If you’re a property owner getting ready to put your home up for rent, you may be thinking “what do I need to do to successfully rent my house?”
Preparing to rent your home is an exciting but often overwhelming time for property owners. That’s because there’s usually quite a bit to do before your home is rent-ready. But don’t worry! We’ve rented thousands of homes over the years, so we have a wealth of knowledge.
Let’s dive into how exactly you can get your home ready for new tenants.
At each step, your goal is to prepare the property, so it’s at its best when your tenants move in. Not only does this establish a great foundation for the rest of your rental relationship, but it also sets expectations for what state the property should be in when tenants move out.
Most tenants want and need their security deposit back. This means they’ll aim to leave the property in the same condition they received it in. So make sure to pay special attention at each step and you will reap the rewards later!
Let’s take a look at each essential step in a bit more detail:
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The most obvious but also most important step to preparing your property is to thoroughly clean it. Top to bottom! Even if your home is clean from previous residents, you still need to hire professional cleaners to take care of the things that may have been missed.
Oftentimes residents miss or avoid cleaning certain elements such as appliances or baseboards. Remember: residents have a lot going on when they are moving out. It’s not exactly surprising that they might not remember to clean the oven! But it’s always good practice for the well-being of your home and your new tenants to make sure everything is spic and span.
If you establish this standard upfront, you can then communicate the same expectation at the end of a lease. Many rental managers add a clause to their lease stating that a portion of the security deposit will be used to bring in a professional cleaning team after moving out. That way, you won’t be on the hook for those costs yourself.
Most professional cleaners charge an hourly rate of $25-$40 per hour. Others will charge a set amount for move-out-specific cleaning jobs. As a rental property owner, it’s a good idea to establish a relationship with a cleaner or company that you can use consistently. You’ll get to know their work and can feel confident that the property will always be well taken care of.
When your residence is empty, you’ll need to go through the home and check all essential features are still functioning correctly.
Examples of key areas to inspect include:
This includes appliances, structures, walkways, railings, and entrances (both inside and outside the home). If anything is broken or in disrepair, schedule maintenance to take care of it before new tenants move in.
All appliances require some amount of maintenance. And while most residents can stay on top of it, some of it is bound to be missed. That’s why it’s important to conduct a thorough inspection of all appliances on your property and complete any required maintenance.
Make sure to check on all appliances present in your rental property, but here are a few to keep in mind specifically:
HVAC systems are critical to the function and livability of your home. As such, they must be maintained regularly. Large appliances like these can cause bodily harm and significant damage to your home if not cared for properly. This can also become quite a costly replacement if neglected. Be sure to inspect your HVAC system and ensure it is in fine working order!
Windows and doors throughout your home experience a decent amount of wear and tear. Make sure that the tracks are clean, all locks are working as expected, and everything closes properly. It is also a good idea to inspect and potentially replace weather strips on your windows and doors. That’s especially true if your property is located somewhere that experiences drastic temperature or weather changes.
Again, you can always hire a professional property management company to check for and complete these repairs. You’ll just need to sign off on the work.
There are a few standard items that will require replacement after a lease term ends, including:
As a landlord, you must ensure all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order. This includes regularly changing the batteries. You can avoid potential damage by making this replacement yourself versus relying on a new tenant to do it.
Air filters should always be changed out before new tenants move in, and you may even consider leaving a few extra filters behind. That way, your tenants will have some on hand when it comes time to replace them again. This ensures that your HVAC system receives proper maintenance, as residents may not know that filters need to be replaced. Or, they may not want to do it themselves.
If you’re working with a property management company, they can manage this task. If you’re using management software, you may be able to set up automatic reminders so tenants are notified when it’s time to replace them.
It’s best practice to replace the locks on your property after tenants move out. That’s because you can never be sure how many copies were made of the previous keys. This goes a long way in ensuring your new tenants feel safe and secure in their new home.
Make sure to test out the key functions of your property to check for any issues. This includes all of the lights, to ensure the electrical system is working properly and no bulbs need replacing. It also includes running each faucet and flushing toilets. This helps confirm that drainage and water pressure are working well and can surface any leaks that might need fixing.
Finally, do a walk through of your property to identify any areas that could use a freshening up. Features like flooring and paint wear out over time, and a quick touch-up can go a long way. Remember to check both your interior and exterior.
Hopefully, your thinking has shifted to “I’m ready to rent my house!” now that you know how to make your home rent-ready. Whether you’ll be a hands-on landlord or are working with a rental management company, it’s important to be aware of the most important steps to take in preparing your home for new tenants. An extra pair of eyes goes a long way in ensuring nothing gets overlooked!
If you’re looking for a rental manager to handle these and all the other tasks that come with renting your property, Evernest can help! We’re a professional property management company with years of experience managing rentals of all kinds and would love to bring that expertise to work for you.
Start the conversation!