When your tenants move out and your investment property sits vacant for a long period of time, it can be stressful and frustrating. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself from a long vacancy.
1 - Understand the market value of your property. Although it may be tempting to advertise at a higher rate, if your property is overpriced, you will generate less interest.
2 - Appoint a property manager that you can trust. They will be aware of current market conditions and can help you price your property accurately.
3 - Advertise at the right time. Generally 3-4 weeks before the property vacant is usually appropriate. Advertise too early and your campaign may lose momentum, too late and you may need to wait for the new tenants to give notice.
4 - Monitor the campaign and adapt if necessary. If you are not getting any interest during the first few weeks, this could indicate that your property is priced too high and should be adjusted.
5 - Pay attention to presentation. Presenting your property well for viewings is vital. A property that looks like it has been cared for is more likely to attract tenants that will care for it.
6 - Provide an incentive. For example, offering one week's free rent can really help a tenant financially when they are moving.
7 - Consider additional inclusions. You may attract more interest if some appliances are included in the lease such as washing machine, dryer, dishwasher or fridge freezer.
8 - Organise your leases around peak periods. For example; coastal properties or properties with a pool may rent faster during the summer months.
9 - Hold onto great tenants where possible. If you have a tenant who pays rent regularly and is maintaining the property, then try to keep the. If they have handed in their notice to vacate, try to re-negotiate the terms of their lease to keep them in the property
10 - Stay on top of maintenance. Keep current tenants happy by completing any issues in a timely manner and purchase upgrades when required.
11 - Be realistic when increasing the rent. Keep rental increases in line with the current market.
12 - Renegotiate lease extensions early. If your tenant's lease is coming to an end, renegotiate a lease extension early before the tenant has started looking for an alternative.
A vacancy period can be stressful and add to your out-of-pocket expenses, but through good planning, you can certainly minimise the period between tenants.