While owning a rental property is a tried and tested method of building wealth, it comes with a fair share of risks and challenges as well. Other than handling maintenance and screening out problem tenants, perhaps what every landlord worries about most often is the possibility of long vacancies. Empty properties earn nothing; they are more of a liability, as you still have to keep them in good condition.
If you suddenly find yourself with a vacant rental property, you have to act fast. Every day that passes by is a lost opportunity to earn money, while the bills continue piling up. So how do you quickly find new tenants?
1. Consider renovating
A recent vacancy is the perfect time to fix and improve a property. This has two benefits: you have an easier time attracting new tenants, while getting a good reason to raise the rent. Spruce up the outdated kitchen, tear off the old wallpaper, and maybe even start landscaping – if you plan it right, it will be well worth it.
2. Hire a letting agent
If you have multiple properties to take care of, you might not be able to spend enough time on vacant rentals to get new tenants fast. Think about getting help from groups like Gordon’s The Online Estate Agent; they can handle the marketing and screening, while charging a fixed fee for their services.
3. Review your prices
Perhaps your tenants are leaving because your rent is far too high compared to the market average. No matter how much they like staying at your rental, most people will always look for a better deal. See if your competitors are undercutting you by a large margin, and consider lowering your rates.
4. Offer long term lease agreements
Want to attract good quality tenants and keep them for years? Then you might want to start offering incentives; for example, a significantly reduced rate, free cable or Wi-Fi, or lowered utility bills if they agree to a two-year rental. This is incredibly effective, and is much less expensive than a long vacancy.
Ideally, you will find someone within a month of your rental’s vacancy. Make sure that you do not compromise, however, as even a few months of vacancy are preferable to a problem tenant.