Preparing Your Property for Rent

Renting your investment property is much like selling your home.  You want it to be in its best condition before putting it on the market to help it rent faster and for a higher price.  Unless you’ve brought a new construction property, chances are there is some wear and tear that needs to be addressed.  Here are a few repairs to cross off before listing your property for rent!

Paint – putting a new coat of paint on the walls always freshens things up a bit.  Consider using light, neutral colors to enhance the rooms and make them appealing to the greatest number of renters.  If the property has wallpaper, particularly if it is damaged, consider stripping it off or purchasing a special kind of paint that can go directly over it.

Make Minor Repairs Throughout – it doesn’t cost much to repair a leaky faucet or install new fixtures.  Ensure kitchen and bathroom cabinets close properly and if your appliances are in awful condition or very old, consider replacing them.  

Update Your Bathrooms – it should go without saying that the most important thing is to ensure your bathrooms sparkle.  You’d be surprised by the number of rentals with questionable cleanliness.  If the toilet looks old or the fixtures are outdated, consider replacing them.  Repair cracked tiles or missing grout and caulking.  Remove and replace shower curtains or invest in sliding doors.  

The Floors – having your floors professionally cleaned before listing your home for rent is always a good idea.  Repair or replace any damaged areas, such as cracked or loose tiles, heavily scratched hardwoods, or deeply stained carpets.  

Lighting – maximizing light will help maximize the appearance of the space.  Light makes rooms look larger.  If your ceiling fans or lighting fixtures are in need of repair or are outdated, consider replacing them.

Make Sure Everything Works – before putting your home on the rental market, make sure that everything works.  Check the electrical outlets, light switches, windows, doors, etc., and repair or replace anything that is not in working order.

Safety – it is essential as a landlord that you meet the proper safety requirements before renting your property.  This includes fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and security measures.  This varies by state and location, so it is always a good idea to consult a professional.

Curb Appeal – first impressions are everything, therefore ensuring your home looks great from the street is essential to a successful rental.  It doesn’t matter how nice the interior is if renters do the dreaded drive-by showing. Touch up any peeling paint, and replace any loose railings, bricks, or damaged concrete.  Make sure the fencing doesn’t have any missing parts and keep your landscaping trim.  Adding a bit of color with a few potted plants never hurts either!   

Remember, you’ve already taken the plunge to invest in the rental market, so why wouldn’t you want to invest a bit of time and money upfront to help ensure that investment soars!