There is always one problem every landlord should expect to crop up — a vacant unit. There are many reasons you might experience a vacancy in your rental property; whether your tenant leaves due to personal reasons or simply does not want to renew their lease, a rental vacancy can be stressful. As a landlord, you must find a replacement tenant as quickly as soon possible to avoid associated risks. In this article, we’re taking a look at five risks of having a vacant rental property and what you can do to prevent them.
No Rental Income
As the saying goes, “time is money,” and never has this been truer for landlords whose rental properties are vacant. The biggest goal of most landlords is to earn passive rental income each month. However, if your rental property is empty, this isn’t possible. In fact, the longer your property sits unoccupied, the more money you lose through costs such as mortgage repayments, property taxes, and maintenance costs.
The best way to make sure your property is generating a passive income stream is by finding the right tenant. This can seem like a daunting task; however, an experienced and knowledgeable property management company can help you source reliable tenants in a timely manner.
Vacant properties are at risk of squatting. Squatting occurs when someone occupies an abandoned, foreclosed, or otherwise unoccupied property. Squatters are problematic because they live rent-free and without any obligations to care for your property.
When it comes to dealing with squatters, time is of the essence. It can prove challenging to remove a squatter once they take hold of your property. In fact, in some instances, you may even have to go through the courts to remove squatters and regain control of your property. To discourage squatters from your vacant rental property, you should consider installing a security system that alerts you if someone enters the property. You should also ensure that your property looks presentable and appears occupied to deter squatters.
Theft and Damage
All vacant properties are at risk of theft and damage — especially if it is furnished. Common items thieves target include furnishings, appliances, and air conditioning units. In addition, your vacant rental property could be at risk of vandalism and damage. Unfortunately, this can be extremely costly to rectify, not to mention inconvenient.
Installing an alarm system on your property or security cameras is a great way to ward off would-be thieves and vandals. In addition, you could also ask local neighbors to help keep a watchful eye on your property while it is vacant.
When a property is vacant and its appliances aren’t properly maintained, it can accumulate dirt and lead to a breakdown. If the appliance contains any combustible elements, this could even lead to a fire risk. It’s crucial that someone is responsible for checking in on your property periodically — even when vacant. This can help keep on top of needed maintenance and avoid any unexpected issues.
Even a small amount of water damage can quickly become costly if left unchecked. Besides the obvious problems water issues pose, there is also a risk of mold growth. Mold is a severe health hazard and its presence can render your Brevard County rental property uninhabitable.
Prevent water damage in your rental property by installing an overflow switch on your HVAC unit, routinely inspecting your roof, windows, and other entry points, and keeping your gutters free from debris.
How To Minimize Risk to Your Vacant Rental Property
There is no doubt that rental property vacancies are bad for landlords. From the risk of damage to squatters and operating at negative cash flow, no landlord wants to incur the risks of having a vacant rental property. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to mitigate your risks and protect your investment.
The best way to avoid lengthy property vacancies is to hire an experienced property management company. Here at Rent In Brevard Property Management, our licensed property managers are highly skilled in marketing rental property, screening tenant applicants, handling maintenance requests, and ensuring rental vacancies stay to a minimum. Contact us today to discuss your property management needs.