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Posted on June 17, 2022

Written by general admin

How can I encourage tenants to stay for longer?

Statistics NZ data suggests the percentage of renters has risen to 34%, with the number of households renting their homes increasing at almost twice the rate of those who own. Despite these figures, finding long term tenants in New Zealand is often tricky.  

The average length a tenant stays in a rental is a little over two years. However, inner-city properties have a slightly shorter tenancy length of about 17 months. In contrast, fringe suburbs have longer leases of 25 to 26 months. Why does any of this matter? 

Tenant turnover is costly for landlords

Tenant turnover is costly. When tenants move on, the landlord may incur costs such as cleaning the property, repairing damage or maintenance issues that went unreported during the tenancy, and marketing the property to new tenants. Additional fees from screening tenants can also occur. Vacancy periods also result in a loss of rent for landlords.  

The more time a property is leased, the higher the landlord’s profitability. 

Moving is expensive for tenants

It’s not just landlords that are affected by shorter tenancies. Moving is expensive for tenants too. Whether hiring a moving company or doing it themselves, there are always costs involved in moving from one rental to another.  

Encouraging responsible tenants to lease a property for longer is a win-win for all parties. Landlords get the financial benefit of keeping their property tenanted, and tenants gain stability and avoid the stress and cost of moving.  

Tenant turnover will always exist. However, there are a few ways landlords can set up their rentals to attract tenants looking for longer-term stays. 

Grow your property portfolio in the right suburbs 

If you are considering buying a rental property soon, think strategically about where you will buy it. Tenancies are often longer for homes in the suburbs or city fringes when compared to inner-city apartments. Consider purchasing a rental property close to a hospital, schools, train stations, or other amenities that tenants would like to live close to. 

Rentals near hospitals are ideal locations for shift workers as the proximity makes it easy for workers to get to and from their job at all hours of the day. Likewise, renting out a property in a school zone will attract families with school aged children, many of whom are looking for a long-term place to stay. Moving schools is disruptive for young kids, and most families don’t want to move for years if they don’t have to. Renting to families can also ensure you’ll have a longer tenancy as most families tend to move less than students or renters in their early twenties. 

Buying a rental near sought-after amenities means you’ll always have tenants looking to rent, and hopefully those rental periods will be longer than average. 

Make your house a home tenants want to stay in

Ensuring your home is somewhere tenants actually want to stay can help. The Healthy Home Standards have meant that most homes are warmer and dryer than ever before. However, if you have an older home, upgrading areas like the kitchen and bathroom or upgrading worn-out carpets or stained floors can help make your rental more appealing to tenants. 

Consider saying yes to tenants with pets

Many landlords are wary of saying yes to tenants with pets. Animals can cause damage to the property and grounds which may exceed even the cost of a pet bond. However, renters with pets actually stay for an average of seven months longer than renter without pets.  

Pet-friendly rentals are also let out faster, as many tenants struggle to find properties that will accept cats or dogs. Currently, only 14 percent of rentals in New Zealand accept pets. Many renters are also willing to pay more rent if it means stability for their furry friends. You may also benefit from having access to a broader pool of potential tenants. 


While we implore landlords to do their due diligence before renting to a tenant with pets, there are many financial upsides to accepting pets at your rental.   

Keep on top of maintenance requests

Keeping on top of maintenance requests is a great way to show tenants that you value them looking out for your property. If a tenant has reported a maintenance request, make sure you get onto it as soon as possible. Tenants are more likely to report damage, leaks or issues if they know you will fix them promptly. 

Staying on top of property maintenance can be difficult if you live far away from your rental or work full-time. Working with a property manager can help. At West Auckland Property Management, we’re never far away from the properties we manage. We also have great relationships with various contractors and can get maintenance requests dealt with quickly. 


If you are looking for a property specialist who will keep your property in great shape, and treat your tenants with respect, call us on (09) 832 0832