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Q&A Tips for Landlords: What to Do When a Tenant Moves Out During COVID-19

One of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the greater uncertainty in life’s ordinary moments. For property owners, this can be especially stressful, as renters and rental agreements are at the forefront of major legislative decisions. It shouldn’t be a surprise that a tenant may move out of your rental property at some point, but doing so during this pandemic may leave landlords with more questions than answers. Read on to learn what to do when a tenant moves out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Question: How can I best market my property for lease during COVID-19?

Answer: Finding a qualified tenant under normal circumstances can take time, but add a pandemic, and the duration can be extended. The longer it takes to find qualified tenants, the more you can expect to lose from your home sitting vacant. To get your rental leased fast, consider:

  • Hiring a property management company for personalized advice on pricing and marketing efforts.
  • Getting on the MLS to leverage the leasing power of the real estate community.
  • Listing on multiple websites, like Trulia, Zillow, Zumper, and more.
  • Employing an online leasing platform for digital lease signing and move-in instructions.   

Question: Am I legally allowed to conduct in-person showings during COVID-19?

Answer: Many businesses have pivoted towards virtual meetings this past year but conducting in-person rental showings is mostly dependent on local legislation. There are many recently enacted local ordinances across the country that are designed to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases. Be sure to check what’s happening in your local jurisdiction before moving forward. Virtual showings or a recorded video walkthrough are good alternatives to an in-person gathering.

Question: As a landlord, what COVID-19-related renter protections do I need to be informed about?

Answer: While most tenant protections under the CARES Act have expired, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an order that prohibits residential landlords nationwide from evicting certain tenants through March 31, 2021. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has also extended its ban on evictions from properties secured by FHA-insured single-family mortgages through March 31, 2021. It’s important to note that each state’s courts are handling the CDC eviction ban differently, and eviction moratoriums, utility shutoff due to nonpayment, and late rent fee prohibitions are all treated on a case-by-case basis. A professional property management company can help provide the direction you need when it comes to COVID-19-related renter protections without having to spend thousands on legal fees. But it’s crucial to seek advice from an attorney for specific legal matters.

Question: What’s the best way to ensure there’s a fast and easy transition from one tenant to another?

Answer: One of the biggest challenges landlords face after a tenant vacates a property is restoring a unit to its previous condition. This may include cleaning, fixing, replacing, and even renovating parts of the property that may have worn down or are altogether broken. In some cases, it can take months to get the property to a place where it’s attractive to new renters again. The best course of action a landlord can take is to do regular mid-lease property checks. Don’t wait until your tenant leaves to take care of the property. Checking in from time to time during a tenant’s lease will help prevent deferred maintenance and ensures they are doing their part in keeping the unit in good shape.

The Right Solution

Finding new, qualified tenants for your property can be overwhelming, but the professional team at RHOME is here to make it easy. RHOME delivers a property management solution that helps landlords not only lease their property faster, but also see greater financial benefits from their investment. Its seasoned staff is well educated in everything from local legislation and lease agreements to property marketing and financial matters. Visit to learn more.


About the Author

Charles Riska is the president of rental operations at Associa. In this role, he oversees Associa’s SFR division, RHOME, the Vacation Rental Division, AA Oceanfront, and is responsible for driving growth strategies in markets across the continental United States, Hawaii, and Canada. His core focus is to help streamline, improve, and enrich the company’s rental strategies, with an emphasis on data-driven decision making, accountability, and collaborative execution.

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