Category Archives: tenant transitions

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Are Long-Term Tenants Better Than Short-Term?

It’s an age-old question. As a landlord, tenants are your source of income, so this is a business question to consider carefully. When you sign on a long-term tenant, you’re typically committing to at least a one-year lease as opposed to the nightly or weekly contract with short-term renters.

So it’s time to think about some of the pros and cons to signing on a long-term tenant over a short-term renter.

apartment bedroom

Pro: A Steady Source of Rent

A long-term tenant can be a fantastic financial decision. Throughout the lease period you will receive monthly rent, and generally they are responsible for taking care of utilities, internet, and certain upkeep expenses. This makes planning your budget for the year much easier and can provide you with peace of mind. You won’t have to worry about gaps in income because no one decided to rent out your property for a week or two.

Con: Less Flexibility

So market values are going up and you think it’s time to increase the rent. There’s a snag, however; your long-term lease states very clearly that you will only charge a certain amount every month. If you want your tenant to pay more, you’ll have to wait until it’s time to renew the lease.

You also won’t be able to sell, use, or move the property during the period of your tenant’s lease. So any major changes will have to be put off until the end of the lease.

Pro: Tenant Screening

With short-term tenants, you don’t really have time to screen every one. Interviews, credit checks, and references seem rather pointless for someone who won’t be staying more than a week or two. That means you’re basically rolling the dice when it comes to who you’re letting into your property.

With long-term tenants, you do have the luxury of choice, and it’s frankly essential to ensure you thoroughly screen potential renters to find quality tenants. After all, this is a commitment for both of you. You can meet them, check references, ask and answer questions, and decide if this is a person you feel comfortable entrusting with your space. But it means you have a much better chance at getting a renter that will properly maintain the property, pay on time, follow the rules, and communicate with you.

plumbing repair

Con: Harder to Get in for Maintenance and Renovations

If you’ve decided you want to go with a long-term tenant, you unfortunately don’t have the luxury of just popping in unannounced to add a new coat of paint or spray for pests. It can be a logistical headache coordinating with the tenant a period of time for them to be out, moving furniture and belongings, and you might need to compensate them in some way for the inconvenience, especially if they have to stay elsewhere during the process. With short-term tenants you have far more flexibility scheduling maintenance and renovations, as you can simply get these things done in-between rentals.

In the end, it’s up to you whether a long-term or short-term tenant suits your needs. Both have their benefits and pitfalls, so think it over and determine what will be in your best interest.

circular saw

4 Renovations to Consider Before Move-In

So a long-term tenant has moved out of your property and you’re getting ready to show potential new tenants. As you do your walkthrough, a thought strikes you; this place could use an update.

It doesn’t matter if the property is a house, condo, or apartment; it’s simply easier to make major renovations when a property is empty. No one is inconvenienced and you can take as much time as necessary to get it done properly. Even better, the improvements will attract more tenants who will be drawn to upgraded features.


Put in New Floors

There is literally no better time to install new flooring than when a house, condo, or apartment is empty. There will be no personal belongings or furniture to move or store, and the tenant won’t have to stay at a hotel for a few days to a few weeks. It’s also a great way to give the property a fresh start, as floor wear and tear is common but not always easily fixed.

You can make the call on whether you want to install new floorboards or carpet. Carpet can provide insulation for your tenants but can be harder to clean and limit decorating options. Meanwhile hardwood or linoleum floors can get scratched up by furniture but it’s easier to sweep up dirt and mop up spills.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Freshly-painted walls can really brighten up a room. If you have a room that’s smaller or doesn’t get much natural light, the right color can make it appear larger and brighter, and thus more attractive to potential renters. But no tenant wants to have their walls painted while they’re living there. It’s messy, they’ll have to move their belongings out of the way, cover their furniture and rugs with plastic, and of course live with the smell until the paint fully dries.

This isn’t just limited to the interior. A fresh coat of paint on the outside of the building can vastly improve its curb appeal.

Install New Windows

With the rising cost of heat in Massachusetts, both you and your tenants would much rather not have to worry about a massive utility bill due to drafty windows. Inefficient windows can lose up to 30% of your home’s energy. That’s why it’s important to inspect your windows and, if necessary, get them updated or replaced. These renovations will also benefit you and your tenants in the summer as good windows will keep the cool air in, meaning fans and air conditioners won’t be sending the electricity bills up either.

Make Electrical Upgrades

If you’re renting out an older property, it is essential that you get your wiring regularly inspected. This is easiest to do when you have easy access to walls and can rip them open if necessary. This could very well save a life, as you’ll have peace of mind that an electrical fire isn’t waiting to happen.

Also, with our dependence on technology, from kitchen appliances to computers to phones, it’s important to go in and ensure there are enough wall outlets to appeal to new tenants. If it feels like there aren’t enough, call up an electrician to install more. 

The time to act is now, so don’t wait until it’s too late! Get these renovations done before showing the property off to new tenants. Your future renters and your wallet will thank you.

software on a laptop

3 Issues Landlords Face

Landlords wear many hats during their tenure. These “hats” could include being a fix-it person, bill collector, or negotiator. Staying on top of issues can be a stressful but also rewarding career in the property management field. If you are considering entering the industry, here are 3 issues that you will want to prepare yourself for as you take on this industry. 

Turnover Rates 

Some of the busiest times in a property manager or landlord’s career are during the times when a unit is being turned over from one tenant to another. While this time gives a perfect opportunity to make improvements or repairs to a unit, it can also be a costly time. 

When a tenant gives his/her notice that they will be vacating a property, it is imperative that the unit be filled in a timely manner. That means marketing or advertising the opening, ensuring the property is properly cleaned and vacated, and finding a suitable candidate to rent the space. 

Remember, once a property is vacant, it is no longer making money and can quickly become a cash flow issue. 

Strategies to keep your tenants happy include making maintenance a priority, ensuring that the rent rate is fair, and ensuring that your selection process includes looking for long-term renters who are financially solid. 

Late Payments 

There’s nothing worse than having to chase down your rent payments. Dealing with later payers or lack of payment entirely can be a huge cash flow issue that can become a legal one. 

Strategies to overcome this include increasing communication with tenants about what your maintenance schedule includes. That way they understand the value of their payments. Another tactic is to make payments easy by having an online portal or payment system that can be done right at a tenant’s fingertips either through a computer or smartphone. 

tools for repairs

Maintenance Calls 

Toilets don’t always clog during work hours. Roofs don’t leak only during the day. Snow doesn’t only fall during the week. That means your job as a landlord is essentially around the clock all year long. That includes weekends and holidays and all through the night. 

A strategy to handle the onslaught of maintenance calls is to have a list of reliable repair people, including plumbers and electricians, who can be called at any time of day or night to handle emergencies. 

Some property managers have their own crew, but if you don’t you will want to build partnerships with local service people so you can maintain your properties 24/7. 


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Qualities of a Good Landlord 

In medieval and manorial times, the word landlord often took on many negative connotations from an emphasis on crime to a malevolent land owner. Now, in the modern day, landlords manage apartment complexes and homeowners associations in an efficient, reliable, and professional way. 

The connotation of the name “landlord” has most definitely evolved over the years toward a more positive and helpful side of property management. In fact, the number of landlords in our area is on the rise as rental needs increase. 

According to the United States 2019 Census Statistics, approximately 38% of the Greater Boston area rents rather than owns their residence. That means thousands of young professionals, families, and critical workforce members are renting in the broader Boston area.

If you are planning to manage property (or currently do,) today’s blog is for you. We are looking at some of the top qualities that landlords should possess in order to make community living a more positive experience. 

circular saw

Must Have Qualities of a Good Landlord

What exactly does it take to be a good property manager or landlord? More importantly, what qualities should a landlord possess in order to do their job efficiently? 


Landlords need to have a broad depth of knowledge into many areas. This includes the ability to market their properties and financially manage the money coming in through residents as well as money being spent on major renovations. 

Landlords should also have a working knowledge of the major components of their building including plumbing, pest management, landscaping and more. It doesn’t mean that a landlord should be able to fix every issue, but rather be able to know when a simple fix is needed and when to call in the professionals. 


Property managers and landlords live in a time when communication, especially digital communication, can make their job much easier. Text messages, emails, and voicemails can make repairs and communicate about upcoming events like master repairs and landscaping that may be happening in the coming weeks. 

Being able to let your landlord know about a problem and get fast feedback from them is an important part of being a reliable landlord. There are many new software apps available to keep the lines of communication open from both sides. 


Being a good landlord often means wearing many hats over the course of the day from on-the-fly repair person to financial wizard. Being professional in each of these positions is also a critical part of being a respected landlord. 

At the very least, a landlord is invested in a property. Invested enough to make needed improvements for the residents who live in the community. Most landlords are passionate about their jobs and show pride in the improvements they make in their properties. 

Are you a new or established landlord in the Greater Boston region looking for more information on adding to your property? Follow our blog or contact us for more insightful ideas. 


key to a new home

Minimizing Stress During Tenant Transitions 

In an ideal world, good tenants would move in and stay for eternity. Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect and somewhere along your time as a property manager or landlord, you will need to handle the transition from one tenant to another. 

Having a smooth transition between tenants is critical to not only the landlord/property manager but also to the current and future tenants of the unit. Making sure that the property changes over  from one renter to another as smoothly as possible can also be a positive for the property in general. 

Let’s take a closer look from three points of view (landlord, current tenant, and future tenant) at how to make these transitions less stressful and as uneventful as possible. 

Giving Notice 

Depending upon the type of lease agreement you have for your rental property, you will most likely have 30 days to give notice of your departure. A tenancy-at-will has no formal lease agreement, so thirty days to end your rental agreement is usually the norm. 

For renters who have a year-long lease, letting your property manager or landlord know before your lease is up is the norm, although by giving ample time you help make the transition smoother all around. 

End of Lease Rental Checklist

Once a renter has given their notice, a checklist that breaks down what will happen in the last thirty days is a smart idea not only for communication’s sake, but also so that each party knows, in writing, what they are responsible for. For instance, a landlord may require that the unit be clean including a wipe down of the refrigerator and stove. Or a tenant may request a security deposit be returned as long as items on the checklist are completed and no damage to the unit is evident. 

Part of the lease-ending checklist should be the specific date of vacating the property so both the property management team and new renter will have time to arrange for upgrades, repairs, or changes to the unit. 

tools for repairs

Arranging For Repairs 

While inconvenient to the current tenants, many property managers like to get a head start on repairs and upgrades on units that are being vacated. That may mean updates while the current tenant still occupies the unit. 

It’s a good idea to make arrangements for repairs, painting, or deep cleaning to be done in the days immediately after the tenant has moved out. Some managers, however, like to get a jumpstart and schedule out those tasks even while the former tenant is still occupying the property. 

Check your lease agreement to find out when and how these tasks should be handled. 

Formal Walk Through

Walking through a property is not done just at the end of a lease, but should also be done thoroughly at the start of a lease as well. Current and future tenants need to know the condition of the unit as well as any issues that may be remaining from past renters. 

During each of these ‘walkthroughs’ each involved party should look for damage, areas that need repair, and problems with electrical, plumbing, or fixtures. Safety issues and health issues should also be addressed. Report these to the appropriate people so you are not held responsible later. 

If you are in the need of expert property management services to make these types of transitions go smoothly, contact Thayer & Associates