Landlords know that one vacant month can create some cash flow headaches. Two months and it’s even worse. That said, it’s important to keep the vacancy rate as close to zero as possible at all happy tenants and happy landlordtimes. Here are some quick tips successful real estate investors use to keep their properties rented.

 

Make sure your rental rates are competitive for the area. You want your monthly rent to right near what other landlords charge, maybe slightly less. If market rent for similar properties in your area is $2,000 per month, try a lease agreement for $1,995.

Act early to see if your tenants intend to extend the lease or if they’re moving. Your lease contract gives you some leeway as most have a clause that states once the lease term expires, the lease then transfers to a month-to-month rental and the tenants must give a 30-day, written notice to leave.

Be careful during your screening process. One way to make sure your property is occupied and rental payments are made on time is to rent to those with good credit and can provide evidence of timely rent in previous rentals.

Be sure your property is in good shape and includes amenities such as a dishwasher, refrigerator, stove, microwave and washer/dryer connections. Provide an option for the tenants to rent a washer/dryer from you for an additional fee or include it in the rent.

You might think about having your property inspected by a licensed property inspector. This service will cost somewhere around $300 but will identify issues that need to be addressed that perhaps you’ve overlooked. You don’t want your tenants calling you every so often alerting you to a microwave that doesn’t work or the hot water heater doesn’t work very well.

Consider having your property professionally managed. Real estate companies typically have a property management division that can take care of the day-to-day duties as well as market the property to prospective tenants. Such companies are as motivated as you are to be 100% occupied.