Tip #42

Specify Move-in/Move-out Times in the Lease

Written on May 19, 2014 by , updated on June 11, 2014

Specify-Move-TimesA great way to maximize rental revenue is to ensure that your property is never vacant.

Vacancy is the ultimate profit killer. (tweetable?)

I always try to create back-to-back leases so that someone is paying rent every day of the year. As soon as one lease ends, I want the next one to start the next day.

What About Turnovers?

Between tenancies, I have an obligation to make any necessary repairs and ensure the premises are thoroughly cleaned for the next tenants.

It’s a lot to handle when I have back-to-back leases. The trick is buffering enough time to accomplish everything, and not waiting until the last minute for something that can be done during a tenancy.

For example, a door knob can be fixed while tenants are living there. However, a thorough, floor-to-ceiling cleaning can only be done when the place is empty.

Specify Move-in/Move-out Times

To minimize the time a unit sits vacant while still leaving me enough time to turn the property over, I specify move-in and move-out times in the lease.

I include the following “Term” clause in all my leases:

Move-in/move-out times are not that uncommon. Hotels specify check-in/check-out times and charge by the night, rather than by the day. Likewise, my renters have access to the property every day of the lease term, except that the first (or last) day lease is simply shortened when you specify a move-in/move-out time.

To be honest, it seems like some tenants even prefer to have a “check-in/check-out” time. It’s a familiar concept, and it helps them schedule their move more efficiently if they have a timeframe to work within.

If I don’t specify a time, they always end up asking “how early can we move in?

28 Hours

The 40 Minute War

The 40 Minute War

Assuming that my tenants don’t holdover the property, creating this time buffer guarantees that I have at least 28 hours to replace carpet, paint rooms, changes locks, clean, etc, without losing any rent.

If I’m smart about scheduling contractors in advance, I can accomplish most anything in 28 hours. After all, the Anglo-Zanzibar War only took 40 minutes.

Give it a try and add move-in/move-out times to your lease. You’ll be glad you did.

photo credit: Express Monorail via cc
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