Allowing Tenants To Switch Homes

Friends -

I’ve just had one of our nicest homes come available. It rents for $700/month. I’ve already had one applicant put down $700 and say she’ll take the home immediately upon our approval of her application tomorrow. However just now one of my existing residents in a less-desirable home ($600/month) has said she’d like to upgrade into the better home.

Either way, I’ll clearly have the better home rented by this weekend. My bias is to give the better home to my existing resident (she pays well and is a quality tenant). But if I allow her to upgrade, I know I’ll have at least an extra month of vacancy in her old home. Still, I think I should absorb the extra month of vacancy and allow my existing resident to upgrade - it just feels like the right thing to to do, even though my short-term cash flow will take a bit of a hit.

How do you handle similar situations? What preference do you show to existing residents?

Thank you,



we do whatever we need to do to keep good residents. I feel your pain though - it is tough, but if they are great people, keep them.

So- we do NOT do rentals. But- we have homes that people make payment on, and then they want to upgrade to a nicer home. Our rule is, you have an agreement, if you want the other home you will need to qualify for both, and sell your old one.

Again, that is with sales not rentals… but in principal it still could apply… you will have costs in turning the old home, cleaning, advertising etc…

I would likely speak to the existing tenant and explain that she would be welcome to take on the higher priced rental but that until a acceptable tenant was found for her rental she would be responsible for both rents. Most likely not a affordable option for the tenant but she must understand that allowing her to move would possibly cost you a month or more lost rent on her unit. If you believe you could rent her unit quickly, possibly within a month, maybe suggest she would only be responsible for a maximum of a month on her present rental if she moved.

I would leave the decision to the tenant and hope that she decides not to move. The reality is she is a good tenant where she is but if she moves would you get as high a quality of applicant on her $600 unit as you would on the $700 unit. Maybe yes maybe no.

Well if it is me, I would keep the old one. No offense meant to anybody but we need money so we keep the good payer.

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