As a Landlord, what's the longest you will hold a property?

10 Replies

Hello All!

I received some invaluable information when I was moving to WA state earlier this year, and it was GREATLY appreciated! Now, I am looking to move when my lease is up, because, while I really like my little area where I live, I want to shave some costs and live in a less expensive property in order to save money for an investment property in 2016.

With that being said, I am a planner; which means that I am not one of those people that flies around willy nilly, I need to know where I am living at least a month or two before I move. Unfortunately, with the rental landscape here in Seattle, WA area (it's scary aggressive and expensive), it's difficult to locate a place that will be available a month from now, much less 2-3 months (even if you pay a healthy deposit).

Does anyone have any tactics they are willing to share to help alleviate my concerns of possibly having to live out of my car? (I jest, as I can go month to month at my current property for a LARGE amount of $$...which I would NOT want to pay).

I moved in at the end of March, so I paid a prorated amount for those 6 days I lived in the apartment in March; therefore, I believe my lease will officially be up in April. With that being said, I'd like to have a place secured at the LATEST  by the end of February, to move in like March 29th, so I'd have time to clean my current apartment.

Any assistance and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Search and search and look for someone advertizing eairly.  You might consider paying rent in two places for a month or two.  Be careful you dont want to lead landlords on: be ready to tell them your best movein date.

@Eric B.   Yes, I agree, I would definitely let them know what I was looking at and my dates of moving. Time is money, and I don't like to waste others or my own. 

I am trying NOT to have to pay rent for two places, if at all possible. I appreciate your response.

I'm the same way, when I was a tenant I'd start to look for a place 2-3 months early. As a landlord, I have in my lease that the tenant must tell me if they are moving out 60 days before the end of the lease, so I can start to advertise and fill that vacancy before it occurs.

All you have to do is ask- and if the landlord does not want to accept you for your move in date, then keep looking. It's possible the landlord will not fill that vacancy by the time you want to move in, and the place will be available. 

We just held a property for tenants that couldn't move in for a month. They paid the first month's rent to hold the unit, and had to be approved by the condo association. By the time that was done, it was only 2 more weeks but they paid the full security deposit on approval.

Our rental market in South Florida isn't as nearly as crazy as Seattle, so if a good tenant applicant is willing to pay the first month's rent in advance plus the security deposit, we'll hold the place for a month. If the market were on fire, we would have to reconsider.

I sympathize, but it is going to be tough in a hot rental market. Your best bet will be emphasizing what a strong, long-term tenant you will be. For example, if your rental history demonstrates this, let them know you stayed at X place for X # of years then Y place for X # of years. Perhaps be willing to sign a 2-year lease in exchange for them holding the unit a month or two?

I also live in a hot rental market. For a STRONG applicant, about the best I would do is hold my place for a month...with them paying half the rent for that "empty" month plus a one month holding fee which would become their security deposit on move-in. Of course, they would also need to pay the first full month's rent on move-in as well.

I did this once for tenants who were moving in from out of state. They signed the lease around mid August...even though they wouldn't be moving in until the very end of September. Per our mutual agreement, I set up the lease date starting on Sept. 15th with rent being due starting from there.

I occassionally have had potential tenants contact me from my ads saying they plan to move in 2-4 months in the future. I'm honest and tell them my place usually rents out in 2-3 weeks but, if it is still available closer to their move-in date, I will keep their contact information on file.

Good luck! I hope you find a great place without having to pay "double" rent.

One month max. 

If you need to search earlier look for "available on DD/MM/YYYY" in the listing.  

Don't waste anyone's time calling 60+ days out on something listed as "available now" 

@Chanté Owens  Just had an idea.  Why dont you month to month out of the area then sign a lease in your desired area when you find the right place/price?  I have a college rental that I cant rent untill june and would love to find aomeone like you for a month to month.  Mine is way out of your area but you could look for something similar in the U district...Just a thought.

Good Luck!

Originally posted by @Justin Fraser :

I'm the same way, when I was a tenant I'd start to look for a place 2-3 months early. As a landlord, I have in my lease that the tenant must tell me if they are moving out 60 days before the end of the lease, so I can start to advertise and fill that vacancy before it occurs.

All you have to do is ask- and if the landlord does not want to accept you for your move in date, then keep looking. It's possible the landlord will not fill that vacancy by the time you want to move in, and the place will be available. 

 @Justin Fraser Yes, it's disconcerting trying to get all the mechanics working, but it always (usually) seems to work out! I agree, if the place is still vacant when I'm ready then it was meant to be!

@Aly L  There is always more than one way to skin a cat, and has everybody has stated; if it's a hot market, of course a landlord is going to go with the top, immediate person able to move in quickly - I get it!

@Jennifer T. Being in a hot market is a buzz kill for us seekers, but is definitely a good thing for those who own the properties being rented. What I have found in my life, sometimes there are people who are still willing to work with you, even if there are other factors, because for some reason they just "like" you. It's happened to me more than one time in my life...hoping my luck continues ;-o)

@Michael Herr 60+ is a long time to try and see if a landlord would work with you; I get that. Occasionally I've seen some listings where they have a property available for a future date. Maybe that's what I'll find when I start (seriously) looking in late Jan/early February.

Originally posted by @Eric B. :

@Chanté Owens Just had an idea.  Why dont you month to month out of the area then sign a lease in your desired area when you find the right place/price?  I have a college rental that I cant rent untill june and would love to find aomeone like you for a month to month.  Mine is way out of your area but you could look for something similar in the U district...Just a thought.

Good Luck!

 Thanks, Eric! I am a prime candidate for a month to month, but most places (especially larger properties) want  year lease. Thanks for the words of encouragement.