Getting ready for tenants

Rental property Checklist:

So you have purchased your rental property and you are getting it ready to rent. Here is a checklist to follow:

  • Ensure the property is clean. The unit should be in the same condition when tenants leave so if you want it to be handed back to you in great shape, ensure it is in great shape to begin with. The carpets should be shampooed and the paint should be fresh. It is well worth your time to invest in fresh paint or at least have walls thoroughly washed. If a prospective tenant shows up and sees a very clean unit they will know that you have cared for the property and realize what your expectation is with regard to cleanliness.
  • Provide garbage and recycling containers along with a schedule for pick-up dates.
  • Have two sets of keys available for unit (one for you and one for tenant) which includes mailbox and potentially garage door opener.
  • Make sure all electrical outlets are functional and that all light bulbs are working.
  • Make sure the plumbing is working, all taps (hot and cold) are working and not leaking.
  • Make sure all appliances are in good working order. If the fridge freezer is a self defrost – do it, if the oven needs cleaned ensure it is done. Remember how your tenant finds your property is an indication of what your expectation is when they leave.
  • Test smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are all working
  • Make sure all doors and windows seal properly and the locks work.
  • Start doing your homework to determine what comparable units are renting for.

Determine how you will structure your rental, monthly including utilities, utilities on top of monthly rent. A good idea when showing the unit is to have a blank rental application form available for potential tenants to fill out. This gives you an opportunity to review the references afterwards and write notes as to your impression of tenant prior to making a final decision. Click this link to download a blank rental application form.