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What If I Need To Show A House With Tenants To New Prospects?
Tenant turnover can be a good or bad thing. Some landlords salivate at the prospect of existing leaving. Some loathe the idea of having their best tenants leaving for greener pastures.
It could be because inherited tenants don’t like you at all, existing tenants feel that you are asking for more rental than the property is worth, or simply because the tenant has to relocate.
Whatever the case, you instinctively feel a need to achieve a new short term goal. And that is to minimize the vacancy period to as small as possible. Even better if there is no vacant days at all.
To achieve that, you need to start showing the place before the existing tenants vacate it unless you somehow conjured up a tenant who is willing to rent without ever stepping in for a look.
This can be a tricky predicament to fall into.
On the one hand, you feel that you have the right to do what it takes to minimize opportunity costs as much as possible. On the other hand, there is a lease agreement in place that might explicitly prevent you from conducting an open house that still has existing tenants.
Sometimes, tenants can get upset, and even angry, at your behavior.
Here are some suggestions on what you can do.
The number 1 reason for confrontations to occur is not miscommunication, but with a lack of communication. Oddly enough this applies to both personal relationships and business as well.
If you just open up with situation with existing tenants, more often than not, they would agree to allow new prospects to have a look at the inside of the house as long as it does not inconvenience them too much.
This is assuming that they are tenants who have no intention to make your life hell.
Remember that accommodation works both ways. Just because someone shows signs of relenting does not mean that it’s a sure sign to go for the jugular.
Be fair. After all, you are a model landlord… or at least looking to be one.
2) Give notification
You’d be correct to think that you have a legitimate right to show occupied property to new prospects… baring some odd legislation in your state.
However, tenants still have a right to privacy and a reasonable notice period. This is where you could run into trouble.
So remember to give ample notice for what is going to happen. This also allows you time to iron out conflicting issues before the dates of showing the property itself.
You are just acting like a jerk if you only inform a tenant that a showing is happening the next day. And you deserve whatever bad karma the tenant wishes on you.
3) Don’t go overboard with showings
You might want to try doing showings during hours when the existing tenants are not home. However, this only puts you in danger of having them claiming a loss of personal property.
So think carefully if this is indeed on your mind.
And avoid making showings a daily affair. A couple of hours once or twice a week should be sufficient to meet your needs and avoid inconveniencing the tenants too much.
A less aggressive showings schedule could also make tenants more receptive to impromptu showings.
You know… sometimes spontaneous people can just call and show up in 30 minutes.
4) Make a deal
Real estating is all about deal making. So maybe it’s time to put on that hat to engage if you run into tenants who just refuse to cooperate.
Vouchers, coupons, and gift cards are commonly used to reward tenants for compliance. And if you really have to, consider, giving a discount on the final rental to appease them.
Do note that sometimes, tenants don’t actually think that they can get anything out of you in return. They are just testing the water to see what they can get.
5) Do not put up a “For Rent” sign in the yard
This will cause unnecessary attention on the property and will no doubt be a disturbance to your tenants.
You will just be digging a hole for yourself.
Experiencing vacant periods in between tenants is not such a bad thing after all. It provides you time to spruce up the place, and even upgrade it with better stuff. There could very well be issues with the house that you have left unattended to for years. This will be a good time to settle them once and for all.