Minimizing the time your Harford County rental property sits vacant between tenants is the goal of any successful landlord.
That’s why, once you find out your current tenant will not be signing a lease renewal, it is a good idea to start the search for a new tenant right away.
But what should you do when your prospective tenants want to see your rental property, and your existing tenants are still residing there?
Showing an occupied rental property is a tricky thing to do.
On the one hand, you do not want to disrupt the life of your existing tenants, since they deserve to live out the end of their lease term in peace and quiet.
Yet, on the other hand, showing your rental to interested tenants, and possibly securing one to move in immediately after your current tenants move out will drastically reduce the costs associated with a vacant property.
Today, we are going to look at the pros and cons of showing your occupied Harford County rental property to prospective tenants.
In addition, we will divulge some essential tips for showing an occupied rental, so that all three parties involved are satisfied.
The Pros and Cons of Showing Your Occupied Rental Property
Showing an occupied rental property and securing a tenant ahead of time offers Harford County property owners several benefits:
- Minimal Negative Cash Flow. The longer your property stays vacant in between tenants, the more money you have to invest in re-leasing the property. Advertisements, background checks, and the loss in consistent monthly rent payments all add up. Finding a new tenant to move in once your existing tenant moves out drastically reduces these costs.
- Lower Vacancy Rates. If your rental is nearly move-in ready, chances are your new tenant can move into your rental property almost immediately after your old tenant moves out, thus lowering your vacancy rates.
- Utility Savings. Showing a rental property without the utilities on is not a wise move. Interested tenants want to know everything is in working order before they sign a lease. If your existing tenant moves out, and you then proceed to show your rental, you will have to transfer utilities into your own name. By showing your property while it is still occupied, you can make use of the utilities that are currently on. You’ll avoid having to transfer them into your name, and then into your new tenant’s name later down the road.
While showing your occupied rental does have its advantages, it is also important to understand that this strategy does not come without some inconveniences.
- It’s harder to show a rental property that is occupied
- A vacant rental stages better than one that has a family living in it
- You must provide proper notice every time you want to show the property to an interested tenant
- You cannot ensure the property is in move-in condition while occupied – there may have been a pet there you didn’t know about, there could be excessive damage that needs repairing, and who knows how clean or dirty the place may be
- You run the risk your current tenant does not move out on time
- It can be uncomfortable to show a property while tenants are around, for you, your existing tenants, and prospective tenants
That said, if you do wish to show your occupied Harford County rental property in hopes of securing a high-quality tenant to move in right away, there are several things you can do to ensure a smooth showing.
4 Tips for Showing Your Occupied Harford County Rental Property
When showing your occupied investment property, try using these essential tips to make things easier on everyone involved.
1. Talk to Your Current Tenants
Reaching out to your existing tenants means you’re off to a good start if you’re looking to show your rental while they are still living in it. In fact, your current tenants are likely to be more open to the idea if you discuss this option with them in a friendly way beforehand.
- Ask your tenants how they feel about you showing the rental
- Provide multiple showing times, and let your tenants pick the most convenient one(s)
- Find out whether they prefer to be present during the showings or not, and come to an agreement
It is also important you find out when you are legally allowed to enter your rental property while it is still occupied. Save for emergencies, landlords are typically only allowed to enter occupied rentals during normal business hours.
2. Always Provide Proper Notice
Chatting with your current tenants about your intentions to show the property while they are still in it is not enough. Your tenants have a reasonable right to privacy while residing in your property.
Though Harford County does not have a required time frame for providing tenants a notice of entry, it is safe to say that a minimum of 24 hours notice is a good idea. This gives your tenants enough time to make arrangements, tidy up a bit, and be somewhere else, should they not want to be around during the showing.
And, since you have already spoken with your tenant about the times that are good for them and their family, this notice should not come as a surprise.
3. Write it Into the Lease Agreement
Have your Harford County property management company draft a lease provision into the lease agreement that states showing the property may be a possibility near the end of the lease term.
This doesn’t negate the fact that you should discuss with your tenant that you are intending to show the property beforehand. And, it definitely doesn’t void the fact that you need to provide proper notice. However, informing your tenants at the start of the lease that a property showing may occur will ensure that there are no surprises.
4. Ask Your Tenants to Prepare
Showing your Harford County rental property with tenants living in it poses plenty of challenges. One such challenge is ensuring that your rental looks inviting enough with people residing in it to encourage prospective tenants to want to lease from you in the near future.
Asking your tenants to prepare for a property showing can be difficult. After all, their lease is almost up, and they have nothing to gain from staging your property to look good for people interested in being the next tenants.
However, here are some things you can do to help make your property look the best it can, while still occupied:
- Ask Tenants To Clean. Ask your tenants to tidy up before the showing, so that the prospective tenants are not turned off by a dirty home. Though the way your tenants live should have no effect on whether the property is a good fit for prospective tenants, the truth is, a dirty rental will affect a leasing decision. Consider offering your tenants an incentive, such as a free cleaning service, for cleaning up.
- Make Sure Pets Are Secure. If you allow your Harford County tenants to have pets while leasing your rental, it is crucial those pets be secure during a property showing. Inviting strangers into your tenant’s home can turn even the nicest of animals aggressive. This is not something you want to contend with, especially if your current tenants are away during the showing.
- Combine Showing Times. Take advantage of your tenant’s preparation, and save time while you’re at it, by combining showings into one day. This minimizes the amount of incentives you need to offer, notices you need to provide, and inconveniences you afford your current tenants.
If you own an income property and need the help of a property management company in Harford County experienced in showing occupied rentals, contact Bay Management Group today. Our customer service oriented property managers understand the challenges that come with showing occupied rentals for all involved parties.
We draft airtight lease agreements informing tenants from the start that showings may be a possibility.
In addition, we have extensive knowledge about the legalities of entering your rental property for non-emergency reasons, as well as the ability to forge solid manager-tenant relationships from the beginning of the lease term.
Because of this, we guarantee that showing your occupied rental property will go as smoothly as possible, with just a little preparation and full respect for everyone involved.