Risks of Having a Vacant Rental Property

Risks of Having a Vacant Rental Property

Risks of Having a Vacant Rental Property

Most investors see renting out a house as an easy way to earn an income. While you can earn a steady passive income with your rental earnings, you can also lose a lot of money if your property is vacant for too long. 

Vacancies are an unavoidable aspect of owning a rental property. Your Las Vegas rental will be empty from time to time, whether because you’re looking for new tenants or because it’s the off-season. Unfortunately, vacant properties are vulnerable to many risks. 

At B&R Property Management we want to help you keep your investment protected. That’s why we’ve written this guide. Keep reading to learn the top risks of having a vacant rental property and how to mitigate them.

1. Money Losses

An empty rental property means a loss of rental income. For every day that your property is not occupied, you are missing out on rent payments. If this goes on for too long, it can have a significant impact on your financial situation. 

Vacant properties require more maintenance. Since there isn’t anyone regularly cleaning and inspecting the property for damages, you’ll have to do it. Paying operational costs, including professional inspection and cleaning fees, and utilities can leave you with a negative cash flow at the end of the month.


Luckily, you can minimize financial losses by budgeting for vacancies. Every month you should set aside some money to cover the costs of vacancies and other emergencies. A good rule of thumb is to save at least six months of your monthly earnings. However, if you own a vacation rental in an area with a long off-season, you may have to save even more.

2. Property Damage

Empty properties are more likely to show signs of physical deterioration in the short term. When a tenant is living on your property, they’ll typically spot problems before it’s too late. But when it’s empty, it can take days or even weeks to come across issues, which allows things to escalate even further.  

In addition to this, vacant properties are at higher risk of emergencies such as:

  • Water Damage: Leaks or burst pipes in vacant properties can go undetected for extended periods. This can cause extensive water damage and even mold growth.
  • Pest Infestations: Vacant properties provide ideal habitats for pests such as rodents, insects, and vermin. And, with no one around, it can take some time before someone spots them, which can lead to pests multiplying and more serious property damage.
  • Fires: If the utilities remain active or you’ve postponed landscaping for too long, your rental property will be at higher risk of fire hazards. If neighbors aren’t around, it can take some time before someone calls emergency services.
  • Emergency Repairs: Without someone there to spot maintenance issues before they escalate, your vacant rental will be more likely in need of repairs. This can be incredibly costly to deal with.

You can minimize these issues by conducting regular property inspections of your vacant rental. Visiting the property at least once a week should help you keep pests at bay, avoid emergency repairs, and ensure there are no fire hazards on the premises.

3. Break-ins and Trespassing 

Vacant properties are attractive targets for burglars and trespassers. If your property shows signs of being empty, it can attract criminals looking for an easy opportunity to vandalize or damage your home, or steal valuable items. Unoccupied properties are also attractive for squatters, which can be difficult. 

The best way to keep your rental property protected from break-ins and trespassers is by investing in quality security measures, such as resistant locks and security cameras. You can also ask neighbors to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity on your property.

4.  Decline in Property Value

A vacant property can experience a decline in value over time. Potential buyers or future tenants may perceive the property as neglected or less desirable, which can lower its market value. It can also lower its rental rates significantly. 


To avoid getting a poor return on your investment, you must actively work to ensure your vacant rental is in good condition. With regular maintenance and some renovations, you’ll be able to enhance the value of your property and fill your vacancies quickly!

5. Marketing Challenges

The longer your rental remains empty, the harder it’ll be to attract new tenants. After all, a property that remains vacant for a long period can develop a negative reputation in the market. 

Potential tenants may assume that the property has not been rented due to underlying issues, such as poor maintenance, high rental rates, or an undesirable location. This negative perception can make it more challenging to attract quality tenants, leading to a high vacancy rate and increased financial losses. 

To combat this, you must invest your time and resources into effective marketing strategies, as well as regular maintenance to enhance the property’s overall appeal. Offering incentives, such as reduced rent for the first month or flexible lease terms, can also help attract tenants more quickly. 

Bottom Line

Vacancies are a normal aspect of owning a rental property. Unfortunately, properties that sit empty for long periods are vulnerable to many risks, including financial losses, increased maintenance costs, break-ins, trespassers, and property damage. 

The property’s value and market perception may also decline, making it incredibly difficult to attract new tenants and maintain a stable income.

To mitigate these risks, you should prioritize proactive maintenance, effective marketing, and budgeting. By addressing these issues promptly and strategically, you can minimize vacancies and ensure your rental properties remain profitable and well-maintained at all times.

Need help filling your vacancies? Contact B&R Property Management today! With over 30 years of experience, we’ve helped thousands of property owners successfully advertise their rentals and enhance their earnings. And we’re ready to help you too!

Click-to-Call: 702-454-2561