Risks of Having a Vacant Rental Property
Having a vacant rental property is more than likely to happen at some point in a landlord’s career. It’s important to fill these vacancies quickly so you can avoid a variety of risks to your property and business.
Aside from the obvious loss of income and profit from a vacancy, your property will also become more and more vulnerable over time the longer it remains empty. Tenants are a good way of knowing when structural damage occurs and needs to be fixed when areas need to be updated and can prevent squatters and others from venturing into the vacant home.
Below, we’ll dive further into the potential risks of vacant properties and some quick ways to help boost your efforts to fill them.
How Often are Rental Properties Vacant?
The answer to the question “how long are rental properties vacant?” is different depending on the location and time of year. Most often, people move during the summer because that’s when kids aren’t in school. In coastal states, like North Carolina, there are typically more vacancies in early autumn because families go back home after renting out a property for the summer.
In any case, you should never have a vacancy for longer than 30-60 days. The longer a rental property is vacant, the more it will cost a landlord time, money, and resources to find new tenants.
Empty rental properties pose a variety of risks:
- Undiscovered leaks. If there is a leak in the roof or a pipe and there is no one around to discover it, rental properties can end up with extensive (and expensive) water damage.
- Theft and vandalism. The longer your rental property is vacant, the longer it is vulnerable.
- Squatters. Someone can lay claim to your property if they aren’t removed in a timely manner.
- Fires. Extreme temperatures stripped wires, and broken appliances all put your unattended property at risk of fires.
- Loss of income. If your rental property is vacant, you cannot collect rent. This could lead to serious financial issues in just a couple of months.
- Pests. Having pests in a vacant rental property can make cleaning difficult and may lead to expensive repairs.
How to Fill Vacancies Quickly
Having a vacant rental is going to happen—what matters most is how to take action to fill that vacancy quickly.
Here are a few tips:
1. Check your rates
If you find that your property is in tip-top rental shape and in a great neighborhood but you aren’t getting any inquiries, you might have to adjust your rental rates. Check local listings to ensure your rates are competitive with comparable rental properties.
2. Optimize your advertising efforts
You should begin advertising that your property is available for rent as soon as you get a notice that your tenants are moving out. Your ad should include high-quality photos, an enticing description of the property, the rental price and any additional fees, square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and who your property is best fit for (families, students, couples, etc.)
3. Keep your current tenant
The best way to make sure your rental property is always occupied is to keep the tenants that you already have. You can increase your chances of them resigning a lease by taking a few simple actions:
- Ask them to sign longer leases and offer reduced rates.
- Understand what tenants are looking for and provide (upgraded appliances, fresh paint, replaced carpeting, etc.).
- Respect your tenants and be as understanding as possible without allowing yourself to be taken advantage of.
- Make sure everything is in working condition when a tenant moves in and that maintenance requests are filled in a timely manner.
4. Higher a property management company
Property management companies can take care of everything that comes with owning a rental property quickly and professionally, from creating attractive ads to collecting rent, cleaning properties, filling maintenance requests, and more.
SLT Properties is the leading property management company in the Greensboro area. Allow us to keep an eye on your vacant rental properties and get them filled with a great tenant as quickly as possible. Get in touch for more information on rates and available rental properties.