November 22nd, 2018
Landlords loathe vacant units. After all, having a vacant unit means you’re not collecting the rent that goes on to cover property bills and provide you with an income stream.
Tenant turnover can prove to be a major expense for landlords, since advertising the space, cleaning it and repairing any fixes can cost a lot of time and money.
Reducing your vacancy rate means you can rely on your profit margins, and the best way to do this is by knabbing long-term tenants.
Accepting the wrong tenant, however, could spell even more headaches and costs involved in evictions or potentially withheld rent.
It's important to attract great tenants and avoid further vacancies, so you should never neglect proper tenant screening procedures.
Check out some strategies to keep your units occupied below.
90 days before the one-year mark comes around for any of your tenants, ask them whether they are planning to stay another year. Consider a small or non-existent rent increase if they’re forthcoming and responsive within 30 days of your notice.
If they’re deciding not to renew, you now have 60 days to find a new tenant.
This strategy gives your tenant some incentive to stay longer because of the minimal rent increase.
When you’re preparing your unit for showings and promotion on rental websites, you’re going to need professional-enough photographs in order to compete with the thousands of other offerings online.
Casting a wide net by not limiting yourself to one rental website is a good idea, however, in the rental climate of today, you’re likely to get A LOT of applicants if your unit is set at market rent and is desirable in the least.
If you’d like to lessen the stress involved in the hunt, hiring a property management team is ideal. They can take the administrative burden off of your hands and fill a unit with their experience alone. Alternatively, you may wish to ask your existing tenant for recomendations on new tenants, or family and friends.
When your unit is empty and clean, take the time to take professional-looking photos of the place in the daylight. Dark units will not receive the same attention as ones with good lighting.
You want to appeal to renters who comb the internet and make judgments based on photos and rental price alone. Be wary about posting pictures with someone’s possessions and furniture still in the unit, it could make for a messy scene.
Make sure to disclose all relevant information in the rental positing, including utilities, pet policies, bedrooms, bathrooms, what’s required to apply for the unit and proximity to amenities.
Your unit will stay vacant if it’s overpriced for the neighbourhood and what’s on offer. Looking at rental prices of comparable prices can help you set your own.
Higher rents could spell out longer vacancies if you aren’t living in a landlord’s market. Make sure tenants see the value in your property by updating its look to give it a leading edge.
Some prospective tenants are just throwing their interest everywhere and seeing where it will stick. Have applicants provide some information before you give them a showing of the unit. Never rush the screening process.
Request credit scores off the bat, and ask tenants to provide a short introduction about who they are and what they do in this world. This allows you to disqualify people before you meet them. You may want to rent to a student instead of a family of four, for example.
Once they’ve filled out the application in person, you must perform the true screening process that involves verifying their credit score, doing a criminal check, calling their references and checking their pay stubs.
Extended vacancies can end up costing landlords much more than lost rent. You could end up missing mortgage payments and take on more debt than intended.
By following the simple steps above, you can avoid costly tenant turnovers and long vacancy times by securing a long-term tenant.