A vacant rental property poses both physical and financial risks. A good leasing and tenant retention program will reduce the length and the cost of your vacancy and turnover period. Avoiding vacancy and these four risks that come with it need to be a priority when you’re renting out a Jacksonville home.
1. You’re Losing Money Without Rental Income
The most obvious risk to a vacant rental property is that you don’t have any money coming in. There’s no one renting your home which means there is no one paying rent. This is money that you’ll never recover as an owner. Vacancy loss hurts your short-term cash flow and your long term returns. It’s something you’ll need to budget for before you decide to purchase an investment property or rent out your home. Minimizing the days or weeks or months that you don’t have rental income is an important part of successful real estate investing.
2. You’re Losing Money with Expenses
Not only is money not coming in, you’ll find that with a vacant rental property, you’re also paying out-of-pocket for things like utilities, rental property maintenance, landscaping, pest control, cleaning, and other services. You have to keep the lights on and the water running when the property is unoccupied so you can show it and perform necessary repairs or updates. You’ll also have to keep the lawn mowed and the trees trimmed. If your rental home has a pool, you’ll need to continue cleaning it. All of these expenses are typically absorbed into the rental payments you collect, but your vacant property means that you must pay for these things on your own.
3. Vacant Homes May Attract Vandals and Crime
You never want your property to be the target of criminal opportunists. Unfortunately, vacant properties can attract vandals, thieves who target air conditioning units and appliances, trespassers, and rental scams. People could break into your property without anyone there to notice it.
Make sure you’re securing your rental home when it’s vacant. Increase your security features and change the locks after tenants move out because there’s no way of knowing who has a key.
4. Deferred Maintenance is Likely
Another risk that a lot of Jacksonville landlords don’t think about is the risk of property damage from unknown maintenance needs. There’s not a tenant in place who can tell you that a sink is leaking or a window is broken. You won’t know if the air conditioning is failing or if a storm has blown a tree onto the roof.
This can lead to expensive repairs you can absolutely avoid. A longer vacancy will often require more maintenance. Make sure someone can get inside the property every few days to check on things when there’s no one renting it.
We know that vacancy is stressful and costly for Jacksonville rental property owners. Working with a professional Jacksonville property management company is an excellent way to protect your investment against these long vacancy periods and the risks that come with them.
We are happy to help. If you’d like to talk about how we can manage your property for better results, contact us at Red Rooster Property Management.