Hello this is The Atypical Hustlers and we are here to give you tips on how to handle your rental property that becomes vacant. Ideally, this is something that we prefer to avoid. But unfortunately, we must be realistic and accept the fact that properties will be vacant sometimes. an option that is usually picked when you first start renting out your property. We will go over both of these as well as share what strategy we prefer.
Whats your plan with the Utilities?
There is two different directions to go with the property once it goes vacant. You can choose to have the utilities transferred to you or your entities name or you can simply let them just get turned off once its terminated from the most recent occupant.
If you choose to have the utilities switched over to your name. Here is all of the positive things that come with leaving the utilities on. First off how simple is it to have them transferred to you? Its actually very simple. Every town that we have rentals in have the option of allowing a revolving utilities deposit. So all you have to do is simply call or some utility companies require written proof to have your utilities flipped to your name.
After a move out, the property usually needs a make ready done on it. Which entails cleaning everything floor to ceiling and sometimes even doing repairs. For this reason having the utilities in your name is very convenient when it comes to cleaning or hiring a make ready crew to get it ready. Its not easy at all cleaning a house without electricity and especially without water.
This also allows you to leave lights on to let the property appear occupied and be a deterrent for any criminals. Another thing that can be done is plugging in a radio, that way you can leave noise on inside the house.
The top negative repercussions would be the risk of a burst water pipe. Even when winterizing it there’s still that chance that all the lines aren’t emptied depending on how the house is plumbed. Then of course the other issue with them being in your name would be the utility bill that you would be responsible for.
Having the property left with no utilities is a choice that has very small risk. There’s certainly no bill to pay. There’s no chance of a water leak as long as you make sure you winterize the property correctly. Which we will explain in another blog. Some of the cons of letting the utilities turned off go hand in hand with the pros of them being left on. The worst part is not having the utilities on to have the make ready done on the property.
What The Atypical Hustlers do!
We actually choose to not have the utilities transferred to us. We have found a way to alleviate every issue that could arise form not having them on. First thing we do when a property is vacated is we get there to get it cleaned out and ready for the next renter. We make sure to winterize the plumbing especially if its in the winter months. We have a Generac Generator that ran us around $400 several years ago. This is our power source. We also bring ourselves about 5 5-Gallon buckets full of water for cleaning. (If you choose to hire a make ready then this may not be the route for you because we have yet to find a cleaning person that keeps a generator and a water supply in their trunk). We typically paint and do lawn work if needed. We obviously have no power so we have a battery powered radio as well as a battery powered lantern. (Try to refrain from using an oil lamp because we don’t want to upset your insurance company). We use these to make it look like and sound like there is someone home. This could prevent someone from breaking and entering. Its not cheap having to replace all the copper in your house. We always make sure we put a key lock box somewhere at the property. Typically we don’t have it on the front door in plain sight because that could be a sign of a vacant house to someone that could be up to no good. These run about $30. The reason we have this is just in case we are unable to make it to the property and we decide that we can let someone in to view the property. We only do this if they text or email us a picture of themselves holding their ID.
We hope you found this educating. It has taken several years of bad experiences to put together our go to route for when the properties come up vacant. Let our experiences good and bad be a tool for you and your real estate investing goals. Thank you for joining us!