How to Find Good Tenants and Retain Them

Picture your perfect tenant: always paying rent on time, never disturbing the neighborhood, respecting your rental, and always courteously communicative (but not overly communicative). Once you have that perfect tenant, life as a landlord becomes that much easier. You might be wondering, how can I get this tenant to stay in my rental?

Whether the end of your perfect tenant’s lease is approaching or you’re thinking proactively, following best practices for tenant retention can help convince an awesome tenant to renew their lease. Keep reading for tips on tenant retention.

Landlord Tenant Communication

Every landlord-tenant relationship has the ability to thrive – if you engage in healthy, effective communication. From the lease signing process to the lease renewal period, it’s essential to keep an open line of communication. If you’re a good listener, available for questions, and informative, your tenant will feel heard and respected – and vice versa. Here are some ways you can improve your landlord-tenant communication to help improve your tenant turnover:

  • Walk your tenant through the lease in-person or via Zoom. This will provide an opportunity for them to ask any questions and clear up confusion, plus it’ll save you the hassle of repeating the information that’s already in your lease agreement.
  • While signing the lease, it’s helpful to discuss and agree upon preferred communication methods. If your tenant never checks their email, it’s probably best to contact them by other means. If you only provide updates through an online tenant portal like TurboTenant, then make sure they know this so they can stay in-the-know.
  • Be transparent and empathetic about any changes in policies, maintenance schedules, or rent increases. Things change and we’re all human – it can make all the difference when you’re up front and personable.
  • Regularly (and reasonably) check in with your tenant. This can be via email, phone, or online tenant messaging. Proactive check-ins will help address any concerns before they become a major problem, and they also demonstrate that you care for your tenant. TurboTenant landlords benefit from monthly automatic tenant check-ins, making it easy to maintain an open line of communication.

Timely Rental Property Repairs

How to Retain a Perfect Tenant: Timely Repairs

Like most of our tenant retention tips, timely repairs go hand-in-hand with communication. Although there are state and local guidelines on exactly how long a landlord has to fix something (typically three to seven days for critical repairs and 30 days for non-critical repairs), it’s important to be communicative and reasonable during the repair timeline. If your tenant has a broken shower for two weeks, they might not be overly excited to renew their lease. Here are some tips to navigate the challenges of maintenance requests in the landlord-tenant relationship:

  • Respond to maintenance requests in a timely manner. Even if you know it’s not possible for a worker to repair a broken appliance within the next couple of days, make sure to respond to your tenant and let them know an estimated timeline. This will relieve any stress surrounding the issue and let them know you are taking care of the problem.
  • Have a designated handyman on-call for smaller repairs. Minimize the amount of time and hassle to schedule a repair by having someone reliable to lean on. Still looking for the one? Find your favorite handyman for your rental property with our tips.
  • Keep tenants updated on any further action they need to take or changes in potential repair windows. If there is anything the tenant can do in the meantime to minimize damage or inconvenience, let them know. Also, don’t blindside them with unscheduled visits. Make sure they know the repair window prior to a handyman showing up at their door. If possible, coordinate an ideal window of time for the tenant, as they might have a busy work schedule or hectic family life.
  • Tackle any maintenance issues before they become a problem by conducting regular inspections. Notify your tenant ahead of time and work with them to determine a mutually agreeable window. Regular inspections are not only a way to prevent issues for your tenant, but also to make sure things are running smoothly in your unit and to catch potential problems.

Online Tenant Portal App

The demand for an online tenant portal is only increasing, especially as those who grew up in the digital age increasingly dominate the renter pool. Online portals are easier, better organized, and they also benefit you as a property owner. Here’s why we recommend using an online tenant portal and how it’ll increase tenant satisfaction:

  • Online tenant portals streamline the entire renter experience. Tenants can pay rent, request maintenance, and message their landlord conveniently from one place under one login. Your tenant will love the quick and easy completion of usually-burdensome tasks, which will encourage them to stay in the unit.
  • Any good landlord software that offers an online tenant portal will foster added benefits for not only the landlord but tenants as well. TurboTenant offers rent reporting through TransUnion for renters to build their credit while paying rent on time. Rent reporting is an awesome benefit for renters with upcoming financial goals.
  • Other helpful benefits that a landlord software can provide to renters include renter’s insurance, flexible rent payments, and informative articles and other free resources.

Renewal Incentives

For a more direct approach to retaining tenants, consider a renewal incentive. Renewal incentives can include anything from an Amazon gift card to a free month’s rent, depending on your budget and personal preferences. Here are some ideas to encourage your tenant to renew their lease:

  • Appliance upgrades
  • Security upgrades
  • $100 off next month’s rent
  • Free month’s rent
  • Amazon or Uncommon Goods gift card
  • Gift card to a local restaurant or store
  • One-time free maid service
  • Free pet rent

The options for renewal incentives are endless. However, make sure the gift is appropriate and considerate of their circumstances. For example, don’t give a cat owner lilies, or someone in recovery a bottle of wine. The smallest gifts can go a long way to show your tenant you care and that they have a home in your rental unit.


No matter if you follow all of our tenant retention tips or just a few, there’s a good chance your tenant will stay in your rental unit long term if you show mutual respect and care. It’s always best to encourage a great renter to renew their lease, rather than take a chance moving in someone new and potentially losing revenue while waiting to fill the vacancy.

Don’t forget that an easy to use and robust landlord software will make your tenants happy, lease renewals easy, and rental property management simplified. If you’re searching for an all-in-one landlord software solution that’ll not only attract great tenants, but make your life easier, check out TurboTenant.


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