One of the main reasons why people move out is because they just don't feel they belong. So does your letting agent make your tenant feel that they are part of the local community? Are they kept informed of local events and issues in which they can participate if they wish? Have they been invited to join a residents association or at least introduced to their neighbours?
A careful letting agent will ensure that any other properties they are letting nearby will also have well-considered tenants, so there shouldn't be a problem with the neighbours.
How flexible are you prepared to be? If you allow your tenant to redecorate or make other improvements to the property, so that it really feels like their home, then they are less likely to want to move on. Similarly, landlords who allow pets tend to secure longer tenancies (as alternative accommodation for pets and their owners can be difficult to find). You may even be able to charge a premium rent for pet owners.
One of today's greatest turnoffs is poor broadband. It is essential that you install the fastest supply possible in your area, with no expense spared, as tenants are usually prepared to pay a premium for this.
Possibly the easiest way to ensure your tenant stays long-term, is to offer a longer tenancy at the outset. It may seem obvious, but by offering an 18 or 24 month agreement initially, you automatically preclude those who would otherwise expect to move out sooner. Many tenants are actually attracted to longer tenancies as it means that two of the main risks associated with renting - uncertainty and security of tenure - are minimised.
Ultimately, the more a tenant can feel that your investment property is actually their "place", the more likely they are to want to stay. Letting is not just about finding a tenant, it's as much about nurturing the human aspect of your investment so that it delivers both an attractive financial yield to you, as well as providing a real sense of home for them.
(Missed the first part of this advice column on how to keep your tenants? Then please click HERE)