By: Pat Durant

Landlord Mistake #1

Tags: Landlord Mistake #1

One landlord tells her story about suffering through some months of lost rent, and what saved her.

"We should have clued in that there was an issue when the first month of vacancy passed by and no tenant was found.

As the second month of vacancy began with no good tenant prospects we started to worry that we would lose three months of rent. We decided to check out the property and see what we could do to speed up the rental process. 

I didn’t need to get past the living room to know exactly why the property hadn’t rented.

It needed painting, cleaning and some updating. The unit was tired and didn’t look attractive at all. (There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this situation, but I will stick to just one for today!). 

We set to work getting the place fixed up. We weren’t even half way through our week-long cleaning, painting and updating efforts when we found new tenants, who moved in as soon as we were done!

Since then we’ve come to realize how crucial it is to ALWAYS show your property in top condition." 

Unless you’re in a really hot rental market or the property shows well with existing tenants in place, it’s rarely a good idea to show the property until it’s vacant, cleaned and show ready. 

It hurts to miss a month’s rent by waiting to show it vacant but you will ALWAYS attract better quality tenants by waiting until you can clean it up and show it in good condition. 

You’ll also find it rents out for the most possible rent and with a lot less effort. Plus, by showing a property in good condition you set the example from the start about how you care for your property (and expect your tenants to care for it too).  

Good tenants have choices. If you want to attract the good tenants (and trust me, you do!) then you have to make sure your property is ALWAYS is good condition before you show it.