Owning a rental property is a challenging business. It could entail dealing with tenants who break the lease early, or it can also entail detailing with evictions.
Rather than focusing on a tenant moving out, it's best to turn your attention to your rental property and prepare it for the next renter.
Here are essential things to do before showing your property to prospects:
1. Intensify your marketing activity.
To avoid your property from being vacant for too long, find high quality renters immediately. Add your new rental to property listing sites and find real estate agents to help you market and promote it on your social media accounts.
Here are some other things you can do:
- Learn how to craft a good property listing
- Find resources on how to attract long-term renters
- Perform property showings
2. Assess the things that require repair or a new purchase.
It's a good idea to be frugal with your cash, but if items look damaged or old, it's best to buy new ones. Old items lessen the visual presentation of your rental unit, and damaged ones may make the unit unhabitable.
When purchasing new items, it's best to keep quality in mind. If you want the appliance or furnishing to last for a couple of years, then buy based on long-term value. If there are repairs to do before a tenant moves in, hire a licensed contractor.
It's also advisable to have a specialist look at the major systems, such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing, because these need more thorough attention.
3. Create an inspection checklist.
If you own multiple properties, it can get confusing to manage each individual property for maintenance. To make sure you avoid forgetting essentials, carry a checklist.
It also helps you gauge damages for different areas of the rental property. You can review them easily and decide whether they can be part of an itemized list of deductions. When you refund a tenant with the security deposit, a list is required to specify the deductions of repair work.
A checklist also makes an inspection more efficient because you avoid double inspections. For instance, you can note which areas need thorough cleaning, a repaint or a replacement of fixtures.
4. Schedule for cleanup maintenance.
It's rare that a rental unit is perfectly clean once a new tenant moves out, so consider hiring a cleaning company to perform deep cleaning. Your rental property will be vacuumed, sanitized and there will be no leftover odors. When you conduct property showings, this will leave a good impression on prospective renters.
Affordable cleaning companies are available, so this option is feasible. Generally, it's acceptable to charge the cost of hiring professional cleaners from the security deposit as this is part of property maintenance. However, if you love to clean and want to cut costs, you can also perform the cleaning on your own.
5. Buy new locks and rekey.
When the tenants leave, you want to end their access to your rental unit. This requires buying new deadbolts to ensure that the new tenant is safe. This security measure is important, so don't overlook it!
If you can, consider investing in smart key locks and electronic locks. This will reduce effort in rekeying your rental property every time a new tenant occupies it. It's easier to change a password than to change a lock. Also, it'll be cheaper in the long run since you won't have to constantly hire someone to install the new locks.
6. Check for curb appeal.
Assess the front appearance of your rental property as this is the first thing prospective tenants will notice.
How does the landscape look? If you find it needs significant improvement, then you can consider hiring a gardener to trim bushes, pull up weeds and mow the lawn. If there are overhanging branches, ensure they're also cut down for everyone's safety.
Make sure your driveway and walkway look inviting. At nighttime, proper lighting is not only attractive, but it also discourages criminal intent.
7. Double check your rental unit for mold.
The presence of mold is not ideal for your rental property. Be vigilant when you spot it. Laundry rooms and bathrooms are natural environments for mold to grow. As part of keeping your rental habitable, work on eradicating mold presence.
Combating mold growth at the earliest sign is easier and less costly. You can hire a specialist or follow a DIY process. One way to ensure your property remains mold-free is to hire professional cleaners regularly. You can split the cost with your tenant. It's essential to take the time to inspect mold-prone areas.
8. Resolve pest infestation.
Pest infestation is common, so if you see signs of it, deal with it right away. If a renter finds out that there are rodents, termites and bed bugs in your rental unit, they will be very unlikely to renew the lease.
You can hire an exterminator periodically to help ensure you have pest infestations under control.
Preparing your property for new renters can be very time-consuming. If you're feeling overwhelmed or looking for additional help, a property management company can efficiently attend to all the responsibilities of dealing with the tenant move in and move out stage.
So, if you have a rental property in Washington and want to avoid the stress of getting your property ready to rent, contact Windermere Property Management. You can call us at (509) 467-2202.