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5 steps to avoid a vacant rental property

By The Lodge Real Estate Team on 2017-06-21

You’ve just seen yourself waving goodbye in your tenant’s rearview mirror. That crease in your brow is because you know that you only have so long before your untenanted rental home starts to become a cash drain.

Luckily, we’ve got a step-by-step guide to help you find new tenants ASAP.

1. Always have advertising materials ready-to-go

Rather than thinking up new blurbs and taking new photos every time you need to advertise your rental, have it ready to go at a moment’s notice. It’ll save you time and a lot of hassle.

As for creating your adverts, focus on the benefits. It’s not just a “two bedroom unit”; it’s an easy space to maintain and a great option for someone looking to downsize. Your four-bedroom house probably has a great backyard for the kids (or pets), to roam in. Are there any shops, public transport stops or schools nearby? If so, let your prospective tenants know!

You might be interested in our guide: Rental property management: what new landlords need to know


2. Get maintenance out of the way

While your property is empty, it’s the perfect time to do any repairs and maintenance work since you won’t be intruding on your tenant’s peace and privacy. Wash or repaint the walls, install insulation, fix the leaky tap and that jamming drawer in the kitchen. If you’ve been thinking about replacing the carpets, do it now.

Doing maintenance between tenants not only means you are upholding your responsibility to provide a safe and livable rental, but a well-maintained property is going to attract more potential tenants. What’s more, this sort of maintenance extends the life of your property and increases the amount people who are willing pay to live there! It’s a win-win.

3. Keep up the curb appeal

Good curb appeal (i.e. what your home looks like from the street), can add major value to your property. So it makes sense to spend a little time on its upkeep. Remove the weeds from the brickwork, re-paint the front door, clean the roof, and revitalise your property’s cladding.

If you’re not convinced that curb appeal is important, check out these before-and-afters and ask yourself which house you’d prefer to rent if it were you.

4. Offer a few extras—or don’t

If your property targets short-term renters, offering a furnished or partly furnished home can help you find tenants quickly, especially in city centres such as Hamilton. However, if you’re after long-term rentals outside the CBD, it may be better to leave your property unfurnished. Long term renters are more likely to have their own furniture, and will probably want to put their own stamp on the home they occupy.

As a compromise, consider partly furnishing your rental with whiteware like a fridge, freezer and washing machine. Whiteware can be a pain to transport thanks to their weight, bulk and the fact they must be kept upright—and there’s no guarantee that they’ll fit into the spaces provided. So it could be worth saving your new tenants the hassle when they move—but make sure you measure everything and avoid making the same mistake yourself.

Are you getting the best return for your rental? Get a rental appraisal

5. First in, best dressed

If you have a tenant that ticks all the boxes and is able to move in right away—don’t sit around to see if you get a better offer. Yes, you might get one next week, but you also run the risk of your vacant rental property staying empty until next month—or longer! If you are concerned about your untenanted rental property straining your finances, snaffle up these opportunities while you can.

Are you a landlord?

Find more property management tips and advice in our free guide, The Landlord’s Handbook.

Download now

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