Property Management Blog

Showing a Rental Property With Current Tenants: A Guide

System - Monday, March 15, 2021

Showing a Property with Tenants 


Tenants move out due to various life circumstances. As a landlord, it’s best to be prepared not only for the tenant turnover but also for welcoming new prospects. As a first-time landlord, you might debate if showing a property with tenants still occupying it is the way to go. After all, you want to minimize intrusion as much as you can. However, there are great benefits to showing an occupied unit compared to waiting for the tenant to leave. 


Advantages to Showing an Occupied Unit


Here are advantages to carrying on with property showings despite the presence of current tenants:


No need to absorb income losses


Losing out on a few months of rent can be quite costly. You’ll need to reach deeper into your pocket for the maintenance expenses. If you find tenants right away, you won’t face any income losses. You also get to reserve your budget for property emergencies.


Less hassle for transferring billing


When you’re trying to save time, you want to skip unnecessary procedures. One of them is transferring names on the utility bills. If there are no vacant periods, the bill won’t have to be transferred to your name. It will right away be changed to the new tenants’ names.


Prospects have a realistic view of the rental


Empty rentals can appear devoid of the lived-in look. The prospects have to imagine furniture setups. With furnished units though, they don’t have to and it’s the reason furnished units are quickly reserved.

Low income disruptions and lived in appeal are benefits of showing occupied units

Disadvantages to Showing an Occupied Unit

Just like with most things, occupied properties also have disadvantages such as:


The tendency for an occupied rental unit to look disorganized


Since people live in the rental space in real-time, you should realistically expect some clutter. This is beyond your control as a landlord. It might affect the decision of the prospects as they consider the state of the rental space.


Pending repairs on the horizon


If you’re scheduling repairs, there might be portions of the home that aren’t functioning at its finest. For example, a wall that has water damage may need to be repainted. This can look unsightly to a prospective renter when touring the unit.


Non-collaborative spirit of the current tenant


Depending on the circumstances of the tenant’s move out, it might also be better to postpone a property showing. You may have decided to not approve the lease renewal of the tenant. If there’s lingering bitterness, it will be hard to collaborate with the tenant for a successful property showing.


Tips on how to show an occupied property:


Create a schedule that’s mutually agreed upon.


When scheduling property showings, it’s a good idea to ask the tenant if the time slot is acceptable. As the one residing in the property, the tenant’s convenience must be prioritized. Avoid the early and late hours. Make sure it falls on normal business hours and days unless the tenant prefers it otherwise. 


It would even be advisable to have different schedule slots to select from. This provides more room for choices. If there’s only one schedule, it can increase the pressure to say yes.

Create a showing schedule with your current tenant

Always issue a notice.


Submit a notice to the tenant since bringing a prospective renter randomly can be intrusive on one’s privacy. Even if the tenant is moving out, the right to privacy is not diminished. So observe boundaries and send reminders when a property showing is nearing.


Some tenants are comfortable being around strangers and can handle property tours. Some prefer to be away. Ask your tenant which is more comfortable. But send a notice either way. This will keep the tenant on track with the schedule of property showing within the day or week.


Make time to discuss your intention with tenants.


Nothing beats a sincere conversation. Telling your tenant that you’re opting to conduct property showings to prevent income loss is being transparent. It provides an easy way to ask for support from your tenant. Being open about your objective can create a cooperative environment.


If you don’t talk to your tenants then you might not find out if they have any concerns. They might also have strategies or recommendations to make your property showings more successful. Talking would foster more understanding and cooperation.


Incentivize tenants.


It will be a good idea to make the property showing beneficial for both you and the tenant. If there’s an incentive, the tenant can make the process smoother. They may clear up clutter and open up their time. Incentives work because it rewards a person’s cooperation.


In fact, providing incentives is a way for you to show gratitude. You can offer reduced rent or free rent. You can also give a going-away present. Little things count. Remember that the tenants are giving a portion of their time and privacy in exchange for property showings.


Remain courteous. 


Avoid acting entitled since you own the rental property. Even if the leasing contract contained a stipulation that you’re allowed to conduct property showings, respect your tenant’s privacy. Don’t just barge in bringing strangers without informing ahead of time.


It’s also important to follow the schedule. Inserting showings without notice is disruptive. It shows that you don’t respect the tenant’s time. So avoid overscheduling. Make sure the scheduled dates and times are reasonable.


Be respectful when making requests to your tenants. 


A tidy rental unit impresses prospects so it helps to ask tenants to maintain a clutter-free space. Still, the decision remains theirs and you can’t impose it. After all, they’re the current residents. Take into account that if they have kids and pets, it can be challenging to make things orderly.


You can however help out your tenant in this aspect. You can hire professional cleaners to keep the rental spotless. Keep in mind that moving can be a tedious affair. So as much as you can, help out your tenants, too even if they can’t accommodate your request.

Expect a bit of clutter when showing occupied units


Final Thoughts


Certain challenges are presented when it comes to showing an occupied rental unit. But so long as open communication exists, then it’s not impossible to conduct property showings for occupied rental properties.


For more property management assistance, contact Onsite Property Management today! We can help you deal with the many stressful aspects of managing a rental property.