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Dealing With Rental Vacancies

How to handle rental vacancy

There are all kinds of reasons why you may not have tenants to rent your property for a period of time. When you first buy a property, it may not be rented and could take a while to find tenants. You may not have the greatest location and it takes longer to rent. You may be trying to rent in the middle of a semester when students already have housing. There may be an abundance of rental property in the area, or perhaps the condition of the property makes it difficult. Whatever the reason is, you need to fill you vacancies quickly or your property will become a much less profitable investment.

Every month that your place goes un-rented could means hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost revenue. But, there are definitely things you can do to improve your chances of limiting vacancies. First, if you do end up with a vacancy for a period, use the time wisely by making repairs and completing required maintenance to the property. Spruce up the yard, paint the interior or schedule major repairs while the rental is empty. Later when you are showing the property to prospective tenants, they will give your property more thought because of the better condition. Also, it is a lot easier to make repairs in an empty property.

Be creative. If you know students will most likely be renting your property, rent your place when they are looking for housing in order to increase your chances of finding good tenants. This is typically in the spring and fall. If you rent from February to January, consider renting for a shorter or longer period so that you can change your lease term to coincide with the time when students are looking.

Consider giving a discount or incentive to rent your property over another. Reduce rent for a short period, permit use of a garage or attic, offer to install a washer and dryer, or something else that tenants in your area may want. In addition to listing your property on this web site and others that cover your area, run ads in local papers, hang flyers and ask everyone you know. Hang a For Rent sign on the house so neighbors or people driving by will see it. Offer a reward to someone who finds you tenants. A small amount spent on advertising or discounts will more than offset the cost of lost rent for one or more months.

If you expect your tenants will not renew your lease, begin looking for new tenants early. Don't wait until the last minute and chance having a vacancy. Ask the existing tenants if they know of anyone that may be interested in renting your place. They may have friends who have already seen your rental that would be interested. Use every means possible to avoid having vacancies.

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