It is always my goal to rent properties as quickly as possible to qualified tenants. However, some circumstances can cause an owner to call and ask, "Why is my property still vacant?" when it appears that it should not be that difficult to rent the property.
Of course, it is obvious to look at the rental market and review competition. Perhaps there is simply a glut of comparable properties available, and tenants can be picky. Sometimes, it appears that the market is tighter and the property should rent more quickly but is still available despite the advertising and many showings. In either case, you have to look at why a property will not rent and consider if actions need to be taken.
- Many times, it is simply the asking rent. Is the rent a competitive price? For example, if larger four-bedroom homes in the area are $1300 and your property is a three-bedroom for $1400 with less square footage, it may be that the property is simply overpriced. The more competition in the area, the more critical it is to adjust the rent to entice a tenant. Even when there is not a lot of competition, a more prolonged vacancy will generally cost more loss of income than adjusting the rent to entice a tenant.
- Is the property attractive to prospective tenants? It may be a great house, but if the applicant sees dingy/peeling paint, mildew, or mold inside the home, cheap or dilapidating flooring, older worn-out appliances, they may be concerned about future maintenance issues. Good tenants are not likely to put in an application, especially if there are other available rentals. If either outside or inside conditions present problems, it is time to address them. The longer a property takes to rent, the more costly the loss. The best rule of thumb for property conditions is to ask yourself if you would live in the home's current state.
Time of Year:
- Of course, every year has events that slow down the market – back-to-school days, Thanksgiving, the December Holiday Season – all these can "slow" the market down and make it a little trickier. However, properties do rent during these periods; it is just that the rent numbers are lower and may cause a little longer vacancy time.
- It may be that the market is great, the rent is right, the property looks wonderful – so "why is my property STILL for rent?" It could be that there have been applications, but they would not make suitable tenants. It is always more important to have a tenant who will actually pay the rent and take care of the property than to rent it quickly. It is more cost-effective to have a good tenant than a future eviction.
Whatever the reason for a delay in securing a new tenant, my goal as your management company is to rent the property to the right tenant as quickly as possible.