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Reasons to Break a Lease

Charlotte Properties
As a landlord, one of the last things that you want to hear is that your tenant is going to break the lease they have with you. However, sometimes this is an unavoidable situation for both you and your tenant. I know that I have never wanted to break a lease, however sometimes it has happened for one reason or another. Here are a few reasons that you may want to offer an option to break a lease with your tenant.
1. Death. This is probably the number one reason to allow people to break a lease. Whether the death is that of your tenant, one of your tenants, or someone close to your tenants, death is something that really changes the game for everyone involved in that life. Sometimes people lose a family member and need to travel to take care of the estate or perhaps they have been left a different housing arrangement. Always have a plan about when death hits at least close to home for those on your lease.
2. Loss of Work. Sometimes, losing your job means the need to cut back. Unfortunately, this does sometimes mean the need to find a cheaper living situation. If your tenant has lost their job and can no longer afford the terms of your lease, you may be able to help out by allowing the lease to be broken and not continuing to charge them something they cannot afford.
3. Severe Illness of Injury. When someone gets sick or hurt, everything can change. Sometimes they need to stop working. Other times, medical bills can pile up to the point that any amount of income that doesn't go towards food needs to go to that so they can continue to be treated. If your tenant or someone close to your tenant has a situation like this, then you may see fit to break the lease you have. If your tenant needs to move to care for someone who has become disabled, then breaking the lease may be the best thing for all involved.
While it is always painful to break a lease, sometimes it is the best thing that you can do for your tenant. After all, if they cannot continue to pay their rent and are open about it, at least you know that they are responsible. You never know, perhaps if the issue that caused the lease to be broken is resolved, they may just come back.

Cheap Ways to Attract Residents

Charlotte Properties
One of the biggest struggles for someone who has a rental property is finding someone to live there. While everyone needs somewhere to live, you also need to remember that you aren't the only apartment in the area. There are hundreds, if not thousands of different places that are trying to find someone to live in them, just like you are. Sometimes your place gets taken off the market quickly, and others it can take seemingly forever to find a tenant. Here are a few ideas of how to find someone to live in your rental property for little money on your part.
1. Post Locally. Posting about an apartment in local businesses can really help out someone who is looking. You can always just ask someone if you can place some fliers or business cards in their work place. You may even help them out in turn by purchasing a small gift card for your future resident to their business location.
2. Put It Online. There are dozens of sites where you can post for free about different things. Sites like Craigslist are always popular for people to look for new housing arrangements and you can be certain that people are going to see your listing as long as you post it correctly. Posting it online also helps to bring it to more people as they do not have to be in the area when they look at your apartment online. I have been looking at certain apartments a few states away for friends and it is so wonderfully easy.
3. Word of Mouth. While this technique isn't used as much anymore, it has likely gotten me my next apartment. I mentioned to a friend that I was looking to move and they put me in touch with someone who had an empty apartment. You never know how useful your friends can be in helping you out when it comes to filling your rental property, so put some feelers out there for those who may need somewhere new.
These are three of the most obvious ways to try and get some new residents without paying an arm and a leg, but sometimes there is nothing wrong with trying the obvious ways first. In fact, they are well used for a reason. Let us know what other methods you have used and stick around for some more ideas.

Ice Cream Socials

Charlotte Properties
While for me ice cream socials bring up memories of school and a lot of bullying, I still enjoy the idea of them. If you own an apartment building or complex, then you probably have a lot of residents that don't know each other. While this may be the way some people want it, I know that personally I try to get to know all of my neighbors. I always feel awkward about knocking on their door or ringing their doorbell, though. This is when an activity such as an ice cream social comes into play.
Getting your apartment building to have an ice cream social is something that can benefit your residents in so many different ways. The main objective for me is to get a group of people who live close to one another together in the same spot for a good reason. It isn't something negative like a meeting to resolve an issue which will have high negative emotions, so people will generally be in a better mood to get to know their neighbors. This is always a good thing, since neighbors that know each other are more likely to look out for those who live close to them.
Let's look at another good point in support of an ice cream social: who doesn't like ice cream? Especially now with the appearance of lactose free ice cream, almost anyone can enjoy the glorious substance that children and elderly people alike seek out on hot days for a bit of refreshment. Even if you don't want to buy a bunch of ice cream, Italian ice is a wonderful alternative that almost everyone can enjoy. You can grab large amounts from a specialty store like Rita's, or single servings from your local grocery store for those who would rather not consume the ice cream for whatever their personal reason is.
In the summer, having something that gets your residents together may be difficult to organize but it is almost always worth it. Getting people to know each other is something that can really only be beneficial and again, almost everyone loves a cool flavored treat during the heat of the summer. In fact, I think I'm going to go get a popsicle. It's a great way to cool off and I still enjoy when my tongue turns different colors from them.

Pre-Furnished Apartments – Pros and Cons

Charlotte Properties
Some people get started with very little in the way of furniture. While some are fortunate enough to move in with everything they need, many are trying to start from scratch due to any number of reasons. In situations like these, you will often see someone move in with not much more than their clothes and a mattress. Often, this is actually an air mattress. You can, however, provide a fully furnished apartment for very little money or effort if you're interested. Here are some pros and cons to doing that.
Pros:
1. Tenant Safety. Often, if a tenant does not have funding they will attempt to purchase cheap things and this may include appliances. Old or cheap appliances like microwaves and air conditioners are often safety issues due to exposed wiring or simple overuse. If you furnish the apartment, you know that your tenant (and your property) are relatively safe.
2. Tenant Comfort. A comfortable tenant is a happy tenant. For someone who is coming to your property with very little often has a heck of a story as to how they came to have very little. Often, these are abuse victims or people who have lost everything in some kind of natural disaster. If you are able to provide them with some form of comfort, then that will make them more likely to stay with you for an extended period of time.
Cons:
1. Moving. If your tenant shows up and says that they do not need furniture, then you will need to move everything out of the apartment. This is often at least a full day of work and you can't always afford to take that. This is even more difficult when the apartment is on an upper floor or if you don't have people that can help you move.
2. Storage. Let's face it, storage of an entire apartment of furniture is not small. Either it will take up a lot of space at your home or you will spend money on a storage unit. Either way, it is inconvenient.
At the end of the day, it is your choice whether or not you offer furniture for your tenants. It is always a good idea to look at the area you are in and the tenants you are renting towards. You never know how much it may help someone.

Filling a Temporary Vacancy

Talley Properties
Sometimes you find out about the perfect tenant. They are quiet, respectful, clean, and are looking for a new place to live that is exactly what you have to offer while still being in their price point. You want them to move in desperately. There's only one problem: their current lease isn't up for a few months and you need money from your rental property now. So what do you do? Should you take the loss and wait for them, or do you take your chances with finding another tenant and hope that you get someone as good as them? Thankfully, there is another option.
While most of the time we will suggest a minimum of one year for a lease, there are certain circumstances in which we will suggest a shorter one. This may very well be one of them. If the difference is only a month or so, then you may not want to bother, but if their lease is not up until October and it is only May or June, you may want to look into finding a temporary resident for the time being. This is perfectly fine if you do need the money from your rental property but really really want that other resident.
The only thing that we suggest is that you make it very clear from the beginning that this is strictly a temporary arrangement. Let your temporary resident know that they will not be able to renew the lease past a certain date and that you will need time between when they leave and when you rent to the other people. Make sure that your preferred tenants know this as well so they aren't surprised if they find small marks on the wall or smell fresh paint even though you said you had done it a few months before.
Having a temporary vacancy can be a bit of a headache for landlords, but there are ways to make the best out of it. You may even want to give a discounted rate to those who are filling the rental for the time since they will have to find another place so quickly. Whatever you decide, just remember to be open with your tenants. You certainly don't want any miscommunication between yourself and people that will be living in a building that you own.

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