A house that “sparkles” on the surface will rent faster than its shabby counterpart. Moreover, renters feel more comfortable renting a well-cared for home.
As a landlord, there are many things you can do to make your rental home rent-ready for tenants.
Use this helpful checklist:
A fresh coat of paint in between tenants will breathe new life into a property. Paint is by far the easiest and cheapest way to spruce up a rental home. It’s important to remember that selecting the right color is key.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting paint color:
- Avoid bright colors. A tenant is looking for a black canvas so they can visualize themselves living there. Bright colors are distracting.
- Highlight the assets in your home. Choose colors that are accentuating especially when painting the kitchen or bathroom.
- Choose the right finish. Go with a semi-gloss finish that allows for easy cleaning. Avoid a flat or matte paint.
- Stay neutral. This not only saves time for future patching jobs, it also allows you to show off the potential of each room.
Aside from painting, you should also give the exterior landscape a fresh new look. The following are some ideas to get you started:
- Care for grass and mulch flower beds.
- Create a space for backyard lounging. A bench curved around an outdoor fireplace is sure to become a favorite gathering place.
- Group pots of flowers on the porch.
- Check that the house number is easily visible. Go for large and bold ones. They are easy to read from a distance.
- Add plantings on the street side of your fence. The extra layer of color and foliage will make your front yard appear larger by creating a sense of depth.
- Enhance the front door. This is your home’s exterior focal point. You could add a new knocker or ramp up its appeal by painting it a rich hue.
A clean home is a happy home. If you’re just beginning your rental property experience make sure you keep this in mine. There is a peace of mind that comes with moving into a clean new home. But generally, a clean rental home implies good maintenance and reliability.
Here are some tips for cleaning your rental home to make it rent-ready:
- Do a thorough scrub of all kitchen appliances.
- Make sure that all air vents are free from dust.
- Clean all windows inside and out.
- Dingy carpet is an eyesore. Clean it.
- Consider hiring professional cleaning services. It’s an invaluable time saver, and it only costs between $25-$40 per hour.
- Batteries – Start your new tenants with fresh batteries for the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Air filters – Replacing your rental home’s air filters is crucial. Air filters can protect your HVAC system. They also help make your home healthier to live in. You could also consider installing custom air filters. They are much more effective than the standard ones.
- Locks – Although not all landlords find it necessary, changing locks helps make your new tenants feel more secure.
A tenant turnover provides an opportunity for landlords to inspect important features and make sure they’re functioning as they should.
Here are a couple of things to check:
- Safety features – Besides providing your tenants with shelter, your rental property should also keep them, as well as their belongings safe. This means protecting them against burglaries and break-ins.
- Add external lighting. No burglar wants a spotlight exposing their crime.
- Install a security system. Choose one that fits your budget and there are many options out there.
- Consider installing window sensors.
- Consider installing metal or solid wood doors.
- Hire a property manager. Property managers are always present and monitoring the premises. This is especially ideal if you work a full-time job, live far from your property, or simply don’t have time to perform regular upkeep on your rental location.
- Appliances – You have no control over how tenants use appliances. Sometimes they may “forget” to change air filters or clean out the lint trap of the dryer. Use tenant turnover as an opportunity to inspect and service major appliances to extend their service.
Common appliances include:
- Clothes dryer
- Clothes washer
- Windows – Check that all windows are working properly and the tracks are clean. Ensure the locks are working properly. Replace any broken screens. Also remember to check the sliding glass.
Finally, do a walkthrough of the property to make sure everything is in order. Check the exterior bulbs whether they need replacing or just cleaning. Also check the switches to confirm they are working as they should.
Next, check water faucets. Check for adequate water pressure and temperature as well as proper drainage. Check sinks for drips or moisture.
With this checklist, you’ll help ensure that your rental home is in rentable condition for new tenants. A rent-ready rental home also has a high probability of attracting high quality, long-term tenants.