One thing all landlords want is to have their property consistently leased with quality tenants. Of course the nature of rentals is that commonly every couple of years your tenants will vacate but there are a couple of things you can do to try and minimise the down time.
Below is some tips to minimising your vacancy periods for either leased or becoming vacant properties:
- If you have a good tenant in the property you’re best to keep them.
- 90 days before the lease expires you should start re-negotiating new terms.
- If your property has increased in value by say 5% over the last 12 months, offer the tenant a 2.5% increase rather than the full wack if they sign on for another 12 months.
- Arrange for an onsite meeting with the tenant (preferably at the time an inspection is due) that way you can have a face to face discussion about their intentions. There may be something very minor that is making the tenant look for alternative accommodation that can be nipped in the bud by conducting a brief meeting.
- If your tenant wants to stay but only if you put in air conditioning or a dishwasher – you should consider this, but in conjunction with a fair rent increase and a new lease agreement – this improves the value of your property in the long run. You only have to have your investment sit vacant for 4 weeks and what you thought you were saving by not attending to the request is lost in the time you have no rental income anyway.
- Commence advertising as soon as the vacating tenant agrees to allow access, at a minimum this should be 14 days before they vacate.
- Adequately assess the competition so you know what you are competing against in price, many people over estimate what their property is worth to the market, so when looking at comparable’s ensure you check a wide range. For example when looking at 2 bedrooms in Elwood I would start by looking at properties in the area between $350 – $600, then narrow it down as you get closer to what the true value is.
- Ensure the property presents well, if that means waiting until the tenant is out then I recommend doing so – if it is a good property with a dirty or messy tenant it won’t lease!
- Ensure that the property is clean and smells fresh.
- Use quality photos, preferably professional images when advertising – stand out from the crowd – you wouldn’t take your own photos if you were selling a property so leasing it shouldn’t be any different.
- Use floor plans where possible.
- Use detailed and accurate description.
- If you aren’t receiving any enquiries or minimal enquiries in the first 2 weeks then the price is simply too high! Listen to what people say and act swiftly, have a plan.