Track your rental property performance for FREE

Learn More

The best time of year to rent your house

small house on calendar
by Jeff Rohde, posted in Stessa News

As a landlord, you always want to maximize your rental income. One of the best ways to do that is by timing your listing around peak rental season.

Peak rental season varies depending on where you live, but, generally speaking, it falls between May and September. That’s when demand for rental properties is at its highest, so you can typically charge more during those months.

Of course, there are other factors to consider when deciding when to list your rental property. But listing during peak season is your best bet if you’re looking to get top dollar.

Key takeaways

  • The best time to list a home for rent to a long-term tenant is during the peak summer rental season, when there is more demand.
  • College towns typically have a peak rental season from May to August, while vacation rentals can have a peak season that varies depending on the location.
  • Landlords can avoid listing their property during the off-season by understanding their local market, being flexible with timing, and offering creative lease terms.


The best time to rent your house

The best time to list depends on several factors, including your location and the type of property you have. 

Peak rental season covers the summer months for most places, as people are more likely to move at this time of year. Therefore, listing during peak season means you’ll have more potential tenants to choose from, and you may be able to get top dollar for your rental.


College towns

The peak rental season in college towns is typically from May to August. This is when most students are searching for off-campus housing for the upcoming school year.

If you’re a landlord with rental property in a college town, it’s crucial to list your property before the peak rental season beginsto attract quality tenants. Additionally, listing early will allow you to thoroughly screen potential tenants.

Remember that listing your rental property in a college town is different from renting to a tenant on a long-term lease, as you will need to be flexible with your lease terms and prepare for high turnover.

When students are away for the summer break, some landlords will list their properties as short-term or vacation rentals leased for a few days to a few weeks. If you do this, plan on including all utilities in the rental price.

Vacation rentals

The peak season for vacation rentals can vary depending on the property’s location and the time of year. 

Be aware of peak seasons to price the rental appropriately and attract guests. During peak season, vacation rentals tend to be in high demand and command premium prices. To maximize your gross rental income, you may also want to consider offering discounts or special promotions during off-peak seasons.


The worst time to list your rental property

The worst time to list a rental property is during the off-season, typically between November and February. Challenges include:

  • Fewer people looking for rental properties, which means less demand and more time sitting on the market
  • More competition from other landlords and property managers
  • Bad weather and shorter days complicating showings

You may have to make concessions to attract tenants during the off-season, like  a free month of rent or a deposit waiver.

If you need to list your rental property during the off-season, make sure the price is right, stage the home, ensure repairs have been made, and market the home aggressively on all the major rental listing websites. Consider being more flexible with your lease terms, such as offering a shorter lease or waiving pet fees.


computer with for rent icon

How to avoid listing in the off-season

Listing during the off-season can result in lower cash flow and higher vacancy rates. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to avoid listing during the off-season.

Understand your local market

Peak rental season varies by location. Knowing when peak season is in your specific market can help you avoid listing during the off-season.

Be flexible with your timing

If you are flexible with when you list your rental property, you may be able to avoid listing during the off-season altogether. For example, consider listing in May instead of July if the peak rental season in your market is during the summer. It’s a good idea to begin looking for a new tenant before the current one vacates. Just be sure to give your tenant enough notice and follow your state landlord-tenant laws.

Offer creative lease terms

While a 12-month lease may be the norm with long-term tenants, you may want to consider offering a slightly shorter or longer lease to avoid having the tenant vacate in the middle of the off-season. For example, instead of having the lease end in December or January, consider extending the expiration date for a few extra months so that your home becomes available just as the peak rental season begins.


Final thoughts

It’s essential to understand the peak and off-peak rental seasons in your market. 

Listing during the peak season will help you fill your vacancy more quickly and avoid having to offer concessions to attract tenants. Keep these tips in mind to find the perfect tenant in no time!

Related: Once you’ve found your new tenant, do you have an easy way to collect rent from them? Check out Stessa online rent collection – a free tool that makes it easy for tenants to pay on time and automates key tasks for landlords, such as deposits, receipts, and accounting. Tenants can also enable autopay to avoid missing rent deadlines. Get notified when a payment is made and when it’s been deposited in your account.

stessa rent pay screen

Stessa is a financial company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Blue Ridge Bank, N.A., member FDIC.


Find this content useful? Share it with your friends!