A vacant property comes with all kinds of risks. You want to keep your San Diego rental property occupied with quality tenants who can help you take care of it while paying rent on time every month.
Vacancies do happen, however, and you’ll need to protect your investment when there isn’t a tenant in place. It’s going to require more than driving by the property once a week.
Here are some noteworthy ways to protect your vacant San Diego rental property.
San Diego Vacancy Risks
First, you need to understand the risks of long vacancies.
The obvious problem with a vacant home is that it’s not earning you any money. Missing out on even a month of rental income can hurt. When your vacancy stretches on for longer, you’re looking at a real cash flow problem.
But that’s not all. You’re also paying for things like utilities and landscaping without earning any income. Your out-of-pocket costs will only increase the longer the property stays vacant.
A vacant home is also vulnerable to acts of vandalism and crime. You could have squatters move in. If there’s a slow leak occurring under a sink or a problem with an outlet, you’re not going to know it because there aren’t tenants to report it. That’s going to lead to more expensive maintenance problems.
Inspect Your San Diego Rental Property
One way to keep your vacant property safe is to inspect it frequently. Make sure everything is working and look for potential trouble spots such as leaks, appliances, electrical systems, and security. Are the doors and windows locking? Is the smoke alarm working?
If you can get into your rental home at least once or twice a week, you can ensure there’s nothing terrible going on. You can also check for potentially damaging maintenance issues.
Consider Tech-Driven Security
Installing a video or security camera and/or an alarm system is a good way to protect your San Diego property when it’s vacant. There’s a lot of great technology right now that provides cameras so you always know who is coming and going from your property. With systems like the Ring doorbell, you can see who is approaching your property. You can record the video of who is coming and going and you can even stream it if you want to check in on things in real time.
These types of investments are a good idea when you’re worried about people breaking into your rental home.
Ask Neighbors for Help
Leave your contact information with people who live close to your property. If your rental home is in an HOA, make sure the board knows how to reach you in case something goes wrong.
Update Your Insurance Coverage
Insurance companies often allow your home to be vacant for 30 days before your coverage is in danger. If your home is going to be vacant for longer than that, consider buying insurance that will cover the vacancy period. A vacancy policy will likely be expensive, but you want to make sure you’re covered if something happens at the home while it’s empty.
The best way to reduce the risks associated with vacancy is by working with a San Diego property manager. We work hard to retain tenants and when there is a turnover period, we work quickly to ensure a well-qualified tenant is quickly found and placed.
If you’d like to talk more about this topic, please contact us at Mercer Properties.