A tenant can move out for a variety of reasons: They may have received a better job offer in another state, or bought a home and no longer want to rent. It’s also possible that the're moving in with a loved one.
Filling a vacancy quickly is key to save your bottom line. However, once a tenant moves out, you’ll soon realize there are quite a few things you’ll need to do in order to re-rent the unit.
In today’s article, we’ll share with you 8 tips on how to get your property ready to rent.
1. Start the Marketing Process As Soon As Possible
Vacancies are bad for your bottom line. At the very least, they mean you won’t be making any income. At worst, you'll be losing money on property upkeep and mortgage payments.
So, begin the marketing process as soon as your tenant notifies you that they're leaving. The longer it takes for you to start marketing, the longer the vacancy will be.
Draft a great marketing copy before listing it on rental listing sites. This alone can make all the difference. Include as many great photos as possible, and be sure that the headline is catchy.
2. Schedule Maintenance Tasks
Equally important is scheduling maintenance with vendors, such as contractors, painters or a professional cleaning company. The advantage of booking vendors in advance is that it’ll save you valuable time; you won’t be scrambling to find professional services once your tenant moves out.
So, start scheduling any maintenance work as soon as you receive a move-out notice.
3. Schedule Property Showings
A potential tenant will want to view the home before moving in. You have two options for doing this. Either you can schedule showings when the home is still occupied, or do it after the tenant leaves.
While doing so when it’s unoccupied may mean more time for repairs and overall less hassle, it may mean longer vacancies. Showing an occupied unit, on the other hand, can drastically reduce the amount of time your property will remain vacant.
On the flipside, though, showing an occupied unit will require tons of coordination with your tenant. Its success may also be dependent upon the kind of relationship you both have.
4. Inspect the Unit and Handle Any Repair Issues
Don’t forget to do a walk-through inspection when your tenant moves out. A walkthrough inspection with your tenant is required under Missouri landlord-tenant law. The goal of doing a walk-through inspection is to document the property’s condition.
If there is any damage exceeding normal wear and tear, your tenant will have to fix them prior to moving out. If they don’t, you can make the appropriate deductions to their security deposit.
You must notify your tenant, in writing, about the date and time of the inspection. The inspection must also be held at a reasonable time.
As for the repairs, make sure to fix them in order to ensure your property is attractive to prospective renters.
Check appliances. Are they still working as they should? Check the drains. Are there any clogs? Inspect the cooling and heating system, and change the air filters if necessary. Test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries if necessary.
This would also be a great time to renovate any outdated features.
5. Give the Unit a Thorough Clean
A deep clean can breathe new life into any space. While cleaning can seem like a simple task, hiring a professional can make all the difference. But if you decide to go DIY, then focus on doing smaller tasks first to avoid being overwhelmed.
If the unit is excessively dirty, you may have a right to make appropriate deductions to your tenant’s security deposit.
6. Re-key the Unit or Change the Locks.
As a landlord, you have a responsibility to ensure your tenant is safe. The last thing you want is for a stranger to have keys to the unit.
Conveniently, there are a variety of systems that allow for easy rekeying. These rekeying systems are available at varying price points as well.
It’s also important to have a set of duplicate keys for yourself as a landlord. This usually comes in handy in case of routine inspections, emergency repairs, or in case your tenant locks themselves out or loses their key.
7. Improve the tenant turnover rate.
The best way to fight vacancies is by improving your tenant turnover rate and snagging long-term renters. The following are some tips to help you in this regard.
First and foremost, always be responsive to tenant maintenance requests. The last thing a tenant wants is for their maintenance request or calls to go unanswered for days. When you’re responsive, you show your tenants that you care and respect their well-being.
Secondly, conduct routine inspections. These can help you make sure your tenant is following the terms of the lease agreement. While conducting these inspections, ensure that you respect your tenant’s privacy. Notify them beforehand, and only enter within reasonable hours.
Also, consider allowing pets if you haven’t already. A recent study found that pet-friendly rentals have lower vacancy rates.
It found that the vacancy rate for non-pet-friendly rentals was 14%, while that of pet-friendly rentals was 10%. It also showed that landlords with pet-friendly rentals had to spend about half the time and budget marketing their property.
8. Hire an Experienced Property Management Company
How you manage your rental property can make all the difference to your bottom line. If you don’t have the experience, skills, or just lack the free time to handle it all, hiring a quality property manager may be the best decision you can make.
A full-service property manager will help you with all aspects of management, from filling vacant units to inspecting the unit to collecting rent and everything in between.
Similar to other landlord tasks, turning over a property requires top-notch organization and time management skills. With a little bit of luck, this checklist should help you get started. For professional help, get in touch with Pro X Property Management LLC.