Beginner tip: don't lease in late fall or winter

6 Replies

...if your property is in an area that gets really cold. 

I had a tenant leave my Memphis property at the end of October, they trashed the place and I had to do repairs. After waiting for a repair company to be available, completing the work, and getting the place prepped for showing it was December. Holidays and cold meant that I didn't get the place leased until today.

In the future I will do my best to get leases signed earlier in the year, so when I have tenant turnover I can be showing in summer when people are most likely to be looking for a new place.

I know this advice is not for everyone, but it's at least something to consider.

@Scott Bolinger - That is great advice.  Have you thought about modifying your lease to adjust for that?  Such as having a 14 month lease just so you can have turnover when you want it?  (not that anyone wants it but at least scheduling to your advantage!)

@Scott Bolinger

I had a similar issue 1 year ago and now my strategy is a little bit different, I don't buy house between August and December, unless it is a great deal.

@Scott Bolinger

Very good point. I was just thinking about this today. I know because I made that mistake. I bought in early October and it was a super deal. Place needed four weeks  work and I should have known better.  All the good renters applications dry up in the fall. School is in session, people are hunkered down for the coming holidays. There are still renters but beware. I like all  leases to roll over in spring and early summer.  I'm out three months rent right now.

I agree on the season issue and I personally try to get the leases terminate in the spring. I'll even throw a small price cut if tenant is willing to extend the lease by a few months thus avoiding winter turnover.

I disagree however on buying. If I bump into a good deal in the fall I will take it even if I get hit with rental in the short term .

You can mitigate it by short term lease w/nice price cut just to get the home occupied until spring. From my experience fall is a good time to buy ( I buy in good school districts ) and you have better negotiation leverage. I would not pass on it just because of the 1st year rental issue.

It's a good idea in principal that is flawed by the fact that tenants leave when they choose not necessarily when their lease ends. A term lease does not control tenants personal life decisions.

As landlords you must learn to go with the flow and not expect to control when tenants decide they must move. The vast majority of term leases convert to M2M at the end of term. I only use M2M leases and have found that tenants are far more forthcoming with their plans than they would otherwise be when facing having to break a lease. They generally give plenty of advance warning of planed moves rather than last minute or doing a midnight run. 

Term leases only place control of your property in the hands of tenants and do not control when they need to move.

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