The Christmas shutdown can bring financial and logistical challenges for landlord investors. Here's what you need to know about managing tenanted properties and timing advertising campaigns to minimise vacancies.
For property investors, Christmas can be surprisingly stressful. Tenanted properties still need to be maintained even though most tradespeople are on holiday, while finding new tenants becomes more urgent in order to avoid long vacancies over summer. Then there’s the prospect of a tenant giving notice unexpectedly just before Christmas. How do you manage these issues on top of Christmas commitments? Here’s our suggested timeline to minimise stress.
Early December: Time For Maintenance Checks And Tenant Communication
If they haven’t done so already, early December is the time when your property management team should be completing their final property inspections for the year. These are important opportunities to find out about maintenance issues and solve them before tradespeople go on their Christmas break.
This is also the time for honest conversations about tenants’ intentions in terms of remaining in the property and their expectations around rent increases. Having these discussions before Christmas means you’ll have time to respond to these decisions with maximum support from your property management team.
Mid December: Check In With Your Property Management Team
As Christmas approaches, make time to check in with your property manager to discuss their staffing arrangements over the holiday period. A good property management team will have holiday arrangements in place to take care of any urgent issues that crop up over Christmas, ensuring your peace of mind. This includes having qualified tradespeople such as plumbers and electricians on-call in case of emergency.
How To Manage A Christmas Vacancy
As a landlord investor you already know how important it is to prepare your finances to allow for vacancies, especially those that happen over December/January. To make sure you’re fully prepared, it’s also important to:
- Make sure property managers are communicating with tenants that are nearing the end of their leases in early December to avoid last-minute surprises.
- Start campaigns well ahead of vacancies whenever possible.
- Remember that advertising online over Christmas isn’t a waste: plenty of prospective tenants are still looking for properties during their own downtime.
- Check that all your properties, including vacant ones, are properly insured against theft and damage.
Mid January: Too Early To Start The Next Campaign?
The good news for landlord investors managing Christmas vacancies is that early January brings plenty of enthusiasm from prospective tenants. Many have extra time on their hands and are keen to inspect new rental properties. As long as your property manager is running a proactive campaign and ready to respond to enquiries, this can be a relatively easy time of year to find new tenants and fill vacancies quickly.
Top Areas To Focus On Over Christmas
For a stress-free holiday period, landlord investors should focus on these key areas:
Make sure your property manager is having honest conversations with tenants about their intentions.
Get ahead of upcoming maintenance requests and organise work on vacant properties where possible.
While landlord investors need to be financially prepared to withstand vacancies, property managers should also demonstrate their preparedness for the new year and be ready to start the next round of marketing as soon as possible once the Christmas break is over.
Taylors Property Management Specialists is closed from Saturday 23 December until we re-open on Tuesday 02 January. During this time, we leave a message on our office phone advising of our closure period and directing tenants to our website’s emergency numbers.