One of the bigger problems facing landlords today is the distinct possibility that tenants may not always be forthcoming regarding repairs that might be needed. This is especially true if a tenant feels their landlord might end up raising their rent to cover the costs of these repairs. They may also fear that the landlord might raise their rent simply because such a communication might remind the landlord of their existence.
In the end, what this could mean is that a tenant who is very quiet may not be the best thing. Instead, they could be living in a rental home that has a long list of maintenance issues that keep being postponed. Having a tenant who has lived in a property for multiple years paying their rent on time each month does not necessarily mean the home doesn’t have issues such as a tile coming off the bathroom wall or perhaps a slow water leak under a sink that is causing mold to grow.
As a landlord, you might be wise to think about increasing your rents on an annual basis along with inspecting your properties and taking care of any needed maintenance. You should also be prepared to at least take a look at your rental rates on an annual basis. You may find it much better to raise your rents by $15 to $20 each year, rather than waiting several years and then raising them by $50 after 2 or 3 years.
Why Small Increases in Small Amounts are Better
There are a few good reasons why raising your rents in smaller amounts on a more frequent basis makes good sense. First, you should find that most of your tenants are more easily able to fit smaller rent increases into their budgets. Larger increases could lead to them looking for a less expensive place to rent and moving out on you. Secondly, small increases will let your tenants know that you have indeed not forgotten them. This is turn may help to encourage them to contact you with any repair needs, saving you money.
You should also plan to enter each of your rental units at least once each year. During this time you can look at the overall condition of the property checking for things like water leaks, mold, and mildew. You can also take a look at the appliances, climate control filters, and bathroom walls. Look for termites, overall cleanliness, roofing, fencing, and anything else that might need your attention.
It is far better to find any potential problems before they become serious if you can, especially those your tenants may not have reported. Bear in mind the fact that your tenant may not want to stay in contact with you should not be taken personally, most are doing so because they prefer for you to forget they exist and that you may need to increase their rents. However, the overall health of your rental units requires you to continuously invest in their well-being. To do so, you rents need to be at current market levels, which could mean having to increase rents on a regular basis.