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How to Prepare Your Property for Rent

If you’ve chosen the path of do-it-yourself landlording, I congratulate you. Surely, you have so many questions running through your mind on the early stages of being a landlord. How do I advertise my rental property? How do I properly screen my tenants? And so on.

I’ve written this blog post today show you the ways you can prepare your rental property before you show it to prospective tenants and welcome the ones you approve. A presentable, “rent-ready” property creates a good first impression and attracts the right tenants. Below is a simple 5-point checklist for your reference.   

1. Spruce up your yard.  

Apparently, potential tenants are going to see the exterior parts of your property. Fix the appearance of your yard. Make sure to have your shrubs and trees pruned, grass trimmed, and sprinklers repaired. If you have yard ornaments, have them cleaned as well. These are easy tasks which you can accomplish in a day with the help of gardeners and contractors.

2. Avoid personalization – stay on the safe side.

Even if you’re tempted to, avoid paint colors and decorations within the home that will make it difficult for tenants to visualize it as theirs. Walls of neutral colors and fewer objects are more renter-friendly. While there is no absolute answer to whether tenants want a fully-furnished or unfurnished home, unfurnished rental units with basic appliances offer people more flexibility. 

3. Carry out necessary repairs.

Perform all the repairs needed to ensure that your rental property is in tip-top shape. Inspect and fix ceiling fans that no longer work. Get a roof leak repair. Repaint areas with chipped paint. Replace broken light bulbs. You may want to consider LED light bulbs for energy-efficiency. Functional items don’t just serve as selling points, these repairs will also save you from future bigger and costlier replacements.  

4. Think safety.

People are more likely to be interested in renting your unit if they know that you care about their safety. Invest in security systems such as security cameras, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers. These things can be attractive features and additional perks. You get a competitive edge in the market and are able to charge more for rent. On the topic of safety and losses, I recommend that you require tenant applicants to get renter’s insurance to protect you and them if their possessions get stolen or damaged during their lease period. 

5. Eradicate bugs and pests.  

Think about pest control before people live in your rental unit. The presence of ants may not seem like a huge problem but if you don’t get rid of them, they can quickly multiply into thousands and cause structural damage. Eradicating and preventing pests right from the start is a financially smart move. Good tenants will also want to remain in a pest-free property for many years to come. If you plan to get periodic pest treatments, the pest control company will provide you a written notice about the pesticides to be used. You should give new tenants occupying the same unit a copy of this notice.

Final Thoughts 

Prospective tenants who like what they see won’t hesitate to fill out rental applications. They’re no different than regular customers – they’re on the lookout for a place they can call home. Include these steps when preparing your property for lease. The right tenants are more than ready to spend their hard-earned money on rentals that are aesthetically pleasing, well-maintained, safe, and pest-free. It’s easier to stand out if you know what appeals to your prospects.

Finally, I offer you the opportunity to take a complete DIY landlording course: Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials. Everything you need to know to become not just a landlord, but a successful landlord, is here.