It’s easy to think you’re prepared and ready for tenants to move into your rental home, but how do you know if it’s, finally, ready for renters? At Real Property Management Southern Connecticut, we take the guesswork out of the equation. Among property management firms, only our team of professionals has the right tools and skills to help you with your rental home. It can be a stressful experience preparing to rent out your house for the first time, so we’ve made a “rent-ready” checklist to help ensure your property is leased quickly to a reliable tenant. Here are just some of the items on our checklist!
- Re-key the rental property. Be sure to change all the locks, garage door codes, mailbox keys, etc. You don’t want an intrusion from a former tenant or anyone that previous tenant might have given a key to (mom, aunt, friend, etc.). Re-keying protects you from liability and gives you and the tenants peace of mind.
- Set a Competitive, But Fair Rental Rate. All property management firms will agree that you want a rental rate that is neither too high nor too low. Before you set the rental rate, take into account the condition of the home, what time of year you plan on leasing, and the going rental rate for other homes in the same neighborhood. Still not sure what to charge? We’ll advise you with our local expertise.
- Obtain a Landlord Insurance Policy. Protect yourself and your property by obtaining extended liability coverage of at least $500,000. You won’t be sorry you did. Personal or Commercial Umbrella Liability policies are also a good idea in this business.
- The Leader Among Property Management Firms Advises: Keep Utilities Running. It’s tempting to shut off utilities as soon as possible and try to save a little extra money. But if you’re trying to get your property ready to rent, that’s not a smart move. You want potential tenants to picture themselves living in your home, and it’s hard for them to do that on a sweltering summer day with no A/C on in the unit! Before tenants walk through your property, turn on all lights and check that the water heater and A/C units are on and working properly. Similarly, if the weather is cold outside, keep the heater going. A comfortable temperature within your property can instantly help tenants feel like home.
- Check for Safety Issues. Take care of anything in and around the rental property that might pose a safety risk to your tenants. Inspect the property for safety and security issues such as tangled electrical wiring, splinters, broken windows, mold, ineffective door locks, etc., and fix them!
- Have the Property Cleaned Professionally and All Bad Odors Removed. A potential tenant whose shoes stick to the sticky residue on the tile floor is not going to be impressed. Have your rental property scrubbed professionally from top to bottom so that it is clean and sterile. If your kitchen or carpet contain lingering smells, do everything you can to get rid of the bad odors.
- Give the Home a Fresh Look. Beige might have been a popular paint color choice about 10 years ago, but it’s going to date your rental home now. A new coat of paint can spruce up a rental home and make it look new. Stick to neutral colors and don’t just touch-up the paint with a color that you “hope” will match.
- Clean Up After Remodeling. Had the garage recently remodeled into an extra bedroom? Don’t leave sawdust and wood shavings all over the floor. Tidy up after any construction or residential property management maintenance work has been completed. Walk around with shoes on and pick up any glass, nails, or sharp objects that may have been left behind.
- Keep Careful Documents. At Real Property Management Southern Connecticut, we’re known as a leader among all the other property management firms out there. We know how important it is in this industry to keep meticulous records of everything going on with your rental property. Before tenants move in, take pictures, video, and write things down about the condition of the property on the inside and out. That way when your tenant leaves, you have documents that prove what your property looked like before the tenant moved in.
- Curb Appeal. A clean, safe, prepared rental home can still look shabby on the outside. Assess your property’s “curb appeal” from the street. Would you live in your own rental home? Add special landscaping touches like new flowers and a welcome mat to give your rental unit that extra appeal.
Follow our “rent-ready” list, and you’ll succeed in property management! Firms around Connecticut can’t compare to the expertise and values upheld by RPM Southern Connecticut. Residential property management is about more than just making money; it’s about helping landlords make and keep a smart investment. Give us a call today to put us to work for you!