Property owners aren’t fans of vacancy when it comes to their rentals. Not only does a vacancy bring in no revenue, but it also means that the home is sitting empty, and empty homes can mean problems when you don’t take care of them. Let’s discuss how to maintain a vacant rental property with a few easy steps.
Make the Home Look Active
Just because a rental property is sitting empty, that doesn’t mean it has to look empty. Stop by now and then, preferably with some frequency. Turn lights off and on during the evening and during the day. Keep window coverings closed so that nosey people driving by can’t peek into the living room window at night and see that the house is vacant.
Sweep the porch and sidewalks, and keep up with the lawn care and landscaping. Create an atmosphere that makes it tough to notice that your rental property is vacant.
Meet Your Neighbors
You rent out your property, but really, the neighbors are also your neighbors since you own a home in the same neighborhood where they live. Get to know those neighbors, and let them know you’d greatly appreciate it if they’d communicate with you if they see odd activity on the property. Let neighbors know when the home is vacant, and exchange phone numbers to make things easier.
Vacancy insurance is available but often at a high price. Insurance companies offer rental property insurance and usually have a grace period of 30–60 days for the property owner to find a new tenant before the insurance status changes. After that period, however, the insurance becomes vacant property insurance, and the premium goes up.
There is good reason for the rise in cost when a property is vacant. Unfortunately, vacant properties are prone to vandalism and unnoticed damages, making them a risk for insurance companies.
As you advertise for new tenants, find avenues other than a sign in the yard. A sign telling everyone that the home is available is free advertising for criminals looking for a place to squat or vandalize. Use online rental advertising instead.
Maintain the Property
We’ve discussed how to maintain a vacant rental property for safety’s sake. Now let’s discuss how to maintain the property while it’s vacant so that it’s ready for a quick move-in when the new tenants arrive. The longer a property sits empty, the better the chances are that maintenance issues will arise.
- Running Water — Every few days, flush toilets and run the showers and faucets.
- Thermostat — Set the thermostat near 80 degrees in the summer and 60 degrees in the winter to protect from temperature damage, such as mold from humidity or frozen pipes.
- Pest Control — Keep up with any services you have to keep pests from getting out of control; any visible signs of pests will dissuade new tenants.
Following these tips to maintain a vacant rental property will ease your mind as a property owner. Keep up the appearance of activity on the property, stay insured, continue regular maintenance, keep neighbors informed, and feel confident in the safety of your property as you search for new tenants.
Excalibur Homes, voted “Best in Georgia,” offers full service, professional tenant rental services in Atlanta, GA, and all surrounding areas. We’ve got you covered when investing in, owning, and renting out your real estate property.