As a landlord, you have many decisions to make on a daily basis. Along with considering monthly expenses, you also must pay attention to maintenance issues and devise the most appropriate marketing strategy. Additionally, you must think about the best way to keep your tenants happy and that often means thinking like a tenant instead of a landlord.
Ultimately, your tenants are your customers and it is important to ensure that they feel valued and appreciated. After all, if they do not, they may decide to take their business elsewhere and your business could be at risk for failing.
One of the most common areas where landlords fail to take their tenants into consideration and run the risk of potentially alienating them is failing to provide advance notice of rent increases. It is a given that prices increase. Your expenses increase and many times, in order to compensate for those increases, you must also raise your rent prices rather than putting your own business at risk. Yet, tenants typically do not see the business side of the equation. All they see is that you are raising their rent. Instead of waiting until the deadline to notify tenants that you will be raising the price of their rent, try to take a proactive approach instead and provide advance notice along with an explanation as to why you are raising the rent.
One way to do this is to ensure that you monitor your expenses closely so that you will know as far in advance as possible when a rent hike may become necessary. Once you see that your costs are going to increase, it is a good idea to let your tenants know that you have been reviewing local rents and costs, and they should expect a small increase in the future. Keep in mind that you do not need to specify the amount of the increase, but do provide a heads up while also letting them know that you value them as tenants, which is why you are letting them know in advance.
This strategy also helps to ensure that your tenants are not blindsided by a sudden increase while letting them know that you do appreciate having them as tenants. One of the reasons that landlords are often wary of providing such advance notice is a fear that they will lose their tenants. This is naturally a concern, but with advance notice, the tenant can decide whether they need to move on or stay. After all, if the tenant will not be able to afford the higher rate, you could have problems trying to collect the rent in the future. If the tenant decides it is in his or her best interest to move on, you will be able to provide them with enough advance notice to find an alternative rental and you can then move in a tenant at the necessary higher rate.
Remember that you should always adhere to local and state regulations regarding rent increases and notifications.