Offering incentives to your renters to get them to sign the lease can help you fill vacancies faster, especially when the rental market is unpredictable, or you’re struggling to fill your unit. Incentives can also be a useful way to attract tenants to your rental property and make your asking rental price seem more fair. So what are some potential tenant incentives you can offer as a DC landlord?
Offering Early Lease Termination
Life happens, and renters get peace of mind from knowing there’s some flexibility with their lease agreement. You always have the option to offer your tenants the ability to back out of the lease early. However, it’s essential to include a clause about this in your contract. For example, most DC landlords charge a fee for tenants who want to break the lease early. If you choose to allow this, consider charging a fee of at least one months’ rent, which can give you time to find a new renter and cover your expenses.
If you don’t currently allow pets in your rental unit, this could be a dealbreaker for the many renters who have pets. If you’ve found tenants that could be a good fit for your unit but they come with pets, you may consider approving pets in this particular circumstance as an incentive. This is also something you should include in your lease along with a fee. Some DC landlords charge a monthly fee included with the rent or a one-time nonrefundable fee paid with the security deposit to cover any damages the animals may make to the property.
Letting Tenants Sublet
Subletting, or subleasing, is generally avoided by property managers because it can get messy. Allowing your tenants to sublet means they can choose a person to become the new tenant and take over the rent payments until their original lease is up. While subleasing can take some responsibility off your shoulders as a DC landlord, it can also be more of a headache should your tenant choose someone irresponsible.
Allowing tenants to sublet can be attractive because it gives renters more flexibility to travel or essentially back out of their lease early. However, if you choose to allow subleasing, be sure to include a clause in your lease that covers the restrictions and terms of the process. For example, be sure to include that you, the landlord, must approve the new tenant before agreeing to the sublease.
While not every renter will want a furnished unit, many count on their rental property having furnishings to save them the expense and effort of moving furniture. If your tenants are hesitant to choose your property because it’s unfurnished, consider offering basic furnishing such as a bed, sofa, and dining room table as an incentive to get them to sign the lease. Whether you choose to offer partially furnished or fully furnished units is up to you, but be sure the security deposit includes an amount for any potential damage done to the furniture.
Authorizing an Early Move-in Date
Renters often have to coordinate their moves carefully when one lease ends and another begins. By allowing an early move-in date as an incentive, you can attract renters who otherwise would have to make other arrangements before moving into your property. Giving this option may be the incentive your potential tenant needs to sign the lease.
Need Help With Your Income Property?
Marketing and renting out your income property isn’t easy, but the benefits can make the investment worth it. Why not have your local professional property managers at FAS Management handle your rental property? We coordinate maintenance, bookkeeping, and much more for our clients in the DC area. Contact us today for more information at (202) 337-5080!