When your rental property is vacant, you want it filled as soon as possible to keep the rent coming in. You also want the best possible tenant. When the rental property isn’t ready to be shown, or the rent is set too high for the market, it delays the leasing process, turns away prospective tenants and hurts your cash flow. It’s critical that your property is ready to make a good impression. Follow these steps to ensure prospective tenants see your property as a place they can call home.
Assess the property’s curb appeal from the street as if you were a potential tenant. An unattractive first impression will prevent renters from ever viewing the home. Keep the property up during vacancy, including your lawn care and landscaping. Regular watering and pest control are also necessary.
Walk through the house and note any maintenance that’s needed or repair work that needs to be complete. Pay special attention to health and safety issues. Cosmetic issues are also important. Look for running water, leaks in the plumbing, mold and broken door locks. These things put you and your tenant at risk. You’ll also want to re-key the property. It’s required by law in many areas. Check appliances so you know they are clean, working and possessing new filters. This includes the air conditioner and heater. Look at smoke detectors, carbon monoxide and radon detectors so you know they are in place and have fresh batteries.
Have your property professionally cleaned. Don’t show the home while it’s being cleaned or undergoing repair work. It’s difficult for tenants to see what a home might look like. Remove any personal belongings from the property. Check the attic, crawl space, garage, storage closets and sheds. Anything you leave behind can expose you to liability. Be sure to clean up after any additional work is done at the property.
Paint all walls a neutral color. Don’t touch up – paint completely. Don’t leave any paint behind for tenants to use.
Keep the utilities on until the tenant moves in. The goal is to create a home the prospective tenant can imagine living in, so you don’t want to leave them in the dark. Make sure the home is well lit and set at a comfortable temperature.
Install a lock box on the door so leasing agents can securely show the property to prospective tenants. It also reflects professionalism and keeps the property accessible.
The more attractive a property, the easier it is to get it rented out to a reliable tenant. If you need any help, contact Real Property Management West San Fernando Valley.