All landlords want to rent their units to responsible tenants who renew their lease annually. And while this isn’t always realistic, you may have a role in making this happen. Retaining long-term tenants starts with taking your job as a landlord seriously, attending to tenant needs, and keeping up the property. Otherwise, your tenants could move out at the end of the lease or even have grounds to break the lease early.


The following are some common landlord mishaps that could drive renters away. This means more tenant turnover, potential legal issues, and expensive maintenance. By avoiding these mistakes, you increase your chances of retaining long-term and happy tenants.


  1. Neglecting maintenance


A few universal rules exist for how to be a land lord, and keeping up with maintenance is one of them. Ignoring maintenance requests or performing sloppy repair jobs will only upset your tenants and cause more serious maintenance issues in the future. A leaky pipe under the sink could turn into a flood if you neglect it long enough.


When you ignore your tenants’ maintenance requests, they’re likely to move out and find a more attentive landlord. So, be sure to respond to maintenance requests as soon as possible. You don’t need to spend all of your money on custom home inspiration to renovate all of your units consistently. You just need to be attentive and keep up the apartment. And if you can’t do so, consider hiring a property management company to handle these details for you.


  1. Disregarding tenant privacy


You may own your rental units, but that doesn’t mean you can enter apartments unannounced. Remember that your tenants have a right to privacy. If you will be entering a unit for repairs or maintenance, you should give your tenant a written or verbal notice at least 24 hours in advance. However, emergency situations are exceptions. If you neglect to give this courtesy, you could be violating tenant-landlord law and are most certainly disrespecting the occupant.


  1. Treating your job like a hobby


Renting out property is a great way to make passive income. However, even if you enjoy your role as a landlord, remember that managing your rentals isn’t a hobby. It’s important to treat your role as a business. Take maintenance, tenant relations, and legal factors seriously. If you don’t make your units a clear priority, you could fail to keep up your properties or slip up with the law. Both of these situations would drive tenants away.


  1. Ignoring local housing codes


Housing and building codes are designed to keep your tenants safe and healthy. You have a responsibility as a landlord to provide a safe living environment. If you ignore building codes and allow the rental to become unsafe, your tenant might have grounds to break the lease and move out. This leaves you with a vacant apartment and significant maintenance costs ahead of you. Be sure to keep up with local housing codes and any changes to the laws so that you can continually provide safe apartments.


  1. Communicating ineffectively


Communication is everything when managing your tenants and providing exemplary service. However, many landlords neglect to stay in touch with their renters. Your tenants will feel valued when you’re able to keep them in the loop. Consistently update them when you’re handling a maintenance request, ask for their feedback, and bring up important issues face-to-face. These courtesies may encourage them to rent with you for another year.


When you rent your units to respectful and responsible tenants, you likely want to encourage them to renew their lease. You can do this by staying courteous, keeping up with maintenance, and remaining diligent about tenant-landlord law. By prioritizing long-term rentals and keeping your units filled, you can maintain a strong revenue stream as a landlord.