Avoiding vacancy is important for a lot of reasons. Keeping your Dayton rental home occupied with great tenants must be a priority. Vacancy is an impediment to both your return on investment (ROI) and your peace of mind.
When your rental property is unoccupied, you’re not earning any rent and you’re not able to keep a close eye on its maintenance and condition. There’s also the threat of squatters, vandals, and other potential crimes.
Keep your vacancy and turnover periods to a minimum. This can be done with good marketing, excellent maintenance, and an understanding of how to place and retain high-quality tenants.
If you’re still not convinced that vacancy is a huge problem, let’s take a look at the four most pressing dangers that come with a vacant rental property in Dayton.
1. Financial Dangers to a Vacant Rental Home
With no rent coming in, you’re losing money on your investment property. If you’re a multi-family investor, and we’re talking about just one unit that’s vacant in a building of four or six apartments, you won’t necessarily face total financial ruin when one tenant moves out and another tenant is slow to move in. But, you’ll definitely feel the loss on your accounting reports.
With a single-family home as a rental property, the lack of rent will make the entire asset more expensive. The success of your investment depends on consistent rental income. Any gaps in income will be difficult to make up.
The expenses continue to grow, and they go beyond the lack of rent. Not only are you not receiving a rental payment, but you’re also paying out of pocket for things like landscaping, utilities, pest control, and other services.
2. Vandalism and Theft
A vacant rental home will attract the wrong kind of attention. With an empty residence, you could face vandalism issues and even theft. You might walk into the home and find the windows broken. It’s possible thieves could steal minor things like light bulbs and major things like appliances or copper piping. We’ve heard of people taking off with air conditioning units and water heaters.
Criminals look for opportunities. Your vacant property is always going to be an attractive opportunity. You don’t have to be a criminal mastermind to target locations where you’re less likely to get caught.
Vandalism is usually a crime of recreation and while cleaning up graffiti is a nuisance and an expense, there are far worse crimes that can occur on your empty property. You don’t want to find heavy damage and you don’t want to find missing refrigerators and dishwashers.
3. Stress and Vacant Dayton Rental Homes
Maybe you’ve heard some horror stories about squatters and the effort that’s required to remove them once they’ve set up housekeeping in a vacant property.
That’s pretty stressful.
You’re also going to worry about the money you’re not making, the maintenance that you might not know is needed, and the potential for crime at a property that you’ve already invested a lot of time and money into.
A vacant rental home can quite literally keep you up at night. You’re going to spend a lot of time worrying about what’s going on there, and whether your investment is in danger. You might find yourself too eager to find a tenant, and that can lead you to approve someone who isn’t quite qualified or doesn’t exactly meet your criteria.
Vacancy leads to stress, and stress leads to bad decisions. It also leads to depression, anxiety, and a number of other physical, mental, and emotional health issues.
4. Risk of Property Damage
Another danger associated with vacant rental homes is property damage. There could be a flood or a fire at your property, and no one will know it right away because no one is living there.
It doesn’t even have to be something as dramatic as a fire to cause real loss.
Responding to maintenance issues can be complicated and time-consuming, but when a tenant is in place, you have someone who can notice and report those issues as soon as they occur. This cuts down on the risks that come with deferred maintenance.
With no one living in your rental property, you won’t detect leaks right away. You won’t know that the heat or the air conditioning isn’t working, and there will be no one to complain that the appliances are broken.
Keeping your investment well-maintained is an important part of earning money on it. When small problems are overlooked or unnoticed, they become larger problems, and often more expensive problems. This is a major risk to vacant rental homes.
You can’t fix problems that you aren’t aware of.
How to Avoid Vacancy in Dayton
As you can see, the risks that come with vacancy are too great to ignore.
When you do have a property that’s unoccupied for longer than you expected, make sure you’re checking on it from time to time – at least every couple of days. Give your contact information to neighbors in the area who you can trust. Ask them to call you if anything looks off.
Enhancing your security during vacancies is also important. You don’t want the home to look unoccupied, so make sure you leave some exterior lights on or you may wish to purchase a timer for the lights.
What can you do to make sure that vacancy time is minimized?
Try these tips:
- Provide a well-maintained home
Rent your home quickly by providing a great property. Make sure your rental home is appealing. It should be clean, modern, and well-maintained. Don’t be afraid to make some minor and inexpensive updates. You don’t have to do a full rehab project, but a fresh coat of paint, updated flooring, and better lighting can make a huge difference in how quickly your property is rented.
- Invest in curb appeal
Curb appeal is also important. Make sure the landscaping is neat and healthy, and make sure the front of the property is welcoming and inviting. You want to have enough exterior lighting, and the parking lot or driveway should be in good condition.
- Pay attention to competitive pricing
Your price also affects whether your home is vacant or occupied. You need to really understand the local Dayton rental market if you want to arrive at an accurate rental value. All owners want to earn the highest rent possible. But, if you price your home higher than what similar properties in your area are renting for, you’re going to face a longer vacancy.
- Invest in a tenant retention plan
Avoid vacancy by keeping the quality tenants who are currently renting your home. Provide a good tenant experience for your residents, especially when they’re consistent with rental payments and easy to work with. When you’re responsive to maintenance and willing to answer questions and solve problems quickly, your tenants will want to stay in place. Respond to repair requests right away, even if they’re not emergencies. Provide multiple ways for them to pay rent on time and communicate openly and transparently. Don’t lose your tenants every time a lease ends.
- Pet-friendly rental homes have lower vacancy rates
Many rental property owners struggle with whether or not they should allow pets. While there is often extra risk involved in bringing animals into a rental home, providing a pet-friendly property is sure to reduce your vacancy. The majority of tenants in Dayton and the surrounding areas have at least one pet, and they’re looking for homes that will welcome their furry family members.
Professional Dayton Property Management Can Help
Working with a professional Dayton property management company is an excellent way to avoid expensive vacancies that are longer than necessary.
With the right property manager, you can count on an accurate price, strategic marketing, and detailed follow-up. You can also be sure that your tenants are going to be well-served. This will help everyone have a better rental experience and ensure you don’t have to worry about a long vacancy period. When you’re interviewing potential property management companies, ask about vacancy rates so you can get some idea about how quickly your home will be rented.
Your property management team will also ensure that your rental home is safe and secure during the period that it is vacant. It’s an extra layer of protection for you and your investment.
If you need any help wrapping your head around the dangers of vacancy that you may not have considered, we’d love to tell you more and put your mind at ease. We don’t want your property to be at risk for a longer than necessary vacancy. Contact us at ManCo Property Services.