When the time comes to make a rental property available for rent, it is critical to prepare it so that it will present the best image to a prospective tenant. A first impression is a lasting impression. The first thing a prospect will be the street view of the property. In this first view, the yard and the home or condo appearance needs to appear fresh and have immediate curb appeal. Prospects considering their next home expect the property that you are offering to be clean and ready for immediate move in. By having the home in tip-top shape you are setting the standard of expectation for the tenant on how the property should be maintained while they live there and when they vacate their tenancy.
We recommended developing a standard checklist to follow so that nothing is forgotten or overlooked. Create a chart or spreadsheet that itemizes every aspect of care from space to space so a detailed punch list can be formed so your efforts are easily organized, evaluated and appropriately responded to. Evaluating each area of the exterior and interior of the property is one way that we ensure our clean up and property preparation is through. Since we have to do this task multiple times a year, we must be as focused and intentional as possible to be effective for our property owners and prospective tenants.
At a minimum, we recommend that every leased property should be professionally cleaned after the last tenant vacates. This would include having all clutter removed, carpets and floor surfaces professionally cleaned, interior walls painted or touched up, air conditioning filters replaced, cabinets and appliances cleaned and sanitized. Exterior porches, hardware, spotlights, fence gates all should work properly. Make sure that the yard gets a thorough lawn and shrub care too. Don’t forget to paint the front door as this is an easy way to upgrade the exterior appearance of your home.
Transition between tenants is the perfect opportunity to initiate upgrades, such as new flooring, new paint and update outdated fixtures. Ensure all lights are in working order, to include outdoor lighting. Make sure all appliances are working properly.
Tenants want to feel secure where they live. It is important to re-key all locks to ensure no one else has a key. If you are unable to re-key the lock, this is a good time to replace them. Ensure smoke detectors are in good working order. All windows and sliding doors should be secure and have working locks. It is important to repair any screens that are torn as this is a security problem.
Making a property tenant ready is a necessary aspect of the rental property investment cost of doing business. Maintaining the home incrementally is a smart way to make sure your investment stays current with aging wear and tear features of the home. Your next tenants will appreciate the time and energy you spent preparing for them. This pays off as you have a right to expect them to take appropriate care of the property which means less repair and replacement from damage.