For landlords in Las Vegas, tenant turnover can be one of the most expensive parts of owning a rental property. It’s also easy to underestimate the costs and just how expensive it will be to prepare your property for a new resident.
Changing tenants means more than just finding someone new to fill an empty rental home. The turnover process will require your time and money. You’ll need to clean out the property, conduct a walk through, make necessary repairs, and then consider whether any upgrades and updates are necessary.
Your turnover process will not be cheap, unless you had a tenant in place for only a year and there’s barely a trace of their residency left behind.
We’ve been turning properties over for years, as professional property managers in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. We have been able to implement some strategies that decrease turnover expenses during the entire cycle of moving one tenant out and another tenant in.
Here are some of our best tips for saving money during tenant turnovers.
Budget More Than You’ll Need for Turnovers
Minimizing the number of surprises you encounter during the turnover process is a good plan. So, instead of being surprised by what you’ll spend, be thrilled that you have a little money left over.
This will require you to over-budget.
As you’re deciding how much you think you’ll need to spend, remember that a lot of your turnover costs will depend on the tenant who has departed, and how well they took care of the property. While they’re in your property, work with your tenants on preventative maintenance, and make sure they report all necessary repairs promptly. Then, you won’t have much to do at turnover time when it comes to taking care of the general wear and tear. That’s going to save money on your turnover costs and ensure you’re able to re-rent the property quickly.
You’ll also have to consider the age and general condition of your property.
Save Money by Holding Tenants Accountable
One way to keep your turnover costs down is to ensure you’re not paying for tenant damage. You’re your tenants accountable and charge the security deposit for anything they should be paying to repair or replace. Damage is the tenant’s responsibility, and as long as it’s well-documented, you can make any claim against the security deposit that qualifies as tenant-caused.
Wear and tear is not damage, and it’s going to be your responsibility. This is the deterioration of the property that would normally occur under any circumstances – even if you were living there yourself. Wear and tear includes small holes in the walls from where paintings were hung or scuff marks on the walls from where furniture was placed. If there is wear in the carpet in high-traffic areas, that’s not going to be the tenant’s responsibility.
You don’t want to charge the deposit for those wear and tear items, or you could invite a lawsuit. However, keep your costs down by being mindful of what you really need to pay for and what you can expect your tenants to pay for.
Work with Vendors Who Provide Discounts and Deals
Maintenance is more expensive, as you have no doubt noticed. How can you possibly keep costs down during the turnover process when it costs so much just to get a vendor out to your property?
The vendors you choose have a lot to do with this.
Work with a preferred network of vendors and contractors. Take the time to establish these relationships so they’ll prioritize the work you need when you’re preparing the property for a new tenant. When your team works faster and more efficiently, your turnover costs drop. When the vendors you choose have been working with you for a long time, and you provide them with enough work, they’ll be willing to give you their best pricing. Establish these relationships and nurture them so that they become partnerships.
Always be willing to hear the advice that your vendors may want to share with you. This can save you money now, during the turnover itself, and in the long run.
Maybe you’re wondering if you should repair an appliance again or just replace it. If you repair, you’ll likely save some money. But, the life of that repair may only last a year or two. A replacement will require you to spend a little more money now, but the property will look good and the replacement will last for decades.
Reliable vendors can help you make these decisions. You can access their expertise while preparing your home for a new tenant. That’s a money saver.
Investing in Turnover Improvements will Ultimately Save You Money
We’re talking about how to save money during the turnover process, but there are some instances when it’s important to spend money. That’s because the money you spend now will help you earn more in rent.
Renting out a recently renovated and improved home will attract better tenants, raise your rental value, and ensure that the home does not linger too long on the market.
The turnover process isn’t only about repairing and restoring. It’s also about improving. To remain competitive in the local rental market, your property has to be modern and inviting. This will likely require some updates and upgrades.
These are expenses you might not want to take on, especially during a period when rent isn’t coming in, but having an empty property allows you more flexibility in getting the work done. And, because we’re interested in saving money during the turnover process, you can be highly selective in the work you decide to do. Choose cost-effective projects only.
Increasing the rental value of your property will reduce what you lose during the turnover period. Take this time to upgrade whatever you can in a way that’s affordable.
You won’t require a full renovation. Instead, focus on upgrades such as:
- New fixtures on sinks and vanities. Maybe a tile backsplash behind the stove?
- Hard surface flooring instead of carpet. This will increase your rental value and be easier to maintain.
- New lighting in kitchens and bathrooms as well as outside. Consider a motion light for enhanced security.
- Extra storage, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.
- New mirrors over vanities in the bathroom.
- Updated landscaping and more curb appeal.
Consider some new technology, too. Video doorbells, for example, are very popular now.
Time is of the Essence: Long Turnovers are Expensive Turnovers
Move quickly when you want to save money. When you have pre-existing vendor relationships in place, you won’t find yourself waiting too long for your work to be done. Whether you need a roofer, a fence repaired, an HVAC service, or a restoration project during your turnover, you can count on the team you always use to take care of these things in as little time as possible.
Limiting your vacancy time will limit your turnover costs. Begin marketing the property as soon as you can. You need to rent that home as quickly as possible, and to a great tenant who is likely to stay in place for the long term.
You can accomplish this by establishing and maintaining positive tenant relationships. Once you receive a notice to vacate, stay in touch with your departing tenant. A good relationship means that the tenant will give you plenty of notice before they move. They’ll follow all of the move-out instructions and keep the property well-maintained. They’ll clean it before they leave and they’ll remove all of their personal property and trash. This will help you turn the home over faster.
Set a deadline for how quickly you want to get that home re-rented and then work backwards from that target date. With the right vendors and resources and a property that’s already in good shape, it might take you only a day or two to turn the property around and get it back on the market. Without a stated deadline, you can let the process drag on too long.
Consider a Las Vegas Property Management Partnership
One great way to save money on tenant turnover is by working with property managers.
Your property management team can usually avoid turnover by establishing good tenant relationships and providing an excellent rental experience. Even when a tenant does leave, however, we’ll have a process in place that manages the entire turnover process, from receiving a notice to vacate to moving in a new resident.
Save time and money with professional property management during the turnover process. We already have the vendor relationships in place. We know cleaners and locksmiths who can take care of every detail. We negotiate good prices and communicate with you throughout the process.
Your turnover costs can be kept manageable. While it’s usually preferable to keep a good tenant, when you have to engage in a tenant turnover, you can save money and invest in higher rental values going forward.
Please contact us at New West Property Management. Our team expertly manages residential rental homes in Las Vegas and throughout Clark County, including Henderson and North Las Vegas.