How to avoid an empty rental this festive season
Christmas is just around the corner, the nightmare of 2020 is finally starting to wind down, and bam… your tenant hands in their notice to vacate.
In an instant you’ve gone from decking halls to cleaning walls – and shopping for the right person to move into your rental property.
And if it wasn’t hard enough budgeting for the summer holidays on pockets crippled by Covid and Christmas gifts, you now have the looming date of your rental income ending… right when most businesses are starting to prepare for their end-of-year shutdown.
But what if there were a way to keep your tenant for longer – and to prevent a gap in your rental income altogether?
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to do just that. We turned to our property management team who’ve seen landlords through many a season of tenants on the move – and who’ve shared their best tips below on how to protect your investment property during this time.
Ryan Matar – Property Manager
Tip: Check your tenancy agreement and be quick to act.
“Advertise as soon as you receive the notice rather than waiting for the tenant to leave. Also, ensuring that your lease doesn’t expire at the worst possible time could save you a great deal of stress over Christmas. Activity usually ramps up at the start of the year when people return from holidays and start hitting the market, and typically by February a large number of these have found a rental, so speak to your property manager if you want to use the market to your advantage.
“It’s also important to consider reducing the rent as quickly as possible if you want to get in someone fast. A slight rent reduction will cost you much less than your property sitting vacant for weeks or even months.”
Kylie Sienkiewicz – Business Development Manager
Tip: Have realistic expectations.
“Price your rental property based on the market, not what you think it’s worth. Monitor your competition and get regular updates from an experienced agent who can help you jump on the best opportunities available.
“Our property managers and business development team are still filling rental properties at a record rate, so regardless of the time of year, there’s not much we can’t do!”
Taylor O’Sullivan – Property Manager
Tip: If you need to list your property, be competitive.
“If your tenant has to move and you have no choice but to list your property at Christmas, it’s more important than ever to price it correctly if you don’t want to turn away good tenants. It’s the same story with presentation, making sure your property is clean and inviting is a must.
“For a very low fee, professional photos can go a long way during Christmas to elevate your property in the marketplace. Not many rental listings go for this option, so if you’re looking for a low-cost way to make your property stand out against competition, professional photos almost always get more enquiries.”
Whether you’re trying to keep your tenant over Christmas or are just about to list your property for lease, it’s most important to be tactical at this time through incentives – and spending a little could see you saving big in the end.
While it can seem inconvenient to have a tenant move at the end of the year, starting a new tenancy often is the prompt needed to assess your investment property and goals. This might be addressing any factors that are working against your rental income, such as repairs and maintenance that need to be undertaken, or how it’s being looked after overall – a new year’s resolution that can be ticked off easily by enlisting the right kind of property manager to support you.
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