How to Keep Vacancies to a Minimum
For landlords, preparing for vacancies can be a daunting prospect. It is only natural to feel concerned, if you have a tenant that seems to be getting a bit wobbly financially, about losing rental income due to an upcoming vacancy. Preparing for the situation in advance can do a lot to help ward off untimely vacancies and promote a fast-track approach for replacing any outgoing lessees. Following are some tips to help you obtain the shortest gap possible between tenants so that you can be sure of making your own mortgage payments.
Communication is the Key
Don’t be afraid to call or drop by to visit your tenant if you are hearing concerning news through the grapevine. Be concerned about the tenant’s personal welfare and try to get them to open up to you about what they are going through. You may find that the tenant is willing to dish, giving you information that can help you to plan for your own financial future based on whether or not you think the tenant is likely to stick around. There are many different communication skills that can aid you in your business relationships.
Always Be Prepared
Before you rent to new tenants, insert a clause into the lease that allows you to show the property for new tenants while the old tenant is still residing on the property if you obtain information that leads you to believe the old tenant is in the process of vacating the property. Of course, it’s important to be mindful of the old tenant’s schedule; work out a time to show the property that is convenient for the outgoing tenant and during which they will not be at the actual residence. Try to get the outgoing tenant to work with you on keeping their place tidy and presentable during this time. If the place isn’t tidy and presentable, do your best to get the tenant to cooperate and work with you to clean up after themselves so that the next person can better appreciate the premises.
New tenants can’t find out about your vacancy if you don’t put the word out! Use as many channels of communication as possible to give yourself the widest variety of prospective tenants as possible. Put a sign out, sure, but also advertise in the newspaper, online, or even by putting up notices in local businesses. Many coffee shops, for instance, have notice boards concerning the local community; try putting up a bulletin with your contact information, and watch the applicants roll in. The more applicants you have, the better your chances are of finding a gem of a tenant who pays her rent on time and doesn’t have the police at her door every other day. As a landlord, you know well that taking the extra time to find a good tenant now can save you a lot of revenue (and several headaches) over the long run.
One of the best scenarios is when your tenant is into travelling. You will worry less, when every month they will leave for a quite some time to yoga and meditation retreat in Thailand or somewhere else, so you will have less potential problems if any.
By thinking in advance about what to do in each given situation, you can forestall a lot of problems, such as long vacancies, troublesome tenants, or complete chaos that winds up in court. Planning ahead will make a big difference in the length of your vacancies and, in the long run, the certainty of your revenue streams.