Property Management Blog

The Guide to Avoiding Long Vacancies in Your Rental Unit

Bob Preston - Thursday, March 17, 2022
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Avoiding long vacancies has always been a top priority for landlords and property managers because nothing hurts the bottom line more than vacancies. 

Here are eight useful tips for property managers and landlords to minimize their rental property vacancies. 

Be Thorough with Tenant Screening 

Well-employed tenants with a high income are ideal for your bottom line, but they are also more likely to move to a new home. On the other hand, tenants with an unstable income can leave because of unemployment or difficulty with their finances. All of these problems can be detected with a thorough tenant screening check. 

It's always a good idea to check their references before accepting them for your rental unit. 

Avoid a Big Rental Hike

Excessively high rent could be used as an excuse by tenants to leave when they were content with the previous arrangement. While increasing the rental rate is unavoidable because you have to keep up with the growing expense and market value, you should try small incremental increases for lease renewals each year - something as low as 3 to 5% is acceptable. 

You could also throw in something extra to sweeten the deal, such as discounts on the rent, gift cards, and even a generous one-month free rent. These may be out-of-pocket expenses for you, but they will save you the costs associated with tenant turnover. 

Focus on Building a Good Landlord-Tenant Relationship

Building a strong landlord-tenant relationship can take time, but this could be a key influence when tenants consider whether to renew their lease. A common reason tenants leave their rental unit is poor communication with the landlord. 

Try to respond to your tenant in a timely manner and inform them of any news or updates in advance. This will ensure that your tenants feel comfortable enough to contact you with any questions or concerns.

Market the Rental Unit While Your Tenant is in Place

If your tenant informs you that they plan to leave the property, your best option is to market the property. It is not recommended to show the property while your tenant is still living there. You can, however, start your search for prospects and then show them around once the tenant has moved out. 

Keep Your Property Clean

Create a good impression of your property by keeping it clean and well maintained. In the same vein, you should consider repairing and renovating the property to accommodate new tenants. If you want to show the property to a prospective tenant while your current tenants are still occupying the property, you can ask them to make it presentable for the showing.

Just as important is the curb appeal of your rental unit. One affordable strategy is to put potted plants on either side of your front door to frame the entryway and create a welcoming environment. 

Consider Working with a Property Manager

Consider hiring a property manager if you are too caught up with your day job to spend time sprucing up your property or looking after your duties as a landlord. This method can save you the hassle of doing everything yourself. Most property managers also have access to rental prospects who are ready to move in. 

So if your tenant decides to not renew their lease, this will reduce your rental vacancy rate because the next prospect is ready to move in. 

Make Sure the Price is Right

If your tenants are choosing not to renew their lease, you may be charging too much rent. Research the neighborhood and survey other properties that are similar to yours. Speak with fellow investors, property managers, and anyone else with experience in the area about the price of rent. 

Research the Location

Depending on where you are in your investment journey, this may be too late for you now. But if you are still in the market for a property, consider buying a rental unit in an area with lots of foot traffic. These properties are easier to rent because of their high visibility and location. 

Are you looking for a property manager in your area to look after your rental unit? Get in touch with us today to check out your options. 

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