9 tips to retain a tenant 

Tenant retention rate – this measures the number of tenants who stay in a property for various rental periods.  If the rate is high with fewer people moving out, it will help achieve the ultimate goal of landlords – a good ROI (return on investment).  If the rental retention rate is low, it can assist the landlord to look for areas where improvements can be made to keep tenants staying on.  Either way, as even the best real estate agents in Dubai will concur, the retention rate is significant to the landlord. 

A landlord would like to have the ideal tenant and vice versa.  That way, the property is taken care of, payments are made on time and results are long term stays.  This will save the headache of frequent rental marketing, vacant periods, expenses in leasing fees and tenant turnover costs.   The problem is – how does one obtain such a tenant?

Given below are some tips on how to acquire and retain a tenant.

Awareness:  Both the landlord and the tenant need to be aware of their rights and the regulations involved.  According to the rules of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), a tenancy contract has to be registered with them through Ejari, meaning “my rent” in Arabic. https://www.emiratesnbd.com/en/new-to-uae/move-to-uae/housing-and-accommodation/how-to-register-for-ejari/ states that “Ejari came into being to make the rental market in Dubai one of the most transparent markets in the world.” Clarifying and following the regulations including providing the property in a clean, habitable and comfortable condition, notice periods to be given for eviction and rent increases make it easier for a landlord to obtain and retain a tenant.

Maintenance:  The property should be maintained by the landlord and taken care of by the tenant.  Major repairs and renovations (usually above Dh500) are the responsibility of the landlord whereas minor repairs (for damages caused) are taken care of by the tenant.  Addressing maintenance concerns promptly will benefit both the landlord and tenant.

Security:  A safe environment can be an incentive for a tenant to stay on.  Hence, security devices, such as good locking systems, CCTV cameras, etc should be installed.

Communication:  Building a rapport with the tenant results in ease of communication, contact in emergency situations and amicable discussion and settlement of any disputes.  These lead to the tenant being content with the landlord, resulting in a longer tenancy.

Insurance:  It is important to cover the property with home insurance.  This facility will be welcomed by a tenant.   The tenant can obtain content insurance, which will be an additional security. 

Screen Tenants:  Running a background check and contacting references will help in ascertaining whether the tenant is suitable for your property.

Check in and Check Out Reports:  Before the tenant moves in and in his/her presence, photos and a list of fixtures and fittings should be taken.  These should be recorded and signed by both parties.  Similarly, when a tenant leaves, a check out report should be conducted.  By comparing the two, if any damages have occurred, it will be easier to resolve the situation.

Incentives:  Every tenant needs to feel he/she is in a “home away from home”.  Providing small amenities to achieve this can help in retaining a tenant.  A high speed internet connection, a quiet room to work or study and any other comforts can go a long way towards this. Also, a professional but understanding approach to a tenant’s queries or complaints with a quick and efficient response is a sure way to encourage a long term rental.

Track Rental Markets:  Stay updated with the rental market by monitoring upgrades and amenities in the locality.  Ensure that your property is comparable with others so that tenants do not feel they are losing out.  This is one way to increase the retention rate.

Conclusion:   All details should be transparent and the tenancy contract should include all aspects so that there are no contradictions.  Besides the written document, maintaining a cordial relationship and following the above tips will help in retaining a tenant.   








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