How show rental home when current tenant is unclean?

12 Replies

We have a rental home with a current tenant who will be moving out in a 2 months.  We would like to advertise the home and show it to new, prospective tenants.  The current tenant is not clean- the bathroom and kitchen are particularly unkept, and the house smells as a result.  I do not want to show the home to prospective tenants when the house is in this condition.

Any ideas on how to navigate these waters?

if it was vacant and looking perfect how long do you think it would take to find a renter?

May be best to wait til they are out   

Especially if it is a desirable rental

I wouldn't show a dirty/smelly unit until the tenant has moved out and you've had a chance to clean it up.  Most prospective tenants are going to be turned off by it, and you probably don't want the ones who aren't.

Thanks for all the feedback!  I guess I was curious, specifically, if it would be appropriate to ask the current tenant to make sure the home is clean prior to a showing, or if that would be over stepping?

I don't show a unit until it is rent ready. I have put a boosted posting on my LLC's facebook page that we "anticipate a rare vacancy" and to keep watching for updates.

You are not going to change your current tenant's behavior.  You could post an ad on Zillow stating the unit will be available on X date, using your prior clean photos.  That might help you generate some interest for a late fall move in, and give a potential tenant time to give notice in their current place..

Inform your tenants that you will be hiring Molly Maids, any local house cleaning company, to come in now and again next month to clean the entire house.

Best if you advise the tenant to stay out for the day but you will need to be there regardless. Your tenants may not like the intrusion but s**ew them for being pigs. It's your property and they will soon be ex-tenants so you should not care about how they feel regarding your decision.

It is well worth the investment and will most likely result in no lost income at turnover. It is professional proactive management.

@Henley H. wait until they are gone. I tried this with my first unit thinking it was more important to reduce vacancy. The only people who were willing to move in were the ones I would never rent to. After they were gone I found someone very quickly that has been great for years. I would recommend against following @Thomas S. advice. They are already dirty and the second they come home you will have problems with the cleaning service having stolen 17 of their precious diamond rings that were right on their dresser before they came. Not worth the headache. It can be more of a pain than it solves.

I learned this during my last turnover in May. I've never had to show my property more than 3 times without finding a qualified tenant, and I showed this unit to over 20 people over the course of a month without a single bite. The outside of my property showed well, but his unit was not well kept; despite being asked several times to clean it. It wasn't even that dirty, he was just a slob and wouldn't tidy up and keep it that way.

In a panic I ended up lowering my rent from $950 to $900 despite knowing I could get that and when he moved out, sure enough I got it rented within 2 showings. At a cost of $600 in annual rent revenue or 2/3 of a month of vacancy. 

Next time I have a dirty tenant I will just wait; it wasn't worth me showing the unit 20 times.

I always have showings whether the current tenant is cleaned or not.

I always able to rent out the property to good tenants even though the current property is dirty and messy sometimes.

Because I always promise the new tenant that I will hire house maids to clean the property professional at move-out, so I have no problem rent it out before current tenant move-out.

I think it was @Al Williamson that I heard this great idea from...have $100 in cash or however much you care to part with to make it worth your while and give your tenant an incentive to clean up and keep the place clean. If  the unit is clean every time you show it and you are able to get a lease signed before he moves out, he gets the cash. Of course your mileage may vary but it might be worth a try. 

Drop off a cleaning check list, if you can walk the house and give a estimate check box of what the charges will be to clean the house as it is.. Usually starts the ball rolling for cleaning.

You can advertise,, but let clients know the house is not show ready, if they can look past the clutter you can show it. If you have before photos of condition prior to tenant you can post those so they'd know what to expect.

Will you have time for make ready if someone does take it ... allow yourself clean up time. 

Let current tenant know the faster it's rented the less you will have to interrupt, 

Hard to show yes,, impossible to rent ,,, NO