6 Broken Things That Stop Tenants From Renting From You

So you are trying to find a tenant for your Philadelphia rental property; but its going slower than you thought?
As a property manager I know just how expensive vacancy can be for a landlord - In fact vacancy is the number one decider on whether a rental property is profitable or operates as a loss. 

On the other hand, routine maintenance tends to be fairly inexpensive. While it can be time consuming for those property owners that choose to manage their own properties with out a property manager; its far from an exaggeration to say that $3 can save $3,000.00. 

Simply put well-cared-for rentals  shows better - they rent faster, they rent for more rent and the tenants tend to stay longer, which avoids another vacancy.
Small things like a mis-hung mail box, a jiggly front door knob, a front step or property foyer cluttered with flyers, will turn a tenant against your rental before they actually see it.

Don't forget:

  • You're probably not the 1st landlord these potential tenants have had. They have had good experiences with landlords and property managers and they have had bad.
  • Your isn't the only property for rent they have scene. Most tenants will see an average of 12 rentals before they choose one.

They are comparing you to their past rentals and also to your rental competition - the properties like yours that are also on the market.

1. Keep the front of your property spruced up and free of clutter

Keep the front of your home tidy—a good property manager knows to routine keep this area clean. It keeps the neighbors happy, it keeps tenants happy and in this case it keeps potential tenants happy.

Showing tenants the properties I manage, I learned early on that if your property does not have a well-maintained entrance then tenants will keep driving. Not to mention it creates hassles with the neighbors.

Remember not to let mail pile up in the mailbox or the mail slot. There's nothing worse than a potential tenant having to fight their way just to get inside.

2. Keep yard spaces free of weeds and debris

I've owned a property management company for sometime and it still surprises me how quickly a yard can go south. Magically litter ends up even in properties that are land locked, leave seem to fall year round and weeds grow like weeds. Leaves can cause water damage by clogging drains and the rots from weeds create water infiltration points, especially in winter as moisture gets in and expands.

And it really turns tenants away. Tenants love outside space. It can be a big selling point for a rental property; but they aren't looking for a weekly clean up chore; so keeping it clean is important. 


3. Dust off your heating systems and hot water heaters

It’s not sexy, but dirty, old looking mechanicals don't rent properties. As a property manager I'm not recommending you go out and replace an old hot water heater; but dirt and dust really shows the age. Perhaps even more than the actual age! 

No one wants to pay utilities for old, distressed systems. Dust them!


4. Exterminate

Yes, this is Philadelphia. No, that does not mean a rental should deal with pests. Roaches and mice are susceptible to baits. Its important to keep these things under control, with tenants or trying to find a tenant. A vacant property with a dead roach lying on the kitchen floor? Not a sell to a rental tenant!

5. Wash your windows

Clean windows really do spruce up a place and consider buying inexpensive paper blinds. Windows without blinds give an impression of no privacy. These things can really help with tenant placement.

6. Maintain an "okay" temperature

Besides avoiding pipes freezing and bursting, keep the property temperature just shy of comfortable. For one thing, tenants that test the system  


Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

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