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When should I start advertising my rental property?

12 November 2019

Photo by Jeshua Sharkey on Unsplash

There comes a time when you need to advertise your rental property. Even the best tenants move out eventually. As a private landlord, you need to know optimal time frames to advertise your rental to avoid unnecessary stress and pressure of having it sitting vacant.

The best time of the year to advertise

When is tenant demand at its peak?

Start of the year, January-February is by far the busiest time to advertise. Everyone is on the move and looking for accommodation - students starting university, parents settling children into a new school, a lot of people starting new jobs. A lot of fixed-term tenancies are ending around this time. Tenants can be taking advantage by ending leases without extra financial obligations, choosing to move because the owner has decided to increase rent or they just want a change of scenery.

The second peak period would be around mid-year (June, July, August). 6-months leases are expiring, and mid-year university intakes are occurring. Without a doubt, there is a high demand for properties.

With an abundance of tenants looking for a new home to rent, there is no shortage of rentals on the market. You too can take advantage of this by leasing your property in the peak season.

Ending tenancies around holiday season could be a big and costly problem. With so many people on holidays and away on leave, Christmas and Easter are considered to be the worst times to rent your property.

What if my tenancy ends in the off-peak season?

There is a common misconception that a fixed-term tenancy should only be 6 or 12 months long. You can always ask the tenant to sign a longer or shorter lease to ensure it expires at the right time.

The magic timeframe to advertise your property

To avoid any loss of income, you really want your new tenants to move in as soon as your current tenants move out. This is easier said than done. The adverting process can be lengthy at times. Viewings, follow-ups, tenant screening, document signing all takes time.

Advertising too early

It's very tempting to start advertising early, but it can have a reverse effect.

The bulk of enquiries usually comes through in the first few weeks of advertising. If you've started advertising too early, you may have trouble organising viewings or aligning move-in dates of new tenants with the end of tenancy dates of current ones.

You are likely to attract tenants that are "just browsing" who haven't considered if they want to move yet or tenants who won't be keen to wait for the property that is only available weeks from now.

Advertising too late

If you're advertising too late, you face the risk of an extended vacancy period, which can be a very costly

You are likely to attract more transient, less organised tenants desperate to secure the lease but likely to come with a story of their own. The suitable applicants would still need to give notice before vacating their old place and would likely not be able to move for a few weeks, meaning you lose weeks of rental income.

Advertise 4-6 weeks before an expected vacancy

Listing your property 4-6 weeks before your current tenants move out should give you ample of time to screen and sign new ones.

You can't guarantee anything.

The rental market, as a whole, is pretty competitive now.

If your listing is not getting the response you want, then it's wise to review your ad. You might want to find new photos, adjust the price, upgrade the listing or offer incentives to gain more interest.

You can't always avoid a vacant property but with the right marketing channels, screening techniques and a good plan you can minimise stress, costs and find great tenants in no time at all.

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