Soften the Blow with Communication

When you do raise rents, provide evidence to justify the increases. Give your tenants the results of your market survey of competing properties. Let them know you've registered 16 names on your waiting list. Show them how your property taxes, property insurance, and maintenance expenses climbed 12 percent this past year.

When possible, phase in your rent increases frequently and gradually. A 10 percent increase all at one time will chase out more tenants than, say, a 4 percent increase levied each 6 months over a period of 18 months.

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