This question normally comes up when a client wants to attain a higher than market rent. They figure that they may be able to attain the higher rent by making the initial move in costs cheaper.
I think there is some merit to this argument. But, I would use some caution here as most qualified people expect to pay a security deposit and have those funds saved up. The people you might interest with a higher rent and lower deposit may be the unqualifed ones!
The best solution to a vacancy problem is to follow these guidlelines:
1. Make sure the property is in good, clean condition. Paint the place for example.
2. Make any improvements that are desired by tenants. For example, if you live in a hot or cold climate, provide central heat and air.
3. Set the rent based on local market conditions. Compare your asking rent to the competition. Consider setting your rent just a bit lower than the competition. Keep an eye on the response and what your competition does. Answer your phone and return all calls.
4. Set the deposit to meet the competition. Be reasonable.
5. Market your property in several internet sites, use a sign, and use the newspaper if your experience shows that it works.
That is it. Now put this in play and get your property rented!