7 Tips to Get Your Property Ready to Rent
Getting your property rent ready can mean a lot of things. It usually depends on your property’s unique needs, and the type of tenants you are looking to attract.
And while turnover isn’t great for business, it does provide a great opportunity to spruce up your rental property.
Of course, as a landlord, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your property adheres to habitability laws. That is, ensuring that your property complies with local building and health codes.
But does this mean you should stop there?
Of course not!
In a competitive rental market, you’ll need to do quite a bit more.
Here are 7 tips that will make your property stand out from the rest and attract the perfect tenants for your rental property.
Tip #1: Inspect your home.
Regular property inspections help protect your rental properties, and tenants.
That’s why most landlords carry out four inspections per year:
- When tenants first move in
- When seasons change
- When driving by
- When they eventually move out
So, what potential problems should you check for when tenants finally leave?
Here are some good examples:
- Burnt-out light bulbs
- Electrical outlets
- Leaky faucets or pipes
- Driveway cracks
- Sagging or clogged gutters
- Roof leaks
If you’ve identified a problem, the next step is to obviously have it repaired.
Tip #2: Spruce up your home.
Do you think that long-term, quality renters want to rent a property that doesn’t meet their high standards?Quality tenants want a quality place to call home.
Here are a few suggestions that you can use to easily spruce up your home:
- Give your home a fresh coat of paint. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your home’s overall appeal.
- Clean thoroughly. A dirty property is a huge turnoff. Clean the blinds, windows, and floors. Shampoo the carpets to remove stains.
- Reinvigorate your lawn. A lawn that looks a bit patchy, sad and brown will give the wrong impression to prospective tenants.
Tip #3: Replace old appliances and furnishings.
Sure, cleaning can help refresh your home.
But after a while, it’s simply better to replace some things.
Appliances like dishwashers, stoves, and refrigerators should be replaced once they become grimy, difficult to clean, or defective.
You should also consider replacing old furnishings you may have in your apartment.
For example, you can only clean a mattress so many times.
If it’s worn out, you will have a harder time convincing a potential tenant to rent your home when showing them the property.
Tip #4: Consider allowing tenants to keep their furry companions.
The United States is a nation of pet-lovers.
In fact, according to the American Pet Products Association, about 68% of U.S households own a pet.
By allowing pets, you’ll have a larger pool of tenants to choose from. And, the larger the pool of tenants you have, the higher your chances of landing the right tenant.
Allowing pets, however, has its own set of challenges.
Noise and costly damage are some good examples of pet-related problems.
That’s why savvy landlords always have a pet policy in place.
The policy could define important things like the number, size, and type of pets you allow.
You could also charge them a pet deposit fee.
Tip #5: Have an iron-clad lease.
The lease agreement is undoubtedly one of the most important documents in a landlord-tenant business relationship.
It spells out the rights, duties, and responsibilities of each party to the lease.
If you draft it correctly, it’ll help minimize confusion and misunderstanding during a tenancy.
The following are some important terms that you shouldn’t forget to include:
- Security Deposit
Security deposits are often a source of conflict between landlords and tenants. A tenant may think that they returned the property in good condition, but the landlord may think otherwise. In the end, some tenants sue the landlord because of a disagreement about the amount deducted from their deposit.
Make sure that your lease agreement is also clear with regard to rent. You need to clearly state the amount of rent, when it’s to be paid, where it’s to be paid, and the late fee, if applicable.
Another thing you must be clear on pertains to the property modifications. This may include changes, replacements, improvements or additions in and to the property.
Now, drafting a lease agreement isn’t a simple task.
It requires legal skills, forethought, and experience. If you find the drafting process a bit daunting, then PROPERTY OWNERS.
Tip #6: Screen tenants thoroughly.
A good tenant is every landlord’s dream.
A good tenant pays on time, cares for the property and rents long-term.
Getting a good tenant isn’t always easy to find. It requires skill, experience and, most importantly, a good screening process.
Screening should include checking references and verifying employment, as well as pulling a credit report, and criminal and rental history.
It goes without saying that the process must be fair to every tenant.
That is, you must subject all applicants to the same, exact process. This will help you avoid a potential discrimination lawsuit.
Tip #7: Charge the right rent.
Overcharging on rent will repel good tenants from your rental property, keeping it vacant.
Undercharging on rent will mean that you’re effectively losing out on money each month.
Neither of these two scenarios is good for business. Finding the right balance is key!
So, how do you figure out how much rent to charge?
Doing market research can help you find just the right price.
You’re losing money every day your property sits vacant.
Read: How to Price Your St. Petersburg Rental Property – Florida Property Management Education
It’s in your best interest to get your property ready to rent as quickly as possible. Use these 7 tips and you’ll be amazed at how fast that will happen.