If you have properties to rent out and are having trouble finding tenants, there are several things that you can do to increase the odds of keeping all of your units occupied, which will in turn equal more income for you. Many property owners have a difficult time keeping their units occupied and generating income, but you don't have to be one of them. By practicing a few simple tactics, you can drive more attention to your available units than you ever have in the past.
One thing that makes a successful landlord is to be somewhat flexible and understanding when it comes to problems that your renters may have. If you see that a tenant simply can't afford to pay his or her rent anymore, then graciously asking them to move might be your best bet. On the other hand, if one of your tenants pays their rent a week late for a 1 or 2 months, it's no reason to immediately evict them. As long as they are not more than a few days to a few weeks late once or twice, you should consider giving them a break. Everyone has money problems from time to time, but it doesn't mean that it will be constant, or that your tenants are irresponsible. It's certainly not wise to allow your tenants to become a month or two behind, or pay late on a consistent basis, but communicating with your renters and treating them like human beings will go a long way.
One thing that you need to remember when you're renting out properties is to ask for a reasonable security deposit, which is often referred to as a damage deposit. This deposit protects you in case there is some type of damage once your renter's move out. If there is any damage, you can simply subtract the amount of the damage from the deposit and refund the remaining amount. Asking an unusually high amount for a security deposit can really hurt your chances of renting out the properties. Most people agree that a deposit equivalent to a month's rent is reasonable, but anything more, such as separate cleaning fees, can cause perspective tenants to search elsewhere. With the economy in its current undesirable state, many people simply can't come up with a hefty security deposit in addition to the first month's rent. One thing that you could do to increase your chances of renting out the properties regardless of the amount of the deposit is to allow the tenants to pay the deposit in increments.
If you're having trouble renting out a property and you have adequate advertising, as well as plenty of responses, there may be some things that you need to check. If the unit is extremely outdated, doesn't have any amenities, or is in disrepair, you should definitely make some improvements before you can expect to rent it out. Even small and inexpensive changes can make a big difference, such as removing old, unsightly wallpaper and applying a fresh coat of paint, or removing old stain-covered carpet. Remember: if you wouldn't live in one of your rentals because of its unattractive conditions, you can't expect others to, either.
If merely having a sign in front of the units that you have for rent and/or placing an ad in your local newspaper hasn't helped to bring enough potential tenants, one way that will definitely bring many interested individuals is to post your listings on Craigslist. Just about everyone knows how popular Craiglist is, and the fact that it's free to place as many ads as you like is certainly a plus. By going this route, you're bound to get numerous responses, maybe more than you can handle, actually.
By having a rigid approval process, you could possibly enable you to locate some decent, responsible tenants to rent your properties. On the other hand, such a process may cause you to have a difficult time renting them out. Not everyone has great credit, but just because perspective tenants may have less-than-perfect credit doesn't mean that they aren't responsible or won't pay their rent on-time each month. Instead of checking credit, one thing that can be just as helpful in helping you locate the best possible tenants is to perform background, rental history, and job reference checks. These checks will still help prevent you from renting to people who have had trouble paying their rent in the past, but without the necessity to delve into interested candidates' past credit background.
There is no reason to have your rental properties sitting empty for months when you could be making a regular monthly income from each one you own. Empty units increase the likelihood of vandalism, and they also cost you more money if you are still paying a mortgage on the houses or apartments. This is why ensuring that each and every unit is occupied at all times should be your main concern. It's not difficult to locate responsible renters, and you don't even have to spend a great deal of money on advertising. As long as you have the level of determination and energy necessary to seek the appropriate tenants for your rentals, it's very unlikely that any of your units will remain unoccupied for very long.