Vacancy – How long is “too long” for your property to be vacant?

Vacancy – it’s one of the dreaded words in the property management and rental property world because it generally means unless you paid cash for your rental, you most likely financed it and will have to pay the mortgage while your property is sitting vacant.

No owner likes to have their rental property sit vacant because this also means that the longer the rental doesn’t have anyone living in it, the rental property isn’t generating any cash flow.

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How Long Is Too Long for A Rental to Sit Vacant?

Testing the Market is great…but after 2-3 weeks, you may want to rethink your leasing plan.

The reality with owning rental properties is that the longer they sit vacant, a wide variety of problems can occur including the following:

  • Crime – The vacant rental property can become the target of vandals and criminals in the area including people who might be planning on trespassing and living on the property illegally.
  • Drain on Cash Flow – Let’s face it, one vacancy does equal a drain on cash flow regardless of the owner’s portfolio so it’s in the owner’s best interest to get that rental occupied as soon as possible.
  • Vacant Properties Can Become Eyesores – Weeds grow, dust and dirt accumulate, trash and debris take up residence in the front and backyard. Vacant properties become eyesores especially if they are not maintained while they are sitting for weeks and months at a time.
  • Bad Decisions – The longer a rental sits, the more Landlords are willing to lower the bar and “stretch” to accept a tenant that may not be qualified to rent their home. It’s just the nature of the beast that we would be enticed by someone who is borderline but can stop the loss of income.

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Tips to Follow While a Rental Sits Vacant

Every owner wants to fill vacancies fast because they want vacancies to end, yesterday, but the thing to remember during the vacancy is that the following tips should be followed to ensure that the rental is ready to be occupied by the next tenant as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

Tip #1 – Price the property appropriately. At GoldenWest we recommend being “Conservative” with the price. The market doesn’t care about your mortgage, it is simply a supply and demand equation that sets the rental price point. List on the conservative side to get quality applicants, quickly and reduce the potential for headaches, vandals, cash flow loss, etc…

Tip #2 – Use timers to make lights come on in the rental during the evening – Once again, this tip will help a vacant rental to look “lived in” and discourage criminals from hitting a vacant rental at night.

Tip #3 – Enlist neighbors for help – If you’re managing the rental yourself, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask neighbors in the area to keep an eye on your vacant rental, watching for suspicious activity, until it’s occupied.

Tip #4 – Decide whether “For Rent” signs and flyers will help to rent the home or may only make the home a “target.”

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Stop Dealing with Vacant Rentals – Get Property Management Today

Tired of dealing with vacant rentals yourself? For professional property management contact GoldenWest Management today by calling us at (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.