Tampa Property Management Advice:
The number one thing you can do to reduce vacancy is obvious: keep the good tenant you currently have.
To do that, we recommend a couple of things:
- Treat your tenant with respect in all communication you have with them. Like everyone else, tenants want to feel they are important to you.
- Be responsive to legitimate maintenance concerns.
When tenants vacate, their first complaint with landlords is usually that they were concerned about how long it took to have maintenance performed. All you have to do to avoid this complaint is to be responsive.
For example, in Florida, if the air conditioning goes out in the summer, you can be miserable inside your house. So, if a tenant gets home from work on a Friday evening, and finds the air conditioning is not working, it could be about 100 degrees in the house. When that tenant calls in at 6:00 p.m. you do not want to make your renter wait until Monday morning before you return the call or resolve the problem. Return the call immediately, and if you can, work with an air conditioning technician who will go to the property on Friday night or at the latest, Saturday morning. If you make a tenant spend three hot, sweaty nights in a house in the middle of summer, that tenant is certainly not going to want to sign the lease again at the end of the rental term.
According to the National Association of Residential Property Managers, a vacancy costs the average landlord about three months of rent. That’s a lot of money, and it includes the cost of the not having any rental income, the cost of finding another tenant and all the work you need to do between tenants. There are costs associated with the cleaning, painting and maintenance you must do to get the property rent-ready again before someone new moves in. It makes financial sense to keep the tenant you have.
Of course, tenants do not stay forever, and you will eventually have a vacancy. When a tenant does move out, it’s important that you do these three things in order to reduce your length of vacancy.
. Your property needs to be seen in order to be rented. Don’t rely on Craigslist alone. Make sure you advertise on the top six rental property websites in your market. The more you advertise the better chance you have to eliminate your vacancy and find a tenant.
Price your property fairly
. If you charge more than tenants are willing to pay, you will have a longer vacancy. For every five weeks that a property is vacant, you face a 10 percent reduction in annual rent. It is very smart to price your property right and get it rented right away.
Work with your current tenant
. If you can, ask your tenant to have your house ready to show prior to his or her move out date. Lining up a new tenant before your current tenant moves out will keep you ahead of the vacancy game.