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The Ultimate Guide to Showing a Property with Tenants

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guide to showing a property with tenants

Once a prospective renter shows interest in your property, you’ll want to schedule a property showing. Generally, most prospective renters will not sign a lease agreement until they’ve physically inspected the property.

But what if your current tenant has yet to vacate your unit? In this case, it’s still possible to show your occupied rental property to prospective tenants as you wait for the current tenant to leave.

However, unlike selling a vacant home, there’s a lot to consider when touring prospective tenants through a still-occupied property. This article will guide you on successfully showing a property with tenants still living in it.

The Benefits of Showing a Property with Tenants

showing a property with renters

Are you wondering whether or not you should show your rental property to prospective tenants while it’s occupied? Well, there may actually be some advantages to doing so, as it:

  1. Gives Prospects a Realistic View of the Property

One benefit of showing your property while it’s occupied is that it looks like a home, rather than just a vacant unit.

Consequently, this allows prospective tenants to imagine themselves in the unit, which can spark the excitement to move in. Besides, this gives them ideas for furniture setup, since the space is already organized.

  1. Prevents Income Losses

If your property is vacant, this means that you’ll miss out on income before it’s occupied. What’s more, you can incur maintenance expenses, which can be costly. If your investment property isn’t earning you money, it’s costing you money.

However, this may not be the case when your unit is already occupied and you’re looking to find a tenant that will enter the unit right away once it’s vacated.

  1. Prevents the Transfer of Utilities

Showing an occupied unit prevents you from paying utilities between tenants. Usually, when finding tenants for your property, one of the procedures is transferring utilities from your name to the new tenant’s name.

However, if the new tenant moves in right after the current one, you won’t need to transfer utilities.

  1. No Vacancy

Showing an occupied property increases the chances of the rental getting a tenant as soon as possible. Hence, you won’t have to worry about vacant periods, which can mean a loss of income and more need for upkeep.

The Disadvantages of Showing Property with Tenants

Like everything else, some disadvantages come with showing an occupied property. Some of them include:

  1. Uncooperative Tenant

In some instances, your current tenant may not be willing to cooperate with the rental showing process. They may also have negative things to say about you and your property, especially if they’re leaving on bad terms, like an eviction. This can hinder a successful property showing process.

  1. Poor Cleanliness

When conducting rental property showings, it’s crucial to note that first impression matters. Most prospects are careful to note the cleanliness level of the property. If the property you are showing is not clean, prospects are unlikely to sign the deal.

  1. Unsightly Due to Repairs

Your home may look unsightly if it’s still undergoing repairs, which can create the wrong impression. Also, some parts may be nonfunctional, negatively impacting prospects’ decisions.

Effective Tips for Showing a Property with Tenants

Now that you know the pros and cons of showing an occupied property, let’s look at effective tips for ensuring a successful process.

  1. Communicate with Your Current Tenant

Before showing an occupied rental unit, ensure that you discuss your plans with the existing tenant. The last thing you want is to intrude on their privacy, even if they are moving out.

It helps to send a notice and let them know about the property showing and allow them to decide whether they would want to be around during the showing or not.

If they allow you to do private showings, give your current renters adequate time to plan accordingly. This is especially true if they have children, since it may be difficult for them to be out of the house the whole day.

  1. Agree On a Schedule

It’s best to consider the current tenant’s convenience when scheduling a property showing. We recommend offering different time slots to choose from, depending on what works best for them.

When you agree upon a property showing schedule, it increases the likelihood of it being a success. Additionally, try to agree with the tenant on the number of times you intend to show the property in a week. Before the day of the property showing, send them a reminder.

  1. Ensure That the Property is Clean

Showing a home for rent is all about the first impression. That’s why you need to work closely with the current renter, so they can keep the apartment or house clean during the touring days.

  1. Be Diplomatic

You may be the property owner, but being respectful and diplomatic when showing the rentals to prospective tenants goes a long way.

Always knock before entering the occupied (your tenant has rights, and that includes a right to privacy) and speak to the current tenants respectfully. Also, never speak poorly of them should they come up in conversations with prospect renters.

  1. Appreciate your Current Tenant

Showing a rental unit can be an inconvenience to your current tenant. Therefore, it would be a good gesture to give them some appreciation for their cooperation during the showing process.

This can be a gift or an offer to reduce the final month’s rent. Incentives are also an effective way to motivate the current tenant to understand and cooperate, including cleaning up the space.

  1. Take Precaution

Before scheduling a property showing, ensure that you take them through a tenant screening process to check their background history. This will help protect you and your current tenant from people with ill intent.

Besides doing a background check, record their full name. Also, let your office know where you are, and opt to show the property during the day rather than at night.

agreeing with tenant on showing schedule


We hope these tips prove useful if you intend to show an occupied property to prospective tenants!

To make the entire process a success, work closely with your current tenant and try as much as possible to minimize disturbances while still ensuring that you complete the tour.

If you need help finding great renters for your rental property in Texas, contact McCaw Property Management. We’re the leading property management company in Texas, and can find, screen, and manage qualified tenants on your behalf.