With new investment properties entering the rental market daily, it is extremely important to ensure your property stands out from the competition or at the very minimum, is in line with competing rental properties. To attract the most attractive potential tenants, a unit must be well-kept and clean.
We cannot stress enough the importance of preparing a rental property prior to putting it on the market to ensure the highest possible rent per month and to attract high quality tenants. If you are considering purchasing or have purchased a property you wish to convert into a rental unit, we encourage you to read over these 7 tips for preparing your property to rent.
1) Keep Records of Everything
Ensure you document the state of the home thoroughly including all maintenance and renovations you complete and the state the house is in. This should include everything throughout the house, top to bottom. Our company uses a large checklist to document any damages and the cleanliness of carpets, walls, appliances, blinds, windows, paint, baseboards, etc.
This will help you immensely in the long-run. It will be easier for you to hold tenants financially liable for any damage done to the rental property during their tenancy. Conducting semi-annual or annual inspections is a great way to keep track of the state of your investment and to ensure the home is well-maintained to minimize work and costs during a turnover at the property.
2) Fix Outstanding Maintenance
After your initial inspection is conducted, you may notice some outstanding maintenance. For example, there may be a stain in the living room carpet or the dryer heat is not working. It is very important to fix these maintenance concerns prior to advertising the unit. This will ensure pictures are accurate and attractive for your advertisements and the home is move-in ready when conducting showings of the property to potential tenants. This will also ensure that the potential tenants do not get turned off by any outstanding maintenance or damages and view the property at its optimal state.
3) Change Locks
This is for the safety of your new tenants. You may be unaware of the history of previous residents of the home and how many key copies have been made. Setting new garage door and alarm codes, if applicable, as well as changing all exterior locks to the home is a great way to ensure the safety of your new tenants and your property.
4) Clean Vents/Change Filters
Be sure to check the furnace filters and the HVAC ducts for any excessive dust build-up. Air flows can be blocked due to grime and dust and can affect your utility bills. Sometimes landlords will include the cost of utilities in the rent, this could help save you money.
5) Professionally Clean the Unit
We suggest to all of our clients to professionally clean their units prior to each new tenant moving in. This should include shampooing any carpets throughout the home, each bathroom, the kitchen, all appliances and windows throughout the home. Believe it or not, the cleanliness of a unit can drastically turn off potential renters and prevent individuals from moving forward with an application.
Your tenants will be happy to know the unit has been professionally cleaned, and you know that the home is being well-maintained between turnovers. Hiring a professional cleaning company over a no-name individual has many advantages. These companies have a reputation to uphold, usually offer discounted prices for multiple units and can take less time than the independent cleaners.
Our suggestion is to form a good relationship with a well-known cleaning company and include this in your advertisements to attract potential tenants.
6) Re-Paint Common Areas
You would be surprised by a coat of paint will do for a rental. Fresh paint can help make any unit look drastically more attractive to tenants. Our suggestion is to choose fairly neutral colours to appeal to the widest range of potential tenants.
Studies have shown that gray, beige and white suggest sanitation and cleanliness, these are both ideal characteristics tenants look for when renting.
A first impression can make a break a tenant’s opinion of your property. The easiest way to improve curb appeal is to eliminate any weeds in the yard and move any garbage bags or furniture from the front of the home. If the stairs or walkway are damaged in any way, repaving this area will help improve the appearance and may prevent injuries in the future.
If you are investing in a rental property, keep these tips in mind prior to putting your rental property on the market. With this advice, this will ensure your property stands out from the competition, allowing you to rent your property to high quality tenants.