Different circumstances can lead to a vacancy. The tenant gives notice; it is necessary to give the tenant notice; there is a legal eviction; different emergency/disasters can happen such as fire, flood, or tornado; there can be the unexpected or unwanted trauma - crime, untimely death, suicide, etc. The reason for a vacancy can impact how long it takes to rent a property.
Every investor and/or property manager wants a zero vacancy period. There are times when everything works perfectly with a qualified tenant ready to move in as the previous tenant moves out. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. To give you some perspective on this subject we put together a checklist of items and projected time it can take to re-rent a property. It may be useful to you in the future when your property is vacant.
No vacancy period, the ideal situation - 0 days
- The property is vacated in good condition with zero or minimal repairs
- The demand is very high for the rental area in question
- The asking rent is right for the area, market, and property condition
- Any necessary maintenance does not delay a new tenant move in
- Nothing impedes the showing of the property during the notice period
- There can be one or many applications for the rental unit but at least one is a qualified applicant ready to move in when the former tenant moves out
Low vacancy period - rents within 10 days
- The property is left in reasonable condition but some maintenance may be needed before moving in the new tenant
- The demand is reasonable for the rental area in question
- The asking rent is comparable to the rental area rents in question
- Something may impede showing of the property during the notice period
- There can be one or many applications for the rental unit but one is a qualified applicant, accepted shortly after the former tenant moves out
Medium vacancy period - up to 21 days
- The property may require repairs prior to a new tenant taking occupancy
- The property may have deferred maintenance that requires a vacated unit
- The supply of available rental properties is very high for the area
- The asking rent may be too high for the competitive market
- The property may not show well during the notice period or the current tenant may not cooperate
- There can be one or many applications for the rental unit but many are not qualified for the property and it takes more time for a qualified applicant
High vacancy period - more than 21 days
- The unit may require extensive maintenance or major improvements prior to a new tenant taking occupancy
- Delays in maintenance can extend the vacancy period
- There are too many similar properties available in the area
- The asking rent may be too high for the area, market, and property
- A poor property condition can discourage good applicants
- There may be area problems such as drugs, burglaries, bad schools, etc.
- There can be one or many applications for the rental unit but it takes a long time to receive one with a qualified applicant
Extreme vacancy period - an undetermined time
- There may be an unusual supply of rentals competing with the unit
- The asking rent is unreasonably high for the current rental market
- The property is in distress due to crime, untimely death, suicide, or other circumstance which discourages any application
How long will your property be vacant? If you have a pending vacancy, we would love to guarantee you a zero vacancy or that we can tell you it won't take long to rent the property. Unfortunately, we do not have a crystal ball available that will give us an answer.
We are well aware a vacancy affects your bottom line. We also know you can reduce or even eliminate a vacancy period by following landlord/tenant laws (particularly Fair Housing), by asking comparable rents, and by providing well-maintained properties. Remember, having a zero vacancy is not always the answer – instead, waiting for the right tenancy can prevent future problems and/or another unwanted vacancy.