When should I start looking for tenant

5 Replies

I had been given about 6 months notice my 4 year tenant is moving. They leave July 21. I started advertising June 1 for August 1 move in. Is this too early? What is the etiquette to my current tenant for showings? I don't want to hassle them for 6 weeks. I am already getting requests to view the house.
If I do get a new renter soon do I collect any non refundable money now to protect me if they decide to not move in at the last minute? Last time I rented the house was vacant.

When I listed a rental that early I found that even though my listing very clearly stated the availability date, that prospective tenants did not read and always expected it to be available right away, so you end up burning a number of leads.

I included in my lease that I have the ability to show the apartment within the last 30 days if the tenant chooses to end their tenancy. I would recommend doing that moving forward to make it clear, but I don't think it is too early. If you have a good rapport with your tenant, they shouldn't have an issue.

Depending on how you play it, I would collect money right when you sign the lease. If they choose to sign it now great, but I would recommend getting a lease signed thirty days in advance and require first months rent as a down payment. In MA, I collect first month, last month and security deposit and usually require the full amount or at least the security deposit when the lease is signed. Non-refundable.

That's my advice but you can play it however it works best for you. Be humble, be hungry.


6 - 8 weeks is an acceptable lead time.  Good time to show.  We collect a $500 holding deposit and have the prospect sign an Agreement to Enter into a Lease which holds their feet to the fire.  We tell the tenant the sooner we lease it up the sooner we can leave them alone so when the time comes to move they don't have to deal with showings.

@Patrick Young we manage 650 units in PGH PA. Typically we start looking for a tenant 2 months prior to the end of the existing tenants lease end date. Anyone who is worth finding as a tenant is going to plan ahead at least 45 days prior to the end of their lease. if you do get a deposit then yes it is non refundable if the new tenant decides not to move ahead and sing the lease. Our lease clearly state that we are allowed to show the apartment. The issue you will find is showing a cluttered apartment or one that doesnt smell so good, or the tenant has a dog and they have to be home for you to show the apartment. Thats only a few of the obstacles that you run into when a tenant is still occupying the property. Whats in the lease and then the practical real world often do not mesh. You will figure out whats best in each scenario because its ever changing. Being a landlord is easy. People make it difficult and frustrating at times. but I look at it this way. if it was easy then everybody would do it.

I feel like I am on the right path then. I will have to feel out how to handle showings. There is usually someone there during the days and nights. I just need to try to weed people out ahead of time and only show to better prospects.

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