Say your current tenant is moving out in a few weeks. To avoid any income gaps, you decide to host interested prospects to view the rental. How should this be managed?
Showing an unoccupied unit is far easier. You won't need to notify anyone or compare schedules. You can also fix up the rental unit before showing it to anyone. However, if you need the income right away, perhaps you're still paying for a monthly mortgage, and in this case, showing an occupied unit is feasible.
Advantages of showing an occupied unit
Rent payments will still be regular. This is the ideal setup for landlords.
Vacancy expenses avoided
When a unit is unoccupied, one still needs to spend for maintenance expenses.
No need to transfer utilities
Since there are no vacancies, the name transfer for the utility bills will only be done once. Otherwise, the utilities are transferred to your name, then transferred to the new tenant.
Disadvantages of showing an occupied unit
Minimal control over the condition of the home
On account of the tenant moving out, there might be boxes everywhere. This is an area you have little control over.
Repairs are on hold
Some of the property damages that need to be fixed can't be done right away. This may affect the property viewers' decision.
Dealing with the current tenant's schedule
Moving can be a stressful and busy time.
Coordinating with the tenant's availability can require plenty of effort.
Guide to showing an occupied unit
If you're left with no choice but to present an occupied rental space to prospects, check out these helpful suggestions:
1. Communicate with your tenant beforehand
Be open with your tenant about the necessity of showing the rental property to potential renters. You can be honest about needing the income right away to pay for bills. Tell your tenant what you expect to avoid conflicts. It's best to be direct to work out potential causes for misunderstanding.
Even if you feel hesitant about imposing, remember to prioritize the business aspect. Since there's non-renewal of the lease, it's best to prepare and ensure a continuity of income.
2. Provide enough notice to your tenant
Respect the privacy of your tenant and notify them of the set dates for property showings. A 24-48 hour notice is usually stipulated in State laws. This is also to prepare the tenant to make the space presentable. If you suddenly conduct showings, there might be clutter around as the tenant is packing belongings in boxes.
Coordinating schedules will allow your tenant to decide whether to be around or not. The tenant can also secure his important possessions prior to the property showing.
3. Discuss a convenient time
Give the tenant plenty of options when it comes to scheduling a convenient timetable. This leaves them with a feeling of control over their living space. This is to help prevent any kind of building resentment. You want to avoid forcing the tenant to adjust to your decision.
Remain respectful, as any landlord is required, and remember that the tenant is still the owner of the unit. You want to leave each other in good graces. Offering several time slots makes the tenant feel that the decision-making is mutual. The tenant still has a right to quiet enjoyment and you're still responsible for fulfilling that.
4. Request the renter to tidy up the space
One way to help out a tenant, especially a busy one, is to offer a cleaning service fee. Making the rental space presentable is an additional burden on the tenant. Paying for professional service will also make the unit look immaculate and attractive to the viewers.
How a space looks can create a deep impression on your potential renters. That's why it's better to hire cleaners than obligating your tenant to clean. Additionally, it's also pleasing for the tenant to spend the last few weeks of their stay in a tidy rental home.
5. Give an incentive to a cooperative tenant
Technically, you're asking a favor from the tenant since you're infringing on a space the tenant is still occupying. Offer a gift in exchange for this graciousness. This can be movie tickets, restaurant vouchers or modest going-away presents.
In case you'll be showing the property to several prospects, it might help to reduce the rental rate of the current tenant. This way, the disturbance becomes manageable.
6. Avoid hanging up "For Rent" signs
Aside from the intrusion that the current tenant already feels, having a sign outside can only increase the number of inquiries. This can lead to annoyance.
If you still prefer to have a sign outside, make sure to include a warning that only appointments will be entertained. Leave a contact number so interested prospects will contact prior to knocking on the tenant's door.
7. Reconsider using lockboxes for property showings
Using lockboxes is a popular way for a tenant to tour the property on their own, without any need of a landlord's presence. However, this can compromise the security of the current tenant. It may even lead to a feeling of resentment.
Only choose lockboxes when a property is unoccupied to prevent any stressful situations. You want to continue honoring your tenant's right to privacy.
8. Limit the frequency of showings in a given week
Even if you're in a hurry to find new renters, schedule property showings strategically. Avoid coming and going daily, or whenever you feel like it. Take the time to arrange and limit the frequency of visits.
If you're able to arrange for multiple showings in one or two days, it's more convenient for everyone. Performing daily property showings can also run you down.
9.Thank the current tenants
Show appreciation to your current tenants by thanking them for cooperating. Even if you're entitled to showing a soon-to-be vacant unit, your tenants still deserve respect. It can be uncomfortable to let other people enter their sacred space.
Express your thanks through a note, rent discount or gift. The simple act of accommodating an inconvenient request is a huge favor. Therefore, avoid taking this for granted.
If you have any further inquiries regarding the content of this article, contact McGuire Property Management today. We are a full-service property management firm that can help you in all areas regarding your rental property. Our team can help you schedule and conduct property showings, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Get in touch with us today to learn more!