This is a response to a question I received from Mr. Cheap who writes over at MoneySmartsBlog. It’s a good question too because it requires a bit of thought.
When is it too late to find a good tenant for your property?
The easy answer is never but there’s a few caveats. It’s not a secret that good tenants look sooner rather than later in their 60 day period. I even get phone calls from people who want to rent before they give their notice! I don’t get paid to drive around and waste gas so I tell these people that they are looking way too early, but I guarantee they’re great tenants if they are this organized.
First of all the answer to this question depends on the property. As a general rule the bigger the property the more time you will have to wait between the time you rent it and their move in date. A four bedroom house will usually rent about one month before. The people who need this kind of house are usually extended family or a couple with young kids and they are looking to get their move organized sooner rather than later. A couple with no children just doesn’t need that kind of security. They know they can find a place and they’ll usually finalize their arrangements around the second or third week of the month.
Renters go through a process when it comes to finding an apartment. First they shop around, the number of places depends on what criteria they have. If your property is the first they are looking at don’t expect them to rent it even if it checks all their boxes. They have to look around a bit more. It’s only after they have satisfied themselves that your deal is what they need as far as price, location and suite condition that they will finally be ready to take the plunge.
Its not over till it’s over
Can last minute renters ever be good? The good news is YES. Look for people coming in from out of town, guys getting divorced, job transfers and immigrants. People who come in complaining about their last landlord are pretty horrible. The people coming from the surrounding area at the last minute are not good risks. It may seem that your prayers have been answered when a last minute renter comes to rent your place, after all your going to lose another month’s rent if it doesn’t get rented. A word of caution though if it seems too good to be true it probably is. Be very careful with last minute deals.