Is there a best time of the year to rent out an apartment? While tenants will move every month of the year, there are periods of peak and low demand. Understanding how the rental market works will help landlords plan their marketing schedule, make renovations and fill vacancies quickly. Here’s what landlords need to know about seasonal demand for apartments.
Conventional wisdom holds that the best season to rent out an apartment runs from May to September.
During these months, students may be moving out of college, transitioning from high school or looking for a short-term summer rental. Families prioritize moving during the summer, so that children won’t have to change schools midway through the year. There’s nice weather in these months, so it’s less painful to move than it would be in, say, February. Lastly, properties also look better when there are grass, flowers and trees. This can increase the appeal of an apartment — especially if the unit comes with outside space, such as a patio or a backyard.
Winter is a slow season for renting out apartments due to the holidays, inclement weather and low temperatures.
Since many landlords know that summer months offer prime demand, their leases are often structured accordingly. Tenants who decide not to renew their lease join the ranks of the apartment seekers. Since many leases start in June or September, some landlords consider either of these the best month to rent out an apartment.
How the Rent Cycle Benefits Landlords
Summer season brings more options for both landlords and tenants. Renters will find a lot of units from which to choose — compared with a handful of units that may be available in March or December. Landlords will find more applicants, too. Landlords who want to quickly fill vacancies may be able to find a tenant much faster than if advertising the apartment outside of peak season.
During slow season, property managers may have to choose between filling a vacancy quickly from the limited pool of applicants and getting the rent they want. In peak season, landlords can get their preferred rate or even raise it, because so many tenants need apartments.
Landlords who are planning renovations can take advantage of peak season. For instance, a landlord who is planning a bathroom remodel can work in July and August to get the renovations complete in time for a Sept. 1 move-in date.
In markets that have an oversupply of units compared to the number of prospective renters, there may be less of a noticeable difference between advertising rentals from May to September and renting at other times of the year. Fewer prospective tenants increase the odds that an apartment will sit vacant for months. Landlords who own housing stock in these areas could consider offering short-term rentals, accepting pets, renovating apartments or discounting the rent to increase interest in their available rentals.
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