Why is your rental property still vacant?
It can be very discouraging to have your rental property on the market for months without finding a suitable tenant. You may have many enquiries but the tenants are not suitable, or you may not be attracting any tenants at all. Below are a few reasons why your property may still be vacant, and suggestions on how to solve the issues.
- The rent is too high
As with sales, if the amount you are requesting for your property is correct according to the current market, it will rent quickly. Prospective tenants who may be searching for properties on the internet will be discouraged from even viewing your property if the price is too high. They may feel that there are cheaper, comparable properties on the market. Without viewing the property, the prospective tenants will never know the bargain they could be missing out on.
For every month your property sits empty, it is costing you money as you still need to pay utility bills, levies and mortgage repayments (if applicable). It would be in your best interests to consider lowering the price to a more attractive rate. Remember that talk is cheap – it is often better to accept a lower offer and have a house-proud tenant who pays the rent and looks after your property, than someone who claims they can pay the higher rent and who defaults after the first month or two.
- Security Deposit Is Too High
Tenants, particularly here is Zimbabwe may well be able to afford the rent but the initial payment of one month’s rent plus the security deposit, may be too much for some people to afford in one go. Agreeing to split the security deposit over 2 months, may help to secure a good tenant.
- Background checks and paperwork requirements are overwhelming
Whilst it is important to screen any prospective tenants, the screening process can be daunting. Having questions asked about their monthly income may seem intrusive and some tenants worry that after a landlord knows their income, there is a risk of the rent being increased unnecessarily when the lease is up for renewal.
Some tenants move out of properties purely because of a clash of personalities between them and their landlords. This doesn’t make them bad tenants. The previous landlords may not give them a good reference but listen to both sides of the story and try to stay objective.
Although it is ideal to get the details of someone who is prepared to stand as a guarantor for the prospective tenants, especially in the current circumstances in Zimbabwe, not many people are prepared to take on that financial risk. Do not write off a tenant purely because they do not have a guarantor.
- Personal taste, location or accessibility
Your property remaining empty may be nothing more than circumstantial and a matter of personal taste and requirements of the prospective tenants, and in these cases, there is not much you can do.
The rooms may be too small to accommodate their existing furniture, they may want a guest toilet, the location may not be attractive (too close to the main road, a school or an entertainment venue) or they may not want stairs due to mobility restrictions.
First impressions play a big part in the decision process for a tenant. A prospective tenant may be put off even wanting to view the property if the exterior of the property looks rundown or the tenant feels unsafe due to lack of lighting or secure perimeters. A few safety features and a lick of paint can make a huge difference and need not cost a lot.
Be willing to compromise and you will find your property will be rented out in no time!