My tenants do not stay for long, what could be the problem?

Wednesday April 21 2021
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Shared facilities could be a source of contention, leading tenants to vacate prematurely. PHOTO/ISMAIL KEZAALA

By Shabibah Nakirigya

First time landlords are more likely to run into the challenge of uneasy tenants. Being new in the game and perhaps underestimating the value of expert advice from property managers, may cause problems..

Ms Florence Bbale, a property manager, reveals that after experiencing such challenges, landlords start consulting experts to know how to avoid and manage such situations, she delves into the likely causes:

Unexplained rent hikes

According to Bbale, sometimes landlords hike their rent because they want to recover their money in a very short period of time not knowing that tenants consult the neighbours to see how much they pay.

“The moment they realise that other landlords have fair prices they just move out and look for other house which are manageable. You may find that the houses at lower cost are better than those at high rents,’ she says.

She adds that if you are a landlord you have to make sure that you consult your neighbours and brokers about the standard rates for rentals such as single, double rooms or bungalows to avoid making losses arising from a vacant house.

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“Sometimes the brokers hike the rent because they want to get more commission from the landlord not knowing that it will affect the landlord in future. And this also stops clients from occupying the houses because the rent is prohibitive,” she says     

Accessibility -far from the road

Ms Bbale says that accessibility is one of the reasons why tenants leave after a very short period of time. While some people prefer to live far from the town centres, they would like to have a good road network. But some people build nice houses and fail to work on the  roads.

“You have to make sure that your house are easy to access be it for pedestrians or those with private vehicles. Having a clear route which connects to the main road is an additional advantage. It is not wise to have a small pathway when you are expecting clients with vehicles,” she says

She adds that failure to provide suitable access can force your tenant to move out of your rentals because they have to find an appropriate place where they can get easy access to the market, trading centres, main road and public centres such as hospitals and schools.

Sharing utility bills

According to Bbale, some landlords ignore the inconveniences of sharing bills yet these make tenants uncomfortable as some end up paying for more yet they consume less.

“Some landlords do not pay attention to tenants’ discomfort when it comes to utility bills and when disconnected they take long to reconnect, not knowing that it matters a lot.  If this persists, tenants move out and look for another house,” she says

She adds that it is better for every unit to have an independent utility meter so that they pay for what they have consumed instead of unfair payments.  Some tenants may have electric appliances which consume a lot of power   while others have big families

Discomfort

Lack of basic amenities such as compound space, indoor toilet and availability of power during daytime can cause discomfort, leading tenants to move out of your house.

“There are common facilities a landlord must put in place to attract the tenant so that they feel at home even if they are renting but sometimes they ignore them yet they need money at the end of the month,” says Bbale.

Finally, the character of the tenant and landlord is key. Ms Bbale adds that some tenants are short tempered the moment you breech the contract you signed they just move out and look for another house, for instance these could be disagreements over promised repairs or finishing.

She also notes that some landlords hang around the rentals which could also force tenants to leave the house because they expect peace. Since they spend too much time on the premises, they complain about everything.

ACCESS

“You have to make sure that your house are easy to access be it for pedestrians or those with private vehicles at least to have a clear way which connects to the main road it’s an additional advantage, It’s not wise to have a small pathway when you’re expecting clients with vehicles,” -Florence Bbale, property manager.

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