Some owners look for property managers to watch over their home if it’s vacant for an extended period or manage the home while it’s vacant in between tenants. Why would you want someone to do this and what does it entail?
Many people think managing a vacant home is easier than managing an occupied one because there are no tenants to deal with and issues that go along with that like collecting rent. Managing a vacant home is different but not necessarily easier or less work.
What do property managers do when they manage your vacant home? It can vary but mainly property managers are hired to protect vacant homes against vandalism, theft, emergency maintenance, and weather damage.
For example, things can still break when homes are vacant. Since there aren’t tenants living there to notice, the issue can continue getting worse and what would’ve been a small issue if it had been noticed sooner turns into a big one.
Here are some common items that should be maintained when a home is vacant:
Gutters: Making sure the gutters are free of leaves and branches helps to ensure they work properly and direct water away from the house and roof.
Heating and Cooling (making sure temperature doesn’t get too low or too high): If the HVAC temperature is set too low or breaks and there’s a cold streak, pipes can burst in the property. Extreme heat can also lead to issues so having the thermostat programmed and making sure it continues working is important.
Lawn Care: Letting grass grow too long can incur notices and fines if the property has a homeowner association. It also lets thieves know that no one is staying there in case they want to come and take the appliances.
Roof: A leaky roof can turn into a big issue and possibly lead to mold and other issues
Snow Removal: depending on where the property is located and the time of year. Having snow and ice buildup on the driveway and sidewalk are definite signs a property is vacant and inconvenient and dangerous if there are any showings and people are trying to park and walk to the door to view it.
Sump Pump: Depending on your area and the home, if there’s even a slight chance it could flood, having an operational sump pump is important to protecting the home since flooding can cause tens of thousands of dollars of damage.
Property managers can also prevent vandalism and theft by making the home appear occupied so therefore less of a target. They can do this by having lights on timers, opening and closing blinds in various rooms, and removing any packages or mail that ends up being delivered.
They can also switch over and pay utilities bills until a new tenant is found. Some utility companies will automatically switch bills back into the owner’s name when tenants take it out of their names but not all utility companies in all areas do this.
If something does happen at the home while it’s vacant, homeowners also can lose money by needing to take the time to repair it and not being able to sell or generate rental income while the damage is being repaired. In conclusion, having someone look after your home can save you a lot of money.