I’ve had my current tenant since I first decided to become a landlord and rent out my house two years ago. I did not take the proper steps of protecting myself by running a credit report on my tenant or verifying prior rental history. I had a couple of people interested, mostly college students from the local college, but decided to go with my current tenant. I had multiple conversations with her and I just had a gut feeling about her. So far, that gut feeling worked out to be correct and she has been a great tenant.
My tenant pays her rent on time. I’ve never had a bounced check from her and she doesn’t call me for minor repairs. I’ve never even had to respond to a “lockout” at 3am. Sometimes, I get so busy and I don’t realize that it is time to pick up the rent check and she will call me to remind me. Of course, part of it is probably because she doesn’t want to pay the $50 late fee but that’s ok with me.
I’m working on the new lease and I want to make an attempt to keep my current tenant for at least another two years. In today’s market, I could probably rent my home for about $1200. My current tenant is only paying $1000 which doesn’t quite cover the mortgage. I chose not to raise the rent last year in an effort to keep my tenant. This year, I’m going to give my tenant two options to stay. I’ve heard how hard it is being a landlord and some of the nightmare tenants. I’ve been able to avoid that and I want to continue not having to deal with crap like that.
If my tenant chooses to sign a one year lease, the rent will increase to $1100. I think this 10% increase is fair considering I did not increase the rent last year.
This is the least expensive option for the tenant and the best option for me. I’m offering to only increase the rent to $1050 if she chooses to sign a two year lease. This will pretty much guarantee I have a good paying tenant for the next two years and also give me time to get right-side-up on the home. By this time, I will have some equity in the home and the housing market will be in a lot better position.
My tenant has to let me which option she will choose by April 1st. Once I know her decision and have the signed lease in hand, I’ll let you guys know which option she chose.
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