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In an uncertain economic age where the value of Bitcoin seems to plummet on a daily basis, stocks seem in a perpetual state of disarray and Forex is a baffling minefield, property is still one of the smartest and safest ways to invest your money… So long as you’re smart about it.
But whatever tenants may thing, the path of a private landlord is not necessarily paved with gold. For every cynical profiteer making a fortune from letting out sub standards properties there are half a dozen hard working and diligent landlords who are struggling to full vacant homes despite their best efforts.
If you rent a property, you likely know the stress and anxiety that come with a vacant rental property. Every day that place goes unoccupied is income that you’re losing.
Week on week, month on month that anxiety can build to a breaking point. If the property has been vacant for several months this is a sign that something is desperately wrong. It’s time to ask yourself some searching questions as to why.
Have you under invested in the property?
A landlord is in many ways like any other entrepreneur. They need to manage their outgoings carefully and justify every penny of expenditure. But while it’s commendable to keep down your overheads, under investment is a serious no-no in the world of real estate.
Whether it’s in cosmetic issues like ensuring that the bathroom and kitchen (always selling points for rental properties) appear tidy, clean, modern and safe or something more serious like ensuring that there is no damp or mold growth in the building. If you find yourself showing multiple prospective tenants around the property but generate little real interest, this may be a sign of under investment.
Is the rental price reasonable?
One of the finest lines landlords walk is determining a rental figure that’s appropriate and reasonable for the property and the location. Some landlords make the mistake of pricing normatively based on other properties on the market in the areas but there may be some selling points that these properties have that theirs do not.
Thus, they could unknowingly have an unrealistic rental figure in mind. Make sure you consult with a realtor to ensure that your proposed rental figure is realistic. It may even be worth dropping the rent for a fixed period to make it more attractive.
Do you have a good reputation?
What was your relationship like with your previous tenant? Did you part on good terms? Were they complimentary about the property? Did they say that they had a happy time there? Were there any disputes or arguments during the tenancy?
If you’re unsure about the answer to any of these questions, it’s possible that your previous tenant could have posted something negative about you online on a site like rate my landlord that has compromised your reputation. In the digital age, most savvy prospective tenants Google their would-be landlords and if they see something that gives them pause they’ll be unlikely to give you the benefit of the doubt.
Fortunately the demand for rental properties is higher than ever. If you can address the issues that may be holding you back, you stand an excellent chance of filling your rental property quickly.