My tenants are moving out. Things are about to get interesting again.

So, I haven’t been writing much lately, because, honestly, there hasn’t been that much going on with the duplex lately. My tenants were in their second year of leasing, and never really seemed to have any maintenance issues to speak of. Rent was paid on time, and they were quiet and pleasant. The only thing I could possibly complain about is their occasional late-night sewing sprees (sewing machines are kind of loud, and the vibrations carry through to the first floor). But if that’s my biggest complain, things are going pretty well, you know?

But…. today, the 1st of the month, I got a call from my tenant, saying that they wanted to move out. They want to save up some money, and have decided that moving to a smaller space in a cheaper neighborhood was a good way to accomplish that. They’ll be moving out in 90 days, per the terms of my lease agreement.

I’m glad that I specified 90 days, instead of the more standard 60, for a few reasons. A) I’ll be out of town for part of this month, and won’t be available to show the apartment. B) There’s probably some sprucing-up to do before showings, and this way I’ll have time to do it. C) I have more time to figure out what I need to do to pull credit reports these days. Shortly after the last time I leased my apartment, the credit agencies stopped allowing landlords who work out of their homes to pull credit reports UNLESS they have a separate, lockable room for landlording (verified by an inspection from a credit agency). Sounds like a lot of work. Also, D) I don’t really know what current rents are. I have no idea if I can raise the rent, or if I’m going to have to lower it. How has the housing crisis affected the rental market, in terms of rental vacancies and market rents? If anyone out there has a good handle on this, please leave me a comment. I have some research to do.

Although I am not looking forward to finding new tenants (this is the part of landlording that isn’t necessarily “passive” income), I’m trying not to get too worried about it. Last time my tenants told me they were moving out, I actually cried. No, not in front of them, of course, but I was quite upset about going through the whole process again. But I’m more experienced now, and the apartment has been through several phases of improvements. I also have an ad all ready to go, so I won’t have to worry about composing that again. Things should go pretty smoothly this time around. Or at least so I hope.

New tenants, here I come!

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5 thoughts on “My tenants are moving out. Things are about to get interesting again.

  1. The folks on the forum at are saying that some services only require a locked filing cabinet and a shredder. There is a credit reporting service through that site that does require an inspection ($59) and only allows you to check Experian, but you only need the locked files and shredder. Note: I haven’t used it, so proceed with caution.

  2. I had this same problem. I even paid a $75 inspection fee, only to be dropped a few months later. I found one credit report company who does not have this requirement. Email me and I will send it to you (don’t want them to start doing this).

  3. If you do an analysis of area rents, and find your place is currently charging too much in rent for the market….perhaps you could offer to resign your current tenants at a lower rate, since they specified that’s why they’d move out? Might be worth it to consider….


  4. What resource(s) do you use to research rental rates and that type of information? I’m looking at buying my first property soon, but having trouble finding detailed/useful information on rents, demographics, etc… to figure out cash flow calculations…


  5. Bob — that’s a fine idea, but my place is already cheap cheap cheap. They aren’t going to find the same amount of space for a cheaper price, they’re looking to downsize. If it was over market rate, I might have considered lowering the rent to keep them; however, rents have risen since they’ve moved in, so a new tenant might be better for me in the long run.

    BTW, I’ve found that the best resource for researching rental rates is a simple stroll through craig’s list. You can get a feel, pretty quickly, what the average 2 or 3 bedroom apartment in your neighborhood is going for, what a nicer (or bigger) unit goes for vs. a slummier one, etc.

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