There’s at least one very obvious reason you really, really don’t want your investment property to be vacant: your bottom line. If your property isn’t bringing in any income, but is still costing you (mortgage and tax payments at the very least, although HOA and marketing fees are most likely factors as well), it’s not really doing its job of being a profitable investment for you.
Of course, there are some other, less obvious reasons why owning a vacant property is something you should avoid at all costs. Here are a few of them:
Future prospective renters will be hesitant to sign a lease
If the property has been vacant for any period of time, the first thing a prospective tenant will wonder is, “Why?” Even if you try to reassure them that nothing is wrong with the property or its location, it might be difficult for them to overcome that question of why the property has been empty. It’s just one more hurdle for you to jump as you try to convince them to sign a lease on your property.
Maintenance becomes much harder
When a home is being rented, the occupants (usually) keep it fairly well-maintained, at least in terms of surface-level cleanliness. They’ll also be able to inform you of any major maintenance needs, allowing you to stay on top of any problems that arise at the property. If the house is empty, on the other hand, it will get dirty fairly quickly, which could lead to bigger problems (such as pests). You’ll also have to do more deep cleanings before showings. Similarly, it will be harder for you to keep track of major maintenance problems, such as those that might arise with plumbing, electric, or appliances.
Ill will from the neighbors
No one likes their property value to decrease, and a vacant home can do just that to a neighborhood. Leaving your property vacant for too long could earn you some ill will from the neighbors, whether it’s directed at you or (even worse) any future tenants.
Potential for vandalism
An unoccupied property is a common target for vandals and thieves. Think there’s nothing to steal? Think again. Appliances, thermostats, and even light fixtures could all be taken by a burglar.
The utility conundrum
While you may be hesitant to keep the utilities on in a vacant home (thus increasing your expenses), turning them off brings its own set of challenges. If your property is located in a place with extreme temperatures, not regulating the temperature of the home through either heating or cooling can create problems in wood and drywall, which could lead to costly repairs. Also, most home inspections cannot be fully performed if utilities are not turned on, which could lead to delays in getting your property filled. And of course, you’ll have to pay reconnection fees to have everything turned back on.
For all these reasons and more, you want to do everything you can to keep your rental property occupied at all times. If you are having a hard time doing this on your own, consider using a trusted property management company like Real Property Management. We can help you find great renters for your property, but we can also handle payments, manage maintenance and repairs, and enforce lease terms and restrictions. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself as an investment property owner! Avoid vacancy at all costs: give us a call at 480-719-1243 today!