You have a great rental property. You made sure to do all the best updates and the property is in a great location. You’re worried, though, about keeping the property rented so you can pay the mortgage and taxes on it. So what are some things you can do to reduce the chance that you have a vacant property.
Carefully screen tenants
First, be careful about the tenants to whom you rent. Screen potential tenants. Do full background and credit checks. These will give you a good indication about their reliability. Interview them carefully. Be sure to ask for past rental references. Be careful, however, not to ask questions that could be construed as discriminatory. Check their references, and match them to the background reports. Find out what kind of tenant they were: did they pay rent timely; did they cause problems; why did they leave.
Well maintained property
Next, be sure to keep the property well maintained and charge a fair rent. Take care of the landscaping. Provide snow removal for driveways and sidewalks. Make sure that preventative maintenance is done on schedule so systems like the HVAC, plumbing and electrical are in tip top shape. Do your homework about fair rents in your area and keep to that range. A Realtor or property management company can help you with that.
Be responsive to tenant needs
Lastly, once you have a good, reliable tenant, be responsive. If they call about a problem or issue respond immediately. Get someone there to fix the problem. If you’re out of the area, hire a property manager or management company to take care of this. A good company will respond 24/7 365 days a year.
Remember that a happy tenant will stay and become a long term tenant. Take care of your tenants and they will help take care of your property. After all, isn’t that what you got into investment real estate for in the first place?