The Complete Guide to Showing a Rental Property While Occupied

showing a rental property while occupied
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Showing a rental property while occupied is one of the biggest challenges an owner faces.

There are laws that allow the occupied property to get shown to a prospective tenant and the tenant has rights too. Showing a rented unit can be an inconvenience to the owner, the current tenant, and sometimes, the potential renter.

While most owners would rather wait until the unit is vacant, losing rental income isn’t ideal. With more rental properties now than ever, it’s a dilemma millions of owners find themselves in.

So, how do you show an occupied unit with success? We’ve got five tips to help you with the process.

Tips For Showing a Rental Property While Occupied

There are pros and cons to showing a rental property with tenants. The biggest benefit is you won’t lose your cash flow in most cases. Your current tenant moves out and after some updating and cleaning, the new tenant moves right in.

You’ll get a deposit and first month’s rent (and sometimes an application fee) so your rental income isn’t interrupted. In some cases, you won’t have to transfer the utilities into your name which is another plus.

When you show a vacant house or apartment, you know exactly what needs to get fixed, painted, or updated. You also have a chance to do all these things before showing the property, which is appealing to a new tenant. Still, sometimes this isn’t an option.

These five tips will help ease some of the concerns you have to give you the most success when showing a house with tenants.

1. Give Proper Notice

Your state will have clear guidelines you must follow that you reviewed when you wrote the lease. Make sure you understand your rights as a landlord and the tenants’ rights as well. In general, a landlord has to give 24 hours unless it’s an emergency like a flood, fire, or medical situation.

It’s also beneficial to have an etiquette for house or apartment showing. The potential renter will note how you treated your current tenant because they’re going to be in the same boat one day.

2. Communicate Everything

Before you give official notice to your tenant, communicate your intentions to show the property. Make sure you keep them in the loop with any changes to the schedule or plans.

3. Make Reasonable Requests

You have every right to ask your current tenant to secure their animals and clean the property. But, that doesn’t mean they have to oblige. Offer an incentive if you feel they’re not on-board with the showing, like a gift card or discount off their next month’s rent if applicable.

4. Don’t Put up “For Rent” Signs

Putting up a “For Rent” sign is asking strangers to inconvenience your current tenant. Interested parties will knock on the door at all hours and peer through the windows. This isn’t acceptable at all.

If you do put up a sign or share the address online, make sure it’s clear any interested parties must call for an appointment

5. Be Wary of the Disgruntled Tenant

Most tenants are easy to work with but let’s face it, some can get disgruntled or hostile towards the end of the lease. If you can’t get them to cooperate with you, you may be better off waiting for them to leave the premises and take the financial hit.

The last thing you want is to walk a prospective renter into your property and it’s in complete disarray because the current tenant sabotaged your showing. Use your best judgment if you’re dealing with an uncooperative tenant.

Make the Best Choice for Your Property

Showing a rental property while occupied isn’t ideal but it’s doable. If you’re an owner, you can avoid headaches like this in the future by hiring a property manager.

Don’t take finding a real estate agent lightly. Contact us today and find out how we can help you manage your rental property.

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