Whether you're a new landlord or currently dealing with a recent tenant move-out, your focus is on preparing your property for a newcomer. It pays to have the initiative to give your rental a thorough inspection. Doing so ensures you regain the competitive edge of providing value to your market.
So, how do you retain your property's general attractiveness? Here are 8 tips to make your property rental ready:
When cruising around a neighborhood, your eyes are initially drawn to the lawn area. You'll notice if a property has overgrown weeds and looks like it's in dire need of a spruce up. Perform the following:
- Trimming hedges and overhanging branches
- Mowing the lawn and pulling up the weeds
- Watering the plants and replacing dying foliage with fresh ones
Clean up the yard and give it a clutter-free appearance. You might have a sizeable lot, but if it's overcrowded, it can look smaller than listed. Take care of the following:
- Check for dangerous objects lying around, such as sharp garden tools and lawnmowers.
- Inspect the ground for any hidden holes.
- Keep the garden hoses in the shed and limit decorative objects to a minimum.
2. Curb Appeal
Fences can enhance the look of a home, but it's necessary to check them every now and then. Evaluate your fences for:
- General sturdiness to avoid injuries
- The material it's made of, such as if it's wooden, it will need maintenance or fixing from time to time
- Appearance and whether it needs to be repainted
Downspouts and gutters
Since downspouts and gutters help minimize water damage, it's naturally logical to inspect them. They need to be functional, so when rainy days come, there are no blockages.
The water will flow where it needs to, and the landlord will be spared from heavy expenses. Remind yourself to:
- Clean the gutters after the season shifts. For example, autumn can fill them with dead leaves.
- Double-check for rust, cracks and holes where water can leak out and damage the property.
- Install gutter guards or screens to prevent debris from entering.
Driveway and walkway
Part of ensuring tenant safety is paying attention to the driveway and walkway. Make sure to:
- Clear the walkway and driveway of snow during the winter season to avoid slipping and falling.
- Repair loose footpaths on your walkway.
- Inspect the garage door and see to it that it opens and closes smoothly.
New paint colors can improve the appearance of a uni, giving it personality. Here are tips to guide you:
- Avoid using loud, bright colors that can make your property look garish and tacky.
- Neutrals work best since it prevents clashing with furniture colors and new decors.
Type of painting
Good paint quality can also help a landlord better maintain the rental home. Make it a priority to choose:
- Semi-gloss paint. It can be wiped off wall spots easier in contrast to matte paint types.
- Quality paint. You won't frequently need to repaint the unit since the color doesn't fade easily.
Choosing a professional
As tempting as DIY painting can be to cut down on costs, it's still wise to hire a professional painter.
Professionals are more:
- Time-efficient. Your rental unit can be ready to serve your market right away.
- Knowledgeable. Professionals know of the quality and types of paint and tools to use, so the finished product is at its best look.
Food preparation makes kitchens prone to grease buildup, so it's best to:
- Use cleaners that also leave the kitchen smelling good when deep cleaning a sink.
- Scrub stoves and ovens where leftover food and liquids can quickly accumulate when cooking.
Since bathrooms are exposed to water, they can also become hotspots for dirt and bacteria. Focus on the following when cleaning:
- Scrub the shower and bathtub area where buildup can occur.
- Don't neglect the bathroom rugs and ensure they're laundered.
5. Property Upgrade and Renovation
Test and repair appliances
Prevent tenant complaints regarding repairs by inspecting the state of your current appliances.
- Use the washing machine and dryer to see if they're functioning well.
- Compare the inner temperature of the oven with the outside dial.
Restoration of flooring
With continued use, the flooring can also become worn out. It's important to assess if you need to renovate the flooring. You can also:
- Polish hardwood floors with floor buffer to restore the shine.
- Check for grout cracks in your tile flooring and fix them with caulk.
When there's a change of tenants, it's advisable to re-key locks to protect your new tenants from potential break-ins. You can increase safety by:
- Purchasing a new deadbolt and lock
- Changing the passwords for electronic locks
Installing security features in your rental unit further makes your property attractive.
Here are inspection tasks to do before the new occupant arrives:
- Check security cameras and smoke detectors on the premises to see if they're working.
- Make sure fire extinguishers are still within their expiry date.
7. HVAC Condition
As air conditioners are heavily used, especially in states where humidity is high, it's essential to have them looked at by a technician for maintenance. Technicians will take care of:
- Filter replacement
- Cooling system tune-up
In areas where climates can be freezing, heaters are essential and should be well-maintained. Technicians can also perform:
- Heating system tune-up
- Filter replacement
Dealing with rodents, bed bugs, termites and fleas
Different kinds of pests can plague a household and affect tenant health. You can eliminate these problems by doing the following:
- Schedule a regular cleaning and sanitation protocol by hiring professional pest control specialists.
- Engage in professional cleaning services once or twice a year to help monitor signs of pest infestation.
Taking care of your rental unit need not be a stressful affair. Having a checklist like this can make the task easier. Tenants are more likely to feel happy upon moving in when the unit looks polished and updated.