Ways to Simplify the Tenant Turnover Process

By Ashley Paskill on August 10, 2021

As a landlord, you are constantly looking for ways to make the rental turnover process easier for you, your team, and your new tenants. Ideally, tenant turnover will be minimal as tenants come to love the apartment. However, tenant turnover is inevitable, especially if your market includes a large population of college students. When you are in between tenants in a rental property, there are steps you can take to fill the vacancy quickly and make the property more appealing for new tenants. This ensures a steady income for you and a comfortable and safe living space for your tenants.

Make upgrades

Upgrading your rental unit between tenants is a great time to do so, especially if the former tenants were in the apartment for a while. Even if they weren’t you may decide to do upgrades if the former tenants had regular issues with appliances, stains, or other forms of maintenance. Consider getting rid of carpeting to help you and your future tenants keep the space clean. Upgrade kitchen appliances to ensure that they are in working order and will not break during the new tenant’s lease. Also, to add convenience for your tenants, consider getting in-unit washers and dryers and high-speed internet. Making a few cost-effective upgrades can help you in the long run by ensuring that your tenants are happy and healthy in their new living space.

Use a rental app

In the age of smartphones and technology, more and more tenants are using their phones for everything. As a landlord, you can use this to your advantage by using a rental app during turnover and beyond. Rental apps allow tenants to sign the lease and other documents as well as have these all in one place so they can access them down the line. This also allows for better communication between you and potential tenants, and you can advertise your property easily on the app. If you have used a rental app in the past, consider going through maintenance requests to see where the biggest issues were and make upgrades accordingly.

Items left behind

Sometimes, former tenants will leave things behind, either intentionally or unintentionally. As a landlord wanting to show the property by helping the potential tenants see what they can do, having former tenants’ stuff be left behind can seem less than ideal. Pay attention to what is left behind. Things like hygiene items can be safely thrown out, but something more valuable like electronics or furniture should be held on, at least temporarily. Make an attempt to contact the former client to ask for guidance as to whether you should throw the item out or arrange a time for them to get it. If you have given them a reasonable timeframe to obtain their items and have followed local guidance for items that are left behind, determine how you want to get rid of the item. You may consider throwing them away, selling them, or donating the items. Consider the condition the item is in to make the decision.  Getting these items taken care of quickly will help ensure that you can get new tenants in without having to worry about the items.

Image: Nathan Fertig via https://unsplash.com/photos/FBXuXp57eM0

Prepare your team

For those who have properties that are geared towards college students, there are times when things will be busier than others. Consider hiring a property manager to help you with tasks such as screening potential tenants, filling vacancies, communicating with tenants, and scheduling showings. They also help with property repairs and ensuring your property is compliant with laws. These things will help you be sure that your property is up to standard for when you have new tenants wanting to move it and are looking to be sure that things are up to par with what they need and want in a property as well as what will keep them safe and happy.

Avoid tenant turnover if possible

Ultimately, the easiest way to deal with tenant turnover is to minimize turnover in as many ways as possible. Obviously, factors like the overall neighborhood, career prospects, and changes in the tenant’s relationship status are out of your control. However, factors such as handling maintenance requests and dealing with having to raise the rent are things you can control. You should make the property feel like home and not just a temporary housing situation, even if that is what the person is looking for at the moment. Being able to take care of maintenance requests quickly and stay in communication with tenants will help them feel valued and like their concerns matter. Avoiding tenant turnover allows you to not have to worry about advertising, deep cleaning costs, and other costs and tasks that come with being in between tenants.

While you may be doing all you can to minimize turnover, in many instances, turnover is inevitable. Making the turnover process easier will help ensure that you are able to fill properties quickly and that you will be able to continue on with being a successful landlord.

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