Atlanta Property Management Advice - Why is My Property STILL Vacant?
The goal is to rent a property as quickly as possible to qualified tenants. However, there are circumstances that can cause you to ask “Why is my property still vacant?” when it appears that it should not be that difficult to rent the property.
Of course, it is obvious to look at the rental market and review competition. Perhaps there is simply a glut of comparable properties available and tenants can be choosy. Sometimes, it appears that the market is tighter and the property should rent more quickly but is still available despite the advertising and many showings. In either case, you have to look at the same reasons why a property will not rent.
Most often the answer to the question: "Why is My Property STILL Vacant?" is found in the asking price. Not setting a competitive asking price is the most common reason why a property won't rent out quickly. So, is the rent a competitive? How would you know if your rent is competitive? For example, if larger four bedroom homes in the area are $1100 and your property is a three bedroom for $1150 with less square footage, it may be that the property is simply overpriced. Make sure you take into account property upgrades such as hardwood floors, granite counter tops, updated kitchen cabinets and modernized bathrooms. I also use MLS market comparable reports as well as independent website such as Rentometer (can be found at rentometer.com) which offers a lieu of comparables in the area. The more competition in the area, the more important it is to adjust the rent and features to entice a tenant. Even when there is not a lot of competition, a longer vacancy will generally cost more loss of income than adjusting the rent to entice a tenant.
Any Atlanta property manager will ask you what condition is the property in and does it look attractive to prospective tenants? It may be a great house inside, but if a tenant pulls up and sees trash, peeling paint, and a deteriorating roof, getting them inside to look at it could be difficult. They may be concerned about future maintenance issues.
Perhaps the outside looks good, but the inside has worn, dirty carpet and dingy walls. Good tenants are not likely to put in an application, particularly if there are other available rentals. If either outside or inside conditions present problems, it is time to address them. The longer a property takes to rent, the more money is lost.
Time of the Year
Of course, every year has events that slow down the market – back to school days, Thanksgiving, the December Holiday Season (which in Atlanta starts around end of October) – all these can “slow” the market down and make it a little trickier. However, properties do rent during these periods, it is just that the numbers are lower and so may make it a little longer vacancy.
One of the more difficult obstacles to overcome when renting can be a neighborhood or area problem. Is the property located where there are recurring burglaries, a listed pedophile, suspected drug activity, or even a murder? Any of these conditions can happen in any neighborhood and it may only be a temporary problem. However, it is a serious drawback when it exists while trying to fill a vacancy. It may be that you will need to adjust the rent, offer special incentives, and have extra patience before the property will rent to an acceptable tenant.
Death in the Property
This is probably the worst scenario when you are trying to rent a property and one hopes this will never happen in your property. It could be that there has been a suicide, murder, or other circumstance with the previous tenant in the property. The law requires you to disclose violent circumstances to any prospective applicants. Even if you avoided this, applicants or tenants would find out from other neighbors. Many people will avoid the property. When this occurs, the only course of action is to put the property in the best possible condition with a reasonable rent and work through the concerns of the applicants until rented.
It may be that the market is great, the rent is right, the property looks wonderful – so “why is my property STILL for rent?” It could be that there have been applications but they would not make suitable tenants. It is still more important to have a tenant who will actually pay the rent and take care of the property than to rent it quickly. It is simply more cost effective to have a good tenant than a future eviction despite a longer vacancy.
Whatever the reason for a delay in renting, it is the goal of every landlord/Atlanta property manager to rent out the place as soon as possible. After looking at all the possible setbacks, decide which one may be applicable to your situation and make some changes.