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Preparing Your House for Tenants

Getting Your House Rent Ready!

By Dr. Danielle Babb

Dr Dani Babb You know you want to rent your house, and you need to get it rent ready. But what do you need to do to the home to get it ready for showing? First, be sure that you are ready for your applicants, you know how you’re going to run your credit checks and background checks, and you know what you’re going to be checking for. You may even wish to create a checklist for yourself.

One accidental landlord in a survey of landlords had this to say, “Thinking about a variety of worst case scenarios and develop back up plans in case any of them happen.”

Get the home in sale-ready form; fresh paint, fresh carpet or newly cleaned carpet or floors if needed, if you’re providing any appliances get them in and ready (you don’t need high end goods, but the more you offer, like a refrigerator or a washer and dryer, the more appealing your property will look over your competitors, particularly to someone who doesn’t have these things for themselves), and get the yard landscaped and maintained. Get a house cleaner to do a good thorough deep cleaning, get all the bushes and trees trimmed back, and get the home looking sharp. If you are offering the place furnished, remove any furnishings you don’t want included. When a potential tenant does a walk thru, what they see is what they should get. Put in the drapes or curtains and window coverings discussed earlier to.

You will of course want to follow the LPA’s rules, and do a home inspection and walk thru. When the tenant moves into the home, he or she will have certain expectations that it’s your job to meet. You can do this yourself or you can hire out and have others do it for you.

Once you have selected a tenant, notified him or her of their acceptance, and he or she is moving in, you will need to do a home inspection and walk-thru with that tenant. The rental car analogy works well here. You walk around the car, noting all of the dings and problems that existed before the rental, so you have something to compare to when the car is returned. The same thing occurs here. The garage door window has a small crack in it? Note that. The carpet shows significant signs of wear along the staircase? Note that – and anything else no matter how seemingly insignificant.


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