How to encourage tenants to stay longer

You’ve got a dream tenant in your buy-to-let? Here’s how to encourage them to stay

Landlord advice

29 March 2017

In uncertain economic times, it's always reassuring to have a few guarantees. Securing a long-term tenancy in your buy-to-let property is an excellent way to protect your investment and ensure that you've got a bit of money regularly coming in.

We've put together a few tips to help you attract your dream tenants.

The benefits of a long-term let

Simply put – empty properties cost money and long-terms tenants reduce those empty periods. Finding and settling new tenants is a costly and time-consuming business, and one you don’t want to undertake too often. What's more, a long-term tenant is more likely to want to look after your property and build a good relationship with you.

Home comforts

If your property’s kitchen and bathroom are looking a little tired, consider upgrading them. Check that the white goods are modern and working well and that the property is warm and comfortable, with no nasty surprises. If you want to be really thorough, spend a night there to find out.

Letting unfurnished

Someone who wants to move in with their own furniture is more likely to be there for the long haul, and unfurnished properties are appealing to tenants who are looking for a new home rather than just a stopgap. If you decide you'd rather rent furnished, it's worth checking out the contents option of our residential landlord insurance.

Make yourself at home

Allow your long-term tenant a bit of leeway to decorate. If this makes you nervous, set some parameters (pale-coloured paints only, for example). If they want to hang their own curtains, great – it saves you a job. If you’d rather refresh the décor yourself, keep it neutral so you don't risk driving anyone away.

Build a friendly relationship

If you’re renting directly to your tenants, you want to be on good terms. Little touches like leaving a welcome card on moving-in day can help get your relationship off to a friendly start. If anything needs to be repaired or replaced don’t hang about, and be open about any rent increases or other significant changes. It’s your house but it’s their home – and it always pays to respect this.

Reassuring potential tenants

A long-term tenant is making an emotional and practical investment in your property. Give them confidence by letting them know you’re a registered landlord and that you have the necessary landlord cover.

Have a look at our buy-to-let insurance, and reassure your best tenants that everything is taken care of.