Ok, so you own a rental property – Congratulations. Your property can be a great investment. There are many things to do to get it ready for new tenants. Inspections, leases, repairs, cleaning and more.
Your Agent will market the property and start showing it to prospective tenants. One of the most important things you can do is clean the property properly. Here are 7 helpful tips to really get it looking great.
- Outside – When your Agent starts showings, the first thing people will see is the outside. Sometimes owners spend so much time cleaning the inside, they forget the outside of the property will need attention too. If there is landscaping, most likely it will need some work. Be sure to have the lawn cut and make arrangements for further cuts while the Agent continues to market it. Bushes may need a trim and flower beds may need fresh mulch. How’s the siding? Check each side carefully for damage, stains, and mildew. Contact 2-3 reputable power washing companies and get a price quote for a house wash. Be sure each company is fully insured as well. Check to see if all the window screens are still in place. Lastly, check for any trash, cans, wrappers, etc. left behind by the previous tenant.
- Hire a pro – If the tenants left the property in particularly bad shape, consider hiring a professional. Is it worth your time to clean it yourself? Are you willing to give up a whole Saturday? It may be worth the cost to be able to use your time for something more enjoyable. Even if you choose to clean yourself, there are some costs that will come up. What will it cost to rent a carpet cleaning machine? How much will it cost for all the needed cleaners, sponges, mops, paper towel and such? Sometimes, hiring a professional will be your best optio
- Appliances – At Sureway, we have found that appliances are usually one of the dirtiest things in the property. Let’s start with ovens and ranges. They rarely get the cleaning needed to look like new. Food has been cooked on and dried on over a long period, so it is very tough to get off. Don’t forget about refrigerators as they present a lot of the same challenges. Lastly, be sure to check dishwashers, clothes washers, and dryers. Great tip – Be sure to clean the clothes dryer lint screen!
- Get the right tools for the job – Hardwood or laminate floors cannot be cleaned with a big, soaking mop. That could cause damage. You will need special, smaller cleaning pad for these floors. Carpet will generally need a shampoo machine. Since these machines use a water and soap mix, make sure you open windows and use fans to dry the carpet properly.
- Check for Town Inspection requirements – Keep in mind that even though you think the property looks clean and ready for new tenants, the township may still require that they inspect it. Most townships require you to schedule an inspection with their construction office, pay a fee and be at the property the day the inspector comes to the property.
- Forgotten Places – Be sure to check every closet and every cabinet drawer. Tenants often leave small things behind. Is there a crawl space or an attic? Check those too. If the property is furnished, check under every couch cushion and pillow. Imagine a new tenant finds an old sock under a cushion!
- Require Tenants to clean – There is a great way to avoid much of this work. Make sure your lease requires tenants to leave the property in the same way the property looked when they moved in. Set these expectations clearly both verbally and by including this language in your lease. Consider periodic inspections during the tenancy to make sure tenants are maintaining a clean property.
If you are an Agent or a Property Owner and you have questions about managing a rental property, please call or email us anytime. Even if you are not a client, we are always happy to answer questions.
Sureway Property Management