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The Landlord’s Guide to Dealing with and Preventing Costly No-Shows

Property Manager Looking at Watch Waiting for Tenants to Show

If you have a lot of experience renting out properties, you’ve likely dealt with many no-shows.

You know how it goes – you take valuable time out of your day, drive out to your property, and prepare mentally to walk a tenant through what could be their future home. But then, no one ever shows up, and you’ve suddenly wasted a huge chunk of time on someone who was never ready to commit to renting your property in the first place.

Obviously, this is a frustrating situation that can end up costing you both time and money… But what if you could prevent no-shows or at least keep them to a minimum?

Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to stop no-shows from happening all of the time. Here’s what you should do to help make sure your prospective tenants show up (on time!) to view your Montgomery County property:


5 Ways to Prevent No-Shows for Your Rental Property

1. Require a courtesy call from prospective tenants

When you’re scheduling a time to meet your prospective tenants at your property, let them know that they must call you one hour ahead of time to confirm if they still want to view it.

Clearly tell them that you will not show up to the property if you have not received their courtesy confirmation call.

If driving to your property takes you longer than an hour, you may want to require them to call you even earlier. That way, you don’t waste your time and money driving to meet a tenant who isn’t really interested in renting from you.


2. Pre-screen over the phone

Even if a tenant seems interested in renting your property, they may not be a good fit.

Find out whether or not a tenant is qualified to rent your property by scheduling a pre-screening call with them.

Here’s what you should discuss on the call before you schedule their appointment to view the property:

  • Details about the application process and requirements
  • The rent amount and whether or not the tenant can realistically afford it based on their income
  • The amount required for the security deposit, application fee, and any other upfront charges
  • Whether or not the tenant will consent to a credit and background check
  • Past evictions, if applicable
  • Whether or not the tenant has pets/the amount required for the pet deposit/fee
  • The number of people who will be living in the property
  • The date the tenant wants to move in and lease length
  • Tenant references

Going over these topics with your prospective tenants helps you make sure they are stable, informed about what it will take to live in your property, and have the income required to pay rent on time every month.


3. Let tenants know you’ll have to leave the property if they’re late

You shouldn’t have to wait around for a tenant, especially if they’ve given you no indication that they’re going to show up at all.

To encourage punctuality, tell everyone viewing your home that you will leave the property if they are more than ten minutes late.

Maryland Property Manager Waiting at Rental for Tenants


You may make exceptions for emergencies or if a tenant calls ahead to let you know that they’re running behind since being late is sometimes unavoidable, but stick to your rules in other situations.

After all, a tenant who is chronically late might end up being late paying their rent too, and that’s definitely not something you want to deal with!


4. Book several back-to-back appointments

Instead of spreading out your appointments over several days, choose one day to show your property to everyone who is interested in renting it. Let them know which time slots are available, and require them to commit to one. Don’t forget to have them call you ahead of time to confirm their appointment!


5. Try an open house

Not only will an open house help you knock out multiple showings at the same time – it will create a sense of urgency for the prospective tenants. They’ll realize that they have a lot of competition looking at the property, which will likely cause them to make a faster decision about renting from you.

To hold an open house, simply let all of your prospective tenants know what time and date (Saturday is usually a good choice) they should show up to look at the property. Whatever time you choose, stick to it and let everyone know that the property won’t be available to look at after your specified end time.

Try Offering an Open House at Your Rental Property


What if you take all of these steps and your tenants still don’t show up?

Sometimes, no-shows are unavoidable. After all, medical emergencies, traffic jams, and car problems can affect anyone at the most inconvenient times.

So, if you’ve followed the steps here and your prospective tenant still does not show up to view your property, consider checking up on them by making a quick phone call to see what happened.

If they do not have a reasonable excuse for failing to show up, it’s likely best for you to look for someone else to rent to. After all, a tenant’s lateness may be indicative of irresponsibility, and an irresponsible tenant is more likely to pay rent late and/or damage your property.

So, keep in mind that waiting a bit longer to rent to the right tenant is better than quickly renting to the wrong one.


Need help with tenant screening in Montgomery County?

Consider professional property management.

We understand how costly and irritating no-shows can be. That’s why we use a highly effective screening process to help you save time by weeding out tenants who aren’t the right fit for your property.

In fact, less than 1% of the tenants we place get evicted, and if they do get evicted within the first year, we re-lease the property for you for free!

That means less stress for you – you’ll be able to sleep well at night knowing that only high-quality tenants are living in your property.

If your property is located in Bethesda, Silver Spring, or a nearby area and you’re interested in learning more about finding top-quality tenants, contact our team today!