List For Rent With Or Without A Current Tenant

20 Feb List For Rent With Or Without A Current Tenant

Spring is right around the corner and that means it’s prime rental season in the Washington, D.C. area. From Arlington to Reston to Bethesda, landlords and Real Estate Agents are preparing for yet another busy season that will bring multiple applications and high rents. One of the questions landlords most frequently ask – should I list the property while my current tenant is still living in the unit or wait until they move out? The best answer to that question? It depends.

1. Is the property located in an area that has high demands for rental properties but not enough inventory to meet those demands? In that case – list the property about 30-45 days prior to the current tenant vacating. That should allow enough time to find a tenant, address any minor repair and maintenance items and eliminate vacancy in between tenancies.

2. How well does the property show with the current tenant in place? Unless you have a tenant that keeps your property in immaculate condition is willing to work with you on showing times, you might be better off waiting until they have vacated. Tenants can create a negative vibe for a property, especially if they refuse access to possible future tenants and their agents or if the property is cluttered and messy. Stepping over dirty clothes, seeing dishes piled up in the sink or facing unkempt bathrooms might create insurmountable obstacles for prospective renters to be able to see the beauty in a place.

3. Does your current tenant have pets? One of the biggest issues with listing a property that has a pet is the showing ability. In order to attract the broadest spectrum of future renters, we always advise landlords to never show a property that has a pet currently in place. Many people have allergies or are sensitive to pet odor, some are simply afraid of dogs, especially ones that bark.  Wait until your tenant and their pet(s) have vacated, ensure the property is professionally cleaned and deodorized, and then list it for rent.

4. Does your property have some major maintenance items that need to be completed? In this case you definitely want the current tenant to move out to be able to address these items during the vacancy. Do not put the property on the market while doing any repair or renovation; future renters don’t have the time to envision what it might look like, they want to see what it is they are applying for when first view the property. Additionally, the estimated time for accomplishing repair work will be shorter if you do not have to work around your current tenant’s schedule while trying to show the property to future occupants.

Remember, owning an investment takes patience and investments that can be both time consuming and sometimes monetary in nature. It’s not for everyone, but if handled correctly and with the help of a great Realtor and Property Manager, it can be a very lucrative investment. Happy Renting!

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