The turnover aspect of managing a rental property can be one of the most challenging. It requires balancing the needs of your current tenant, the tasks of preparing the property for the next tenant, marketing the listing and getting the new tenant started. Managing this process effectively means reducing the time and expense of turnover while maintaining a positive relationship with your tenants. Starting now, 6 months before the turnover is likely to happen, gives you the time to do things right!
Where do I start?
- Establish your current tenant’s timeline so that you can get your listing posted on AHRN.com as early as possible to reach the broadest pool of potential applicants.
- Share resources like the PCS Toolkit to help your current tenant have a smooth transition out of your property (an organized tenant will make YOUR life easier).
- Offer a property clearing checklist to remind your tenant of lease terms for clearing the house and the handling of the deposit. The more specific your checklist, the better prepared they can be for your walk through.
What about orders?
In communities around military installations, many landlords include a “military clause” of some kind in their leases to address common situations that arise for military tenants. On base housing availability, an outline of how to submit notice in the case of orders/deployment or other options common to residents at your location could be covered. Whether or not your lease includes a military clause, your tenants are still entitled to the protections of the SCRA.
The SCRA includes provisions about when the service member needs to provide a copy of their orders to released from their lease without penalty. Keep in mind that the service member may be able to give you more than the minimum required notice if you keep the lines of communication open. Orders can be cut late, amended or canceled so are often one of the later details finalized in a military move.
Plan for more
Take whatever time you expect turnover to take, and add a little extra cushion. No matter how wonderful your tenant has been or open the communication, there is always the potential for surprises. There may be necessary repairs or unexpected delays. Giving yourself more cushion takes some of the pressure off.
One of the most effective preparation strategies is to work with the current tenant to address any significant repairs before the home is vacant. Things like lawn work, sprinkler system checks and appliance issues can be addressed during the winter and spring so the home is ready to be listed at the first available opportunity. This open line of communication will also facilitate showing the home before it is vacant and a smoother move out process!
What is your timeline for preparing rental properties for turnover?