A vacant Chicago rental property is expensive. Not only are you not bringing in any rental income, you’re also paying out of pocket for utilities, maintenance, landscaping, and other property-related expenses. Every smart investor wants to keep vacancy to a minimum.
We have some ideas for how to reduce your vacancy costs.
Check your Chicago Rental Property’s Price
Chicago rental homes have risen in value over the last year. You’re probably asking more than you have in the past, and that’s good. While you want to earn as much as possible in monthly rent, remember that overpricing a home will only create additional expenses for you. When you lose money on vacancies, you’ll never be able to earn that lost income back. So, it’s not worth it to price your home $100 higher than similar homes on the market, because you’re not going to find a good tenant who is willing to pay more than necessary.
Avoid long vacancies by pricing your property competitively.
Provide a Well-Maintained Chicago Rental Home
The condition of your rental property has a lot to do with the length of your vacancy. Well-maintained homes will also rent faster, so make sure you have taken care of any repairs, even if they’re minor. Before you start showing the property, check the appliances and functions of the home. Look for locks on windows and doors, run the faucets, and test every tub and toilet. Check the electrical outlets. Make sure the lighting is bright and the paint is in good condition.
Consider Updates and Upgrades
If your rental property is aging and run down, consider making some upgrades and updates in order to generate interest among prospective tenants. Putting in new floors, repainting the property, and installing energy-efficient appliances can help. Make sure the fixtures on your sinks and cabinets are modern and not chipped and rusty. Curb appeal counts too. First impressions are important in avoiding vacancies.
Allow Pets in Your Rental Home
Many rental property owners fail to realize how important pets can be in reducing your vacancy time. More than 70 percent of renters own at least one pet. So, if you implement a strict no-pet policy, you’re going to spend extra time looking for a resident. You can allow pets into your home while protecting your property. Screen the pets, charge a pet fee or a pet rent, and make sure you have a strong pet policy written into your lease agreement.
Consider Chicago Section 8 Rental Homes
Section 8 is a housing voucher program that many rental property owners shy away from. If you refuse to allow Section 8 tenants, it’s to your detriment. It’s also going to contribute to a longer vacancy period. Open up your home to people with housing vouchers. You’ll find a tenant faster, and your rental income will be stable and consistent.
Focus on Tenant Retention
The best way to avoid vacancy is by holding onto the tenants you currently have in place. Tenants will renew their lease agreements when they feel their landlord is responsive to maintenance and repair needs. If you’re communicating well and providing a great rental experience, you won’t have to worry about losing a tenant and you’ll keep your vacancies and turnovers low.
Working with a professional Chicago property management company can also help you avoid long vacancies. Contact us at Medallion Property Management for more information.