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How Vacancies Affect Your Return on Investment?

Having an empty rental property is not only frustrating but it can also have a severe impact on your return on investment. Whether you own one rental property or hundreds of them, vacancy can set you back and take a large chunk of your profit. This article defines how vacancies affect your return on investment and what you can do to minimize it.

What is Return on Investment (ROI)?

Return on investment (ROI) is a way to measure the profitability of an investment. It is defined as the ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount of money invested. In real estate, it is a measure of the ratio of profit earned over the price of property. The higher the ROI, the more profitable it is for the investor.

Vacancy and Its Impact on ROI

The length of time a rental property stays vacant can have a significant impact on the return on investment. Every month that your property is vacant represents a lost month of rental income. Even if you have a potential tenant willing to move in, the process of finding and approving the tenant, as well as the time for any necessary renovations or repairs, can eat away at your total return.

The amount of money lost due to vacancy depends on your monthly income, the length of the vacancy period, and the cost of preparing the rental for the next tenants. Additionally, long-term vacancies can cause damage to your property and reduce its market value.

Calculating the Impact of Vacancy on ROI

To calculate the impact of vacancy on ROI, you need to first calculate your return on investment (ROI) for the last year. This requires calculating your total income from rent, repairs, and other sources, subtracting your total operating expenses, and dividing it by your total investment.

Next, calculate the amount of income lost due to vacancy. This requires calculating the amount of time the property was vacant during the last year, multiplying it by the rental rate, and multiplying it by the number of months.

Finally, subtract the amount of income lost due to vacancy from the total return (before vacancy) to get the total return on investment after vacancy. The difference is the impact of vacancy on your ROI.

Reducing Vacancy and Protecting Your ROI

It is important to minimize the amount of time your rental property is vacant. Here are some effective ways to minimize vacancy:

Price your Property Competitively

A competitive rental rate will help attract tenants quickly and reduce vacancy. Research the market to determine the average rental rate in your area and set your rental rate accordingly.

Offer Perks and Incentives

Offering perks or incentives such as flexible lease terms, reduced rent, or move-in allowances can help attract tenants, reduce vacancy, and ensure you get the highest quality tenants.

Maintain and Enhance Your Property

It is important to keep your rental property in good condition. Potential tenants are more likely to choose your property if it is well-maintained and in good condition. Additionally, enhancing your property with amenities such as energy-efficient appliances can help attract high-quality tenants.

Stay on Top of Marketing

Marketing your rental property is essential for attracting tenants. Take advantage of online listing services, open houses, and reach out to potential tenants directly. Find expert guidance on finance and pricing for UK landlords in the current market.


It is important to minimize the amount of time your property is vacant in order to maximize your return on investment. Taking steps such as providing competitive rental rates, offering perks and incentives, maintaining and enhancing your property, and staying on top of marketing can help minimize vacancy and protect your ROI.

What measures can I take to maximize my return on investment if I have an upcoming vacancy?

1. Clean and stage the property. Make sure it looks attractive and appealing to prospective tenants so that they will be more likely to rent it.

2. Research rental rates in the area to ensure you’re charging the appropriate amount.

3. Advertise the property using multiple channels, including online, local print publications, physical signage, or word of mouth.

4. Respond to inquiries promptly to create positive impressions of your company and your property.

5. Pre-screen tenants to ensure you’re renting to responsible and reliable individuals.

6. Keep up with maintenance and repairs to ensure the property is in good condition.

7. Offer incentives to tenants, such as discounts or free items, to encourage them to sign the lease.

8. Negotiate favourable terms and conditions in the lease agreement to protect your interests.

9. Set a reasonable security deposit and take a deposit as soon as possible once the tenant has agreed to rent the property.

10. Review the lease agreement regularly to ensure it meets your requirements.

What strategies can I use to find the right tenant for my rental property?

1. Thoroughly Screen Potential Tenants: Carefully review their rental or employment history, credit score, and any references they provide.

2. Check for Legal Compliance: Ensure that all tenant and landlord laws are observed, including those related to security deposits, maximum occupancy, and eviction.

3. Use a Tenant Background Check: This can help reveal any history of outstanding judgments, evictions, or landlord disputes.

4. Set Clear Expectations: Make sure the tenants fully understand expected rental terms, such as when rent is due and the duration of the rental agreement.

5. Offer a Comprehensive Lease: An extensive lease agreement that covers all possible scenarios and anticipates potential challenges can protect you if a dispute arises later.

6. Have Regular Property Inspections: Doing so ensures that any tenant damage is found and documented.

7. Conduct an Interview: In-person interviews with potential tenants can get a good sense of who they are and their competence as a tenant.

8. Contact References: Speak with any former landlords to get an idea of how the tenant behaved in previous rentals.

9. Price Appropriately: Some prospective tenants may be willing to pay more if they view the property as having added value. Conversely, underpricing your rental can attract a less desirable tenant demographic.

10. Promote Open Communication: Having an open line of communication between you and your tenants at all times can help head off any issues before they arise.

What resources should I use to screen potential tenants for a rental property?

1. Run a background check. You can get one through a background check site like Checkr, GoodHire, or E-Verify.

2. Check their credit score. You can do this through a tenant screening service like MySmartMove or Experian.

3. Ask for references from a prior landlord or employer.

4. Have an application form that prospective tenants fill out. This is a good way to get an overview of the tenant’s current financial situation and how they’ve behaved with past landlords.

5. Interview the tenant. This is a great way to get to know them and gauge if they’ll be a good fit for your property.

6. Ask for proof of income. This can be a pay stub, tax return, or letter from an employer.

7. Collect a security deposit. This is a good way to protect yourself in case the tenant damages the property or doesn’t pay their rent.

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