We get calls all the time from prospective clients wanting us to market and list their property for rent. “I’m ready” they emphatically say. However, before we can market it, we always ask the question, “have you done a rent ready inspection.”
“What’s that?”, they usually say.
Getting a property rent-ready means ensuring it’s in the right condition to be listed on the market. If it’s an attractive, well-maintained home that’s priced right, you’re probably going to generate a lot of interest as soon as it’s listed.
But, before you start taking those marketing photos or running those ads, you need to make sure you’ve taken these important steps to prepare your home or unit for the local rental market.
WALK THE RENTAL PROPERTY
This should be the very first step of your own rent ready inspection. The idea is to enter the property through the front door and take an initial look around from that perspective.
Look to see if the paint needs to look good and the carpets need to look fresh and everything should look and smell right before you begin to look around.
This gives you the opportunity to check every inch of the apartment or the home:
- Look at every outlet you pass
- Best each set of blinds that you encounter
- Check windows to make sure they lock
- Look at screens to make sure they’re in place and in excellent condition
- Look for cracks in windows or window frames
- Check the paint and make sure there aren’t any scratches or blemishes on the walls
- Turn on all the faucets, look for leaks under each sink, and run the garbage disposal
- pen and inspect each appliance to make sure it’s clean and working
MAKE A LIST OF NECESSARY REPAIRS
The next thing you need to do to prepare your property to rents make a list of the things you may have noticed.
Maybe the hand rail is loose, or the toilet seat is loose, or there is a slow leak in the bathroom. If you’re hoping your rental will command top rent, these are the things that need to be addressed.
You will want to keep a detailed record of the things you encounter that need attention. Taking pictures is a good idea so you can make before and after comparisons.
Make sure your list is extensive and includes everything. Even if it’s a minor repair or a simple fix; add it to your list. You don’t want to overlook any of these things because the prospective tenants are going to walk into that house imagining that they can move right in. They won’t want to hear that you plan to get the dishwasher fixed and they don’t want assurances that you’ll be painting the walls as soon as a lease is signed. Everything needs to be right the first time they walk through the door.
Curb appeal is the first thing your tenant will see when they drive up to the property. As a landlord, it will either make you or break you. First impressions matter, especially when people are deciding where they want to live. So, make a good first impression.
Give prospective tenants a reason to get excited about the property. The right curb appeal can tap into their emotions and help them to feel great about your property.
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN
Cleaning is critical when you’re getting your property rent-ready. It should be clean and free of dust and debris when you’re walking the walls.
A lot of landlords always tell us, “oh don’t worry, I’ll clean it.” When I hear that phrase, it makes us shutter. Do yourself a favour, spend the money and hire a professional cleaner to clean your rental. You didn’t buy a rental property to clean for someone else.
While the initial cleaning is important, you also want to clean after the work is done. When you have repair people coming and going through the property, additional cleaning will probably be necessary before you put the home on the market.
If you don’t pay attention to the cleaning, you’ll have a longer vacancy. Good tenants will never be willing to move into someone else’s dirt.
Your cleaning should include pulling the appliances away from the wall to clean and dust under them and behind them. You’d be amazed at the crumbs and dust that can gather around appliances.
These steps are important and they keep you from losing time and money. A rent-ready property will rent faster to better tenants and for more money.
If you don’t have the time or the resources to inspect your property before you list it, work with professionals who have experience in this area. With the help of our construction and maintenance teams, we’re pretty good and pretty fast at getting properties rent-ready.
Interested in getting a bit of help in getting your Hamilton or Niagara rental property rent ready? We’d be happy to help you.