Prepare Your Home For Rental

For whatever reason, whether it is for extra income or just waiting for the economy to turn around before you sell, you have decided to rent out your house, condominium, or apartment. Before you post a “for rent” sign and advertise your rental property, take time to prepare your place. But how do you prepare a home for rental?  These seven steps will help you prepare your rental property and attract premium tenants.
Curb Appeal – No, curb appeal isn’t just for selling your house, it is also important for renting your house. A good first impression goes a long way in finding a good tenant. Tenants who appreciate clean and orderly homes are careful to keep your house that way.

Curb Appeal

Clean Up – Nothing will turn off a potential renter more than a dirty place. Clean the floors and shampoo the carpets to remove stains. Repaint walls with a neutral color to make the rooms seem cleaner and brighter. Clean blinds and clean your windows inside and out including glass sliding doors.
Repairs – Fix any broken light fixtures, holes in the walls, damaged tiles and any other issues.

Tile Repair

Inspect Home – When your home is empty and clean, thoroughly inspect it and repair major problems. Check that appliances such as refrigerator, stove, furnace, hot water heaters, etc. are working properly.
Think Safety – Ensure smoke detectors are in good working condition. Equip the kitchen and each floor of the home with a smoke detector and fire extinguisher.

Fire Extinguishers

Do Updates – Updating may or may not be worth your time and money.  If your home is located in a high-end community, you will need to make updates since renters will expect your house to be as nice as other houses in the area. You will also be able to ask a much higher rent price. If your house is located in an area where modern updates have not taken place, you will waste your money since you will not be able to get the high rent you would like.
Some updates may include granite or Corian counter-tops, hardwoods, stainless steel appliances, gourmet kitchens. Some very attractive features such as a washer  and dryer, air conditioning and garage are also great selling points.
Decide Who Will Manage Your Rental – If you are planning to manage the rental yourself, then secure a legal lease document for you and your tenant to use. If you decide to turn the job over to a Property Management firm, make sure you find a reputable company.  Most Property Management firms will typically charge a percentage of the monthly rent; however, they will screen potential tenants manage repairs, collect rent, handle IRS payments and deal with evictions if needed.  If you are handling the management of your rental and have a potential tenant, ask them to complete a Renter’s Application and check their credit reports and criminal history.

Professional Property Management

Choose your tenant very carefully. You need to be able to depend on this person not only to pay the rent on time, but to take good care of your property.