You’ve decided to rent your property. Now it is time to get that the home in to the appropriate condition. The leasing and marketing process can become very difficult if the home is not clean or unpleasant. This will subject you to a variety of problems. The home may sit vacant for longer than necessary. You may find that the only interested applicants for your property are higher risk than they need to be. Watch the video below for an overview on how to get your home rent ready.
You can also download our local office guidelines here.
Preparing Your Home to be Rent Ready
The content should be used as a guide and modified to meet the laws in your state. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.
If you are having a difficult time selling your home or other property, renting your property is an excellent way to make a profit, take advantage of tax benefits, and assure maintenance of the property.
Here are some thoughts to consider before you rent. This list will help you prioritize your efforts when turning your home into a rental property.
Remove all of the stuff you have been storing in the property. Generally, if personal property is in the home or on the grounds, it is considered part of the lease and subject to tenants’ use. Think about what you want or need to leave for tenants’ use. There is also a question of responsibility for repairs, replacement, and/or tenant damages. Please let your local representative know of any items that will be remaining in the home for documentation in the lease.
Clearing out nonessential clutter will improve the appearance of the property for advertising photos and will make it look better for showings.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Once all of your belongings have been removed from the home, begin the cleaning process. You may need to hire professional carpet cleaners and a house cleaning service to get the work done is a reasonable time.
Commonly Neglected Areas are:
- Grime and Webs from the Front Porch Area and Entry Door
- Dust bunnies and Webs should be removed throughout the Home
- Cabinets and Drawers should be cleaned inside and outside
- Windows, Jambs, and Window Sills should be cleaned inside and outside
- Sweep and Mop all non-carpeted floors
- Professionally Clean all Carpets
An immaculate home will give the most positive impression, attract the best renters, provide the highest rent, and will be the easiest to evaluate when the tenants move out.
Your property should be as attractive from the road as possible, and minor inexpensive cosmetic touch-ups will enhance your property. Clean out the weeds and small trees from the flowerbeds, fence lines, and around the exterior. Trim the grass and wash the siding. Cleaning windows, especially on the front of the home adds extra light and a fresh feel to the home. Painting the entryway walls and oiling the woodwork will add an attractive sparkle to your home and make it appear new and bright. Remember; always try to make the best first impression possible.
Try to imagine looking at your home for the first time. Would you want to live there? Are there curling shingles on the roof, missing gutter elbows or siding, broken windows, leaking faucets, peeling wallpaper, or door locks that do not work?
Make sure that the appliances, heating and ventilation systems, and plumbing fixtures check out and are clean and functioning properly. Ensure that the furnace filters have been changed and consider providing a year’s supply of furnace filters for your tenants. This helps ensure that they are taking care of your home properly.
Making sure that your home is safe and meets safety codes reduces any liability on you as a home owner. The easiest way to make sure your property is rent-ready is to hire an independent licensed home inspector. The inspector should be aware of your plans about making the home a rental property. He will then assess all systems of the property to make sure they are up to code. This assurance will be welcome news. Our office also uses ‘New Building Codes’ for our local safety policies.
Common Issues found in older homes are:
- All Bedrooms must have a working smoke detector inside the room
- There also needs to be at least one smoke detector on all floors
- Any outlet within 6” of a water source needs to be on a GFCI circuit
- Water Heater Pressure Relief Valves must have a drain line installed
- Exterior doors need a dead bolt with a handle inside the home
Your rental property is an important investment and source of income. If there were a kitchen fire or storm damages, your home may become uninhabitable. Landlord insurance coverage helps provide an income while the property is being repaired or rebuilt. You can add policies or riders to pay for debris removal, tree and plant replacement, and even fire department charges. Being prepared and getting your home rent ready is the best way to ensure your success as a rental property owner.