Between Tenants: What Needs to Happen During a Vacancy - Article Banner

With one tenant moving out of your Charleston rental property and an urgency to fill the vacancy, it’s easy to rush through the turnover period. 

Instead of moving at lightning speed, slow down and make sure you are taking the time to prepare your property properly for the rental market. 

This is a critical time. You don’t want your rental home to remain unoccupied for too long, but you do want to take advantage of the vacancy to make all the necessary repairs and updates that will help you rent it out again. 

Maintenance is required, but if you really want to attract the best possible tenant and the highest possible rents, you’ll take some steps to improve your property between tenants. Here are a few things that you need to take care of after one tenant moves out and before another tenant moves in.

Departing Tenants: Conduct an Inspection and Manage the Deposit 

Before you can start preparing your property for the next tenant, you need to wrap up loose ends with your departing tenant. 

They’ll be waiting to get their security deposit back. Before you do that, you’ll have to:

  • Inspect the property
  • Decide if there’s any damage for which you would withhold some or all of the security deposit.
  • Get the work done
  • Return the deposit or part of the deposit with an itemized list of what you kept and why.

Be sure to send a copy of receipts and invoices when you do withhold money from the departing tenant’s deposit. Make sure you’re not keeping any money for general wear and tear items. You’re responsible for those costs. 

Keep the Utilities on in Your Charleston Rental Property 

When your tenants move out, they’ll likely cancel or transfer their utility accounts.

Make sure you’re prepared to keep the lights on and the water running. You’ll need the utilities on during the turnover period so work can be done and your property can be shown. Find out from your departing tenants when their last day of service is.

Preparing for New Tenants: Upgrades and Updates

As you begin to think about attracting new tenants, make sure you’re offering a property that’s well-maintained and attractive. Pay attention to curb appeal. Make sure everything works. Repaint the walls if necessary and clean the carpets if you’re keeping them. 

Then, turn your attention to upgrades you’d like to make. 

These do not have to be large and expensive renovations. But, if you’re willing to make a few cost-effective improvements, you might find that you can earn more rent and attract high quality tenants quickly. Here are some ideas:

  • Backsplash in the kitchen.
  • Updated fixtures like faucets and drawer pulls.
  • A new mirror in the bathroom.
  • In-unit washers and dryers if you don’t already provide them.
  • Updated appliances if the existing appliances are old and deteriorating
  • Hard surface flooring instead of carpet.

When you’re prepared with a budget and some dedicated vendors, you won’t have to spend too much time or money making these upgrades. 

Marketing for New Tenants 

Take Marketing PhotosBe aggressive and strategic with marketing so you don’t lose too much time between tenants. Every day of vacancy is an expensive day. Take marketing photos as soon as the property is cleared out and cleaned. Create listings that highlight the best features of your rental home. Put those listings on all the popular websites that tenants are using. 

Be responsive when interested renters start getting in touch. 

Turnover periods should not last longer than a few weeks. If you’re renting to good tenants who take care of your property, you’re in a better position to turn it around to new tenants quickly. 

Wondering how to keep turnover costs down? We can help. Contact our team at Charleston Home Rentals.