Property Management Rule #1: Minimize Vacancies

minimize vacancies

Landlords and property managers face many challenges when it comes to managing their rental properties, and one of the biggest challenges is minimizing vacancies. Vacancies occur when a rental unit is empty, and no tenants are paying rent. Vacancies can be a significant problem for landlords and property managers because they result in lost income and can be costly to remedy. Here are some reasons why landlords should focus on minimizing vacancies on their residential rental properties.


Lost Income

The most obvious reason to minimize vacancies is the loss of income. When a rental unit sits vacant, the landlord is not receiving any rent, and the property is not generating any income. This can be particularly problematic for landlords who rely on rental income to pay their bills, mortgage, and other expenses associated with owning and maintaining the property.


Increased Expenses

Vacant units can also lead to increased expenses. When a rental unit is vacant, the landlord must still pay for utilities, maintenance, repairs, and other expenses associated with owning the property. In addition, vacant units may require additional advertising and marketing to attract new tenants, which can be costly.


Property Condition

Vacant units can also negatively impact the condition of the property. When a unit sits empty, it is more likely to fall into disrepair. Tenants living in a rental property can alert landlords or property managers to maintenance issues, but vacant units may not receive the same level of attention. Additionally, vacant units may attract unwanted attention from vandals or squatters, leading to additional property damage.

Tenant Turnover

Another reason to minimize vacancies is tenant turnover. The longer a unit sits vacant, it is more and more difficult to find the right tenant. This is because vacant units can create a perception of poor management or a lack of demand. Tenant turnover can be costly for landlords and property managers, as it requires additional advertising and marketing to attract new tenants, as well as cleaning and maintenance costs associated with preparing the unit for new tenants.


Opportunity Cost

Finally, minimizing vacancies is important because of opportunity cost. When a unit sits vacant, the landlord is missing out on the opportunity to earn rental income as well as having to shoulder the additional costs of maintaining. This lost income could be used to make improvements to the property, pay down the mortgage, or invest in other real estate opportunities.


In conclusion, landlords and property managers should work to minimize vacancies on their residential rental properties. Vacancies result in lost income, increased expenses, property damage, tenant turnover, and missed opportunities. By minimizing vacancies, landlords and property managers can ensure that their properties are generating income, maintaining their condition, and attracting and retaining tenants.