Thoughts on tenant leaving property empty for 3 months?

7 Replies

Hi everyone, hoping to get your input on a rental situation that’s new to me I have a single family property a in a B class neighborhood that I hire out the landscape maintenance. Tenant is a foreign business person living in the US and has notified me that they will be leaving the home vacant for 3 months to travel and is asking if that’s ok; also would like to sign another year lease (lease expires during travel time). So they want to extend the lease but let it be vacant for a few months. What are your thoughts regarding allowing a house to be left unoccupied for 3 months? Any advice is appreciated.

Hi @Christian Wathne

       I think it really depends. Are you local? Can you stop by the property to check in every now and then (and or) have someone who can do that in your absence? My lease has a clause that requires my tenant to notify me if they will be absent for more than 2 weeks at a time. I live local so it's not an issue with me but I can see how it might be risky for an absentee landlord. However, look at the bright side... zero wear and tear on your fully rented AND paid for property. I would be all for it within reason.

find out from insurance company their maximum before you swap it to vacant housing insurance and probably do it even if they say 60-90 days. 

You either have great tenants or sketchy ones. I’d be worried about the “let us pay rent for 3 months while we’re not there and renew for longer while on our trip that who knows what might happen”. But I’m a worrier. 

At least take care of the insurance change. They charge more because if a pipe remains busted for a month it’s worse than a day. 

@Christian Wathne

B Neighborhood maintenance is still done, assuming they have been solid tenants and no issues, your lease holds them liable, temps above freezing and furnace at 45, they pay all utilities. Then SWEEEEEETTTTTT. Zero wear and tear on property. Keep your scheduled inspections. Make sure your insurance is up to date and revel in the "rent for empty property"

Not legal advice just the ramblings of some dolt on the internet!

@Eric G. thats a good suggestion. I'm not local but do travel to the area for work every 3-4 weeks and I have a friend/handyman who could swing by. Also, I have the landscape maintenance done every 2 weeks so would get updates from the landscaper. 

@Bill Brandt @Mike Cumbie ; good call on the insurance, I'll check on that

I would get it inspected every 2 weeks while they are gone. And no issues signing a new lease if they are good tenants.

Shut the water off where it enters the house.  I have gutted more house/cabins that had a broken pipe that where vacant for a month plus.  Damages are in the 30k range and repairs takes 2 months on average.    

Check with your insurance company you may find they require it be inspected weekly. 

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