Vacant Rental Property Risks and How to Reduce Them

There are risks involved with having a vacant rental property. This is also true for properties for sale or otherwise vacant. Sometimes, people do bad things to a vacant property and other times bad things can just happen because the property is vacant and unattended. We talk about those subjects in separate blogs. Here we will talk about what you can do to reduce the risk of having a vacant property.

11 Ways to Reduce Risks of a Vacant Rental Property

All rental properties are vacant from time to time. It’s healthy a possible turnover from time to time. Just be aware of the risks and do your part to reduce them. There is not one silver bullet to eliminate all the risks but if you use a combination of the below listed methods you will see the risks greatly reduced. 

Empty room with hardwood floors and white closet doors

Here are 11 ways to reduce the risk:

  1. Secure your property – Make sure your property is secure. Check that all doors, windows, and gates are securely locked. Use quality-locking devices and make sure they are properly installed. You need to keep checking as doors or windows may be intentionally or accidentally left unlocked for “bad actors” to gain access.
  2. Periodically visit your property – There is no substitute for actually going to a property in person. Pick up mail and flyers off the porch, inspect for leaks, and security breaches, and make sure there is nobody on the property who is not supposed to be there.
  3. Check your utility bills – One of the best ways to see if there is a leak or if someone is using your property without your permission is to monitor your utility bills. If there is a big change then most likely, something is going on.
  4. Install motion-detecting lighting – Motion-detecting lighting is a great way to deter people from walking around your vacant property. It is also a useful safety feature for once your property is no longer vacant.
  5. Electronic monitoring – Alarms and video monitoring devices are a great way to make sure intruders are not at your vacant property. Today’s technology makes this more accessible and practical than ever. Just continue monitoring once your vacancy is filled.
  6. Display contact number – Having your contact number on the property helps deter scammers. It is also helpful if people need to reach you for any other reason.
  7. Know your neighbors – It may sound old-fashioned but effective. If you have a relationship with your neighbors then they can let you know if they see something happening at your property.
  8. Weatherproof your property
  9. Reduce turnover – Try to prevent vacancies from happening in the first place. Be prompt regarding maintenance requests and open to repair requests. Don’t get too aggressive with rent increases. Less turnover is good for the bottom line.
  10. Reduce vacancy time – When a property does go vacant, get it cleaned up for sale or re-rent quickly, aggressively advertise your rental property, and get your vacancy filled. This does not mean taking on a risky tenant. Often the answer is to ask for a little less rent to get you more people from which to choose.
  11. Hire a professional property manager – A property management professional will help reduce the risk that comes along with having a vacant property. They will advise and assist you in reducing tenant turnover, reducing your vacancy time, and helping monitor your property.

A property manager looking at a document on a clipboard with two people

Bottom Line

A vacant property is susceptible to the risk that an occupied property is not. There are people at risk like squatters, scammers, delinquents, and vandalism. There are also property risks like leaks, deterioration, pests, and weather damage.

Smart landlords do their best to reduce these risks by reducing tenant turnover, reducing vacancy time, and monitoring your property. More and more rental property owners are hiring property management companies to help with these tasks.

If you are looking for a reliable property management company in Long Beach, Los Angeles, or Orange County, California or you are just considering it and have a few questions contact the Mike Dunfee Group today! We are a full-service real estate company that can help you with all of your real estate needs.

Dunfee Real Estate Services, Inc.
DRE # 02026232

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