Question about Tenant Turnover Timing...help please...

8 Replies

Hi everyone. I have two rental properties which are both occupied but my first tenant turnover will be happening this fall.  My awesome tenants are moving out after two years.  Their lease will be up at the end of October. (I know this is a bad time to find tenants but can't do anything about that).  I'm just struggling with the timing of it.  Obviously I want to minimize the time that the house is unrented.  The house is in great shape and was maintained well by the tenants, but I'm sure we will need a day or two of miscellaneous cleaning/repairs. I'm assuming we could start showing the house before they move out.  Best case scenario: Tenants move out October 31.  We clean, etc. for two days, and the house will be ready for the next tenants on November 3 at the earliest.  So on to my stupid questions:

  • Let's saw we show the house in October find tenants want to move in.  Their lease runs out at the end of October, but the house won't be ready until November 3.  Where do they live on November 1-2? 
  • Would the prospective tenant pool be mostly people whose leases run out at the end of Novemver? (Meaning we'd have a whole month of vacancy anyway?)
  • I know we can prorate the first month so lease ends at the end of a given month, but that still begs the question, what do potential tenants do between the first of the month and when the unit is ready?
  • You want to get a tenant as soon as possible, but once you're getting into the middle of the month, are you getting mostly people who are being evicted or is there a good mix of tenants with leases running out?

I hope my ramblings make sense.  I've just never been able to make practical sense of lease beginnings and endings...thank you for taking the time to read!

See if your current tenants could vacate a week early, would help if you happen to find a tenant needing to be 11/01.  Consider yourself lucky if you Only have 1month vacant.....to be expected.

That is a good idea from Wayne. Maybe even offer them a couple hundred of they could leave before the end of that month.

I have people where it doesn't seem to matter if they move in a couple days past the 1st of the month. You could eliminate a couple of people by not being being available on the 1st but I wouldn't sweat it.

Try and schedule  couple of open houses before the tenants move out if house shows well with their stuff. Don't do individual showings as this waste your time and inconveniences your current tenants.

I would ask them if they want to move out a few days early and would prorate the rent if so, but if they don’t take that I wouldn’t sweat it. I would probably list the last week of Sep as IME the better tenants are looking a month or so out.  Some tenants are flexible on start date. I just had the same situation, old lease ended July 31 and I listed late June, found someone flexible and new lease started August 3 to give me a couple days to get it cleaned. 

Start advertising today for the first of November and offer your present tenants a financial incentive to leave a week early. Be carful and make sure you get everything in writing. Tenants can never be trusted to leave when the say which is why a 1 month vacancy is often to your advantage. Alternately tell your new tenants it is available November 1st but you will be in doing some painting and repair work after they move in.

Although we try to have no vacancies by planning ahead it is sometimes inevitable that turn over rehab will cost a months rent. It is all built into our expense calculations.  

Don't get hung up on being concerned about where new tenants will live for a couple of days. If they agree to do it then it is not your problem.

@Suzanne A. Your initial assumption is what you must go for. Turnover will bury you. Start marketing the home for rent oct 1. Ideally get a lease signed prior to current tenants leaving, and get the lease signed with an open commencement date. Meaning, expect them to be able to move in on the third, but if it’s got to be the fourth then so be it. It sounds like there is no way you can deliver occupancy on Nov 1, so don’t even try for that. Once you got lease signed, seenif you can get the tenant out sooner than end of their lease, worse case they leave the 31st, your in there that evening turning over and getting home ready for new tenants. All those other questions, don’t worry about that stuff. Your business is finding a new tenant, getting the old ones out and new ones In - thats It. Best of luck
@Suzanne A. Good tenants plan ahead so will,want to have something lined up by mid Sept so they can give 30 days notice at their current place. Your current tenant will plan to reserve a day for cleaning or hiring a cleaning crew once they are out if possible so they get their full deposit. I would not pay tenants to leave early, I would spend the money on a cleaning crew to get it done fast.
WHere are the old tenant going? They may welcome an earlier move out. Ask them if that would help them. Market an anticipated vacancy. What size is the unit, larger homes might be a bigger isaue but people can stay with family temporarily. Some may not even be coming off a lease. End the new lease longer or shorter then a year ( 10 or 14 months to get you to a better time of year if tjat matteres in your area.