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Seattle Rentals – Your Path to More Lease Renewals

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Written by SJA Property Management

SJA offers premier Seattle property management services and serves as the local real estate industry’s most experienced resource for rental property owners.

As an experienced and leading Seattle property management firm, SJA Property Management will share in this article tips to help Seattle area rental property owners increase their lease renewals. One of the most important aspects of any business interaction is the relationship with your customer or in this case, we will refer to them as tenants. This relationship could be one of the most critical parts of keeping your tenant retention high and vacancies low.

Here at SJA Property Management, we recognize that the relationship between the property manager and their tenants is crucial for your Seattle rental property and optimal lease renewal rate. To put it simply, happy tenants mean a higher chance of them renewing their lease for your Seattle property. Not every tenant will be perfect or ideal, but when you find them, you will want to do everything you can to keep them. Tenant retention will save time by having to show the property less, screening new prospective tenants, and the stress associated with finding the ideal tenant for your Seattle rental property.

Vacancies

One of the main concerns on the mind of any Seattle property manager or landlord is vacancies. A vacant property is money lost. As we continue to wait for the economy to stabilize from the effects of COVID-19, the demand for leasing continues to remain low. Therefore, it is especially important during this time to retain the tenants you have. If you end up losing a tenant, it could take a significant amount of work to get another tenant to fill that vacancy.

Vacancies are not entirely avoidable and will happen for reasons that are out of a property manager’s control. The things a tenant may be looking for might be impractical or impossible for a landlord to provide in a lease agreement. For example, a tenant might look into moving into a smaller home for multiple downsizing reasons. Another might be that they can simply no longer afford the rent. No matter the reason, it is always good to be aware that vacancy is a concern during the respective lease renewal period.

Benefits of Lease Renewals for your Property

There are three main reasons why a Seattle property manager would want their tenant to renew their lease:

  1. Avoid any vacancy-related costs – As stated previously, every day that a property is empty is money wasted.
  2. Saving time – Especially in the current market, you might spend nearly double the time getting a new tenant.
  3. Know the process – A current tenant will be already familiar with the property rules, such as collecting rent or maintenance.

These three reasons alone are worth focusing on lease renewals. The amount of time and money saved by getting a lease renewed makes it a priority for any landlord or property manager. SJA Property Management would like to share some of their favorite ways to get tenants to renew their property lease.

4 Ways to Encourage your Tenant to Renew Their Lease

  1. Perform Property Maintenance – This one is a given, but not all landlords consistently perform preventative maintenance but only when it’s needed after the fact. It’s crucial to avoid any problems with the property that could frustrate the tenant, as it will dissuade them from wanting a lease renewal. A tenant is more likely to continue leasing a property they are proud to reside in.
  2. Rent Collection Grace Period – A rent collection grace period is a simple yet effective way to please your property’s tenant. Allowing for a 5-day grace period after rent is due to pay will make you seem like a more lenient landlord compared to the stereotypical strict one. Make sure not to be too lenient and explain that late fines will be added after the grace period. Make the dates and amount of the late fine very clear to the tenant to avoid any further confusion.
  3. Respond to Them Fast – Another one that should be a given for all landlords. Responding in a quick and timely manner is another simple way to improve relations with your tenant, thus increasing the chance they renew their lease. If they know they can count on you to respond quickly, they might not hesitate to reach out for future problems that could prevent them from renewing.
  4. Incentives – This can mean many things, but any gratuitous act from a landlord to a tenant can make them feel truly at home in their new property. Even those little gestures can go a long way in the relationship between property manager and tenant. It can be as small as offering a gift basket of goodies when they first move in, to providing a rent discount if they sign a two-year lease. Offering incentives is also excellent because it allows a landlord to get creative. Is a tenant renewing a lease for the 3rd year in a row? Maybe offer to paint a room to keep their home feeling fresh!

You will want to begin lease renewal talks with your tenant about 90 days before the lease expires. This will give lots of breathing room for both the landlord and the tenant to think things over regarding their future and their property lease. In an ideal situation, your tenant will have given you an answer 60 days before the lease expires. This leaves the property manager with a reasonable amount of time to find a new tenant to fill the future vacancy.

It is important to note that most tenants will not have an answer when you first ask them about a lease renewal, as they will not have decided or possibly even thought about moving yet. It is important to note that when renewing a lease, you are the legally responsible party for disclosing all addendums again, such as pet or bed bud addendums.

SJA Property Management prides itself on keeping your tenants happy and caring for the property they rent out. Our goal is to perform the best property management possible to keep things simple for the rental property owner, property managers, landlords, and tenants. Our Seattle property management team is dedicated to protecting our clients’ interests, minimizing their expenses, and maximizing their profits. If you need expert property management services in the Greater Puget Sound Area, call SJA Property Management at (425) 658-1920 or email info@sjapm.com. We hope to speak to you soon!

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