rules. A good tenant can get angry if they are surrounded by such people and as a result may opt to move out of your property.

Ignoring their Requests

Some property owners do not take instant action when their tenants make certain requests. Whether it is a water problem or garbage disposal concerns, attending to the needs of your tenants can help keep them around.

Parking Problems

One of the most common concerns among tenants is the lack of proper parking facilities. If parking space has been included in his or her lease, make sure that it is not given to anybody else regardless of whether or not the tenant is using the space.

Safety Concerns

Hazardous situations like unfenced drop offs and electrical problems can add to the worries of your tenant. As a property manager, you are expected to conduct regular checks to ensure that all the amenities in your property are well maintained or you risk losing your good tenants.

How to Choose Between Multiple Qualified Tenants

Checking Rental History when Tenant Screening

When there are multiple qualified tenants after your tenant screening process, check with past landlords if there were any problems with the tenant in terms of rent payments. Find out if there was even one instance when the tenant failed to make payments in time as this will help you avoid the smallest of problems and thus find the best possible tenant.


Income and Credit Score

The income of an individual can help you figure out whether or not there will be any kind of monetary problems between landlord and tenant. If the rent is below a third of the potential tenant’s salary, you will have little trouble from such an applicant. Similarly, low credit scores point to potentially problematic tenants, and eliminating them from your shortlist will leave you with brighter prospects.


Fair Selection Methods

When there are multiple applicants who are eligible for your rental property post tenant screening processes, the best way to pick a tenant is by being fair. First come, first served is the ideal means of selecting from a pool of qualified applicants. Another good method to pick a tenant would be by letting it out to the applicant who showed the highest level of interest in the property. The applications can be sorted based on their strength, so that you can accept the one that is verified first. You can also look at the applications to get a detailed idea about the potential tenants before picking one that would best suit your personal taste.

Ten Things You Must Do To Keep A Great Tenant

Be Responsive

Good tenants are important for effective building management. Being responsive when your tenant has any problem can help build a bond that will keep the tenant around for a while.

Address Problems Immediately

No one likes to wait, so make sure that any of your tenant’s concerns are addressed immediately as keeping him/her waiting can aggravate them.

Try to Please Them

Apart from attending to their concerns, you can please your tenant by sending sweets, or occasionally chatting with them to help them feel more comfortable.

Use Quality Appliances and Materials

Tenants are happier when they live in surroundings where there are quality things. Compromising on the quality of appliances may make them think that your rental property is not good enough.

Ensure Regular Maintenance

Attending to all units regularly will ensure that your tenants do not have any problems in this regard, thereby keeping them happy with your rental property.

Maintain Contact

The relationship between you and your tenant can be a little more friendly than average. Drop in once in a while to say ‘Hello,’ or invite them to group activities and suchlike.

Respect Your Tenant’s Privacy

Give your tenants the privacy they need and make sure that you keep out of their business at inappropriate hours.

Choose Wisely

During the screening process, make sure you get all the details of the applicants and that you assess them before letting out your property. During the interview, confirm with the applicant the duration of the rent.

Honor the Contract

If you make any promises to your tenants, make sure that they materialise as the tenant can sue you if you do not keep up the contract.

Changes in Rent

Do not increase the rent too often. Increments must be made based on the market and not personal choice.

Legislature Extends NYC’s Co-op/Condo Property Tax Abatement

Several months ago we discussed the failure of the New York State Legislature to extend the property tax abatement for co-ops and condos, says Ira Meister, president and founder of Matthew Adam Properties, Inc., a premier property management firm.  Well, the good news is that earlier this year, the  legislature voted to continue the abatements, though with several significant changes.  However, the legislature’s action came too late to include the abatements in the 2012/13 fiscal year, so they will be applied to the 2013/14 taxes.

The legislature also failed to make permanent the abatements, which have been authorized with continuing legislation since the late 1990s, Meister notes.

The impact of the abatement is significant. “There are approximately 365,000 co-op and condo units in the city and the city estimates the abatement saves these taxpayers on average approximately $1,200 per unit,” Meister says.

Condo owners pay the property tax directly to the city.  For co-op shareholders, the tax is included in the monthly maintenance charges.

The most significant change is in eligibility. To qualify, the unit must be the primary residence.  If not, the abatement will be phased out and completely removed for the 2014/15 fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014.  If the eligible taxpayer owns three or fewer units in the building, all  are eligible for the abatement.  If four or more, none are.  The city’s Department of Finance is checking income tax records and other filings to ascertain whether the unit is the primary residence.

The abatement is based on the assessed valuation of the property.  For fiscal year 2012/13 it is 25% for properties assessed at $50,000 or less,  22.5% for properties between $55,001 and $55,000; 20% for those assessed at $55,001-$60,000 and 17.5% for those assessed over $60,001.

The abatement increases again in the next two fiscal years for all except the highest level.

Before the extension, the abatement was 17.5% for all units valued at more than $15,000 and 25% for those assessed at $15,000 or less.

“Remember,” Meister says, “this is the assessed valuation based on a complex formula and not the market price of the unit.

“While the new legislation increases the abatement for co-op shareholders and condo owners, it still assesses them at a higher rate than owners of single-family homes,” Meister says.

Ira Meister’s Fire Safety Tips

.Since childhood, we’ve repeatedly heard tips on fire prevention and what to do if there is a fire

“While most of us have heard these tips, they bear repeating,” says Ira Meister, founder and CEO, Matthew Adam Properties, a leading property management company. “And remember, one of the easiest and most important steps is to check the smoke and carbon detectors in the apartment.”

When clocks are moved each spring and fall, there are announcements that residents should check their detectors, Meister points out.  Unfortunately, many people ignore this.  It is easy and takes less than a minute.  Each detector has a test button that can be pushed to see if the battery is charged.  The city recommends changing the battery every spring and fall.  Detector batteries also give off a shrill sound when they are dying, a sign to replace them. These detectors, by the way, are required for all apartments under city law.  The city also recommends changing smoke detectors every 10 years and carbon monoxide detectors every five to seven years.

In addition to having the detectors in apartments, buildings should place them in the hallway as well as in incinerator rooms and the garage, Meister says.

Ira Meister Keeps His Residents Safe and Secure 

Equipment that should be checked periodically by building staff are the sprinklers and standpipe located in stairwells to make certain that all are working properly.  This can be done by outside contractors.  Yet, Meister believes the best procedure is to have it done by the superintendent, who has been received certification from the city.  Certification requires taking an approximately 25-hour course and passing a written exam.

The benefit of having certified staff is two-fold, Meister says. The inspections should be conducted monthly and doing them in-house is much less costly. Secondly, in the event of a malfunction, personnel are on-hand who are familiar with the system.

Residents, particularly those with children, should develop a fire evacuation plan and also remember to obey Fire Department instructions.  This would include knowing when to leave an apartment, and when to stay, having an escape route to the exits in the event of a heavy smoke, arranging for a meeting point and what to do if it is best to stay in the apartment.   As a quick guideline, Meister says, fire travels up, so if the fire is below, evacuation should be considered.  If the fire is above the apartment, it may be best to stay in the unit.

There is considerable literature available on fire safety from the city and Fire Department.

“It doesn’t take much time to be prepared, and it can save lives,” Meister says.

The Importance of Good Communications

“After many years in property management, I know that good communications is essential to successful management,” says Ira Meister, President and CEO, Matthew Adam Properties.  He notes that often problem arise because good communications is lacking.

To counter this, Matthew Adam Properties asset managers are trained to be good listeners and to be pro-active.  “It’s not only promptly replying to phone calls, text messages or emails,” Meister says.  “It includes visiting the properties and talking to board members, staff and residents.  A few words with someone can alert the manager to a potential problem or help resolve an issue quickly.”

Another vital area of communications, Meister says, is alerting residents to repairs in the building that can cause temporary service disruptions.  A while back, residents were notified by a sign in the elevator, or in the lobby, telling them that the elevators may be shut down for a few hours or maintenance of the boiler will curtail hot water for several hours.

Ira Meister Keeps His Residents Notified and Up to Date With Building Events and Changes

Today, there are numerous ways to notify  residents.  Meister says that Matthew Adam Properties works with a company called “My Building” to help communicate with residents.  A website is customized for each property to provide numerous services to keep residents informed, make maintenance and service requests, notify them of package deliveries, or to make monthly maintenance, common charge or rent payments.

The system provides various options to notify residents of upcoming service interruptions, emergencies or building news.  Most visible is a monitor usually located at the  front desk or in the mail room that shows by unit number whether there is a delivery to be picked up.    The monitor also shows current information about service interruptions or building news as well as reminders of building policies.

Other means of communication include text messages and phone alerts.

“The use of technology has greatly increased our ability to communicate with residents in real time,” says Meister.  “While useful and needed, technology does not replace the personal contact and quick response time to messages that are at the heart of excellent management.”