You’ve invested a lot of time and money into your Florida rental property therefore it’s only normal that you want that generate passive income. This, however, will only be possible if you have a steady stream of tenants or trusted long-term ones.
A rental property will probably experience periods of vacancy from time to time. Vacancies can be the result of market trends, poor advertising, high rent rates or, any other number of reasons.
While some of these reasons may be out of your control, there are several ways you can get ahead of having a vacant unit and as a landlord, it is important that you familiarize yourself with them.
Having a vacant property not only affects your rental income, but a vacant unit can also become neglected which diminishes the property’s value thus negatively impacting your investment over time. You also will incur various costs associated with maintaining the property and keeping it in a desirable condition.
In this article, State Property Management LLC provides information on the risks of having a vacant unit.
Theft and Vandalism
Some people assume that since a vacant unit has nothing inside then it cannot be a target for thieves. However, this assumption could not be further from the truth.
Thieves may still opt to steal building materials and appliances in a house. Some of the items that may be stolen include air conditioning units, aluminum pipes, and sinks.
You also need to be aware of the risk of vandals. They may break in and draw graffiti or leave behind a mess. Making repairs and cleaning up the mess left behind by the burglars and vandals may cost you depending on the value of the items destroyed.
These costs will have to come out of your own pocket and will further delay your ability to rent out the property as you have to ensure the unit is safe and habitable before letting someone move in.
How to Protect Your Property
In order to property your property from burglars and vandals, you can install a security system that allows you to remotely monitor your vacant unit. You can also install automatic lights and motion sensors, this way when someone steps into the unit, the lights turn on.
Lastly, have good, secure doors and windows, and ensure that all vacant units are locked at all times.
When people realize that a unit is vacant and unmonitored, they may decide to use it as a living space. The problem comes in when they live in the unit for a given amount of time and become squatters.
It becomes very hard to remove squatters since there are laws that protect squatters. This could then lead you to court when you want to move them out of your property. The whole process of revoking a squatter can take a lot of time and cost you greatly.
How to Keep Squatters Away
The first step is to always ensure that all your vacant units are monitored and locked whenever they are not in use. You can also make an effort to visit the units every once in a while.
This will help you identify if there are people who use the space without permission. If you cannot personally visit the property, find someone local that you entrust with that task.
Installing a security system can also help keep squatters away just like in the case of burglars.
Water Damage and Mold
Water damage can occur from leaks, frozen and broken pipes. This tends to take place in empty properties in the winter when pipes freeze and burst. Hot water heaters could also burst or leak which may cause flooding to the house.
Water damage from pipes is the only thing property owners need to be aware of. Sometimes when it rains, moisture gets in the house leading to the growth of mold. This can make your rental unit a health hazard and inhabitable.
The issue with water leaks is that it can take a while before the issue is identified. Such issues are also costly.
How to Protect Your Rental Against Water Damage
It’s advised that landlords switch off their heating and drain their plumbing. Pipes cannot burst if there is no water flowing in them.
Another way you can protect your property is to adjust your thermostat to avoid water from freezing. Regulating the temperature can also help avoid mold from growing due to a lack of suitable conditions.
If you can, you should also conduct regular inspections of the property to spot signs of water damage before they become larger and more costly.
Properties that are unmonitored can have fire outbreaks from faulty electrical systems and heating systems. Dirt, dust, and other particles may accumulate causing the systems to overheat. Another cause of fire outbreaks is by passers-by, vandals, and squatters.
How to Protect Your Unit From Fires
Ensure that you regularly inspect your vacant units in order to monitor the condition of the heating and electrical system. Should you find a potential issue have it corrected before it results in serious harm or damage.
If you are unable to carry out regular inspections of your vacant property, the best and most effective way to avoid the risks listed above is by hiring a property manager. A reputable property manager will ensure that you attract and keep long-term tenants and will be able to protect your property during periods of vacancy.
To protect your Central Florida property, call upon the experts at State Property Management LLC. We are dedicated and committed to helping our clients achieve their rental investment goals!