Sometimes, for whatever reason, you may need to have a short-term lease rather than the normal 12-month lease, but how do you find tenants for short amounts of time?
While I am a big fan of the 12-month lease, a short-term lease can be very advantageous for many reasons:
- If you need to get an off-cycle lease into peak moving season cycle,
- If you need to move back into the house in a short period of time, or
- If you want to sell the house during peak season.
Most private landlords and apartment complexes, including myself, typically charge a premium for short-term leases. Therefore, you need to sell this as a positive thing, because it is a positive thing to the right person. There are almost always people looking for a rental with a short-term situation. Short-term housing works for people who are:
- Getting deployed
- Building a home
- Moving out of state for an impending job
- Moving to the area and want to buy a house with no pressure
- Waiting for base housing
How to Attract Short-Term Tenants
The key is to know where and how to appeal to them.
The first thing is how to advertise the house for rent. The biggest complaint I have heard is that ads are only appealing to those wanting long-term leases. I know from my experience that I always get calls on almost every single one of my listings at least once for a short-term situation.
I would advertise the rental with a month-to month-lease or six-month lease being offered. This defines the short -term and allows those who are in the market to understand what you are offering.
If you need to rent the house out or it will sit empty, it is important that you get a tenant into the home. Therefore, I would recommend lowering the rent to make it seem like a deal. In some areas, this might be as little as $50. It may not even be needed if there is a large short-term transient population. In other areas, this might mean lowering the rent by $300-$400 or a 30-40% discount! Remember it is better to get some rent than no rent.
However, you must remember that it is not better to have an awful tenant than it is to have no tenant. Make sure you are still keeping your rent screening standards.
Remember having an empty house isn’t the best plan for the following reasons:
- Higher Insurance Cost – Many insurance companies charge more money if the house is empty due to the additional damage potential.
- Vandalism/Breaking and Entering – Empty houses are more likely to be a target for thieves and damages.
- Cost – Covering the mortgage and utility costs can be expensive. Remember to winterize or prepare the house if you are going to turn the utilities off. Otherwise, you could have a lot of unexpected and not so pleasant surprises.
Have you had short-term tenants before? How did you find them?0