How to prepare your property for a new tenant
As current tenants leave and you are welcoming new tenants, there are things that property owners and managers should do to maintain the safety of the property as well as the safety of the tenant(s). If landlords have property managers, now is the time to send them in to do their thing.
1. The safety of the property
Once the previous tenants have left, make sure to change the locks. Even if all keys have been turned in, copies may have been made. Landlords should make new sets for themselves, their property managers, and their new tenants. If it is a smart home, change the codes or PINs.
Use this time to test any safety devices in the home, including smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and security alarms. Make sure they are working and have fresh batteries. Remember to change the security code between renters.
Hire a professional to test the unit for mold and fungus issues. Landlords cannot rely on sight or smell, since these can be found in the walls and ceiling. Use this opportunity to bring in the experts and take care of any issues they find before they become health and safety concerns.
2.The cleanliness of the property
Hire a professional or rent a carpet cleaner to go over the entire unit. This will ensure not only that stains and odors are removed, but will also take care of dust mites, pet dander, cockroach allergens, and trapped pollutants. This step can also help prevent mold from growing. If your previous renter had a pet or your new renter has an allergy, carpet cleaning is essential.
Make sure to check the areas that renters often overlook in their cleanings, like dryer and HVAC vents, window treatments, light fixtures, baseboards, and fan blades. Landlords may want to hire a professional cleaner and ask for a deep clean. This is also the time to clean up any outdoor spaces, do yard work, or pressure wash the building.
Landlords should also consider whether they want to add a fresh coat of paint to the walls. Aside from making the space look fresh and clean, paint helps keep moisture out, which lessens the chances that mold and mildew will grow.
3.The functionality of the property
Make sure that all appliances are functioning so tenants can move in right away. Test everything: fridge, range, dishwasher, washer and dryer, and HVAC unit. Plan ahead and do this testing early in case a professional needs to be brought in. If a landlord or property manager can handle regular maintenance, such as changing filters, do so.
Thoroughly inspect the property for any kind of damage or warnings of future problems from everyday use as well as tenant damage. Check around tubs, toilets, showers, and sinks for water leaks. If there have been issues in this unit before, double-check that area in case they have popped up again. Don’t forget to scan the outside of the building for siding or shingle issues.
Landlords should take this time to walk through the rental property, testing railings, floorboards, steps, handles, doorknobs, light switches, and control panels. If a tenant is going to use it, the landlord should test it.
4.The suitability of the tenant
Most importantly, after all of this work has gone into preparing the unit, landlords should make sure that they choose a suitable tenant. This means screening renters to verify their identities, checking for criminal histories, and ensuring that they have the financial stability to rent the property. Landlords also need to create a fair rental agreement to protect all parties involved. Paperwork might include a cosigner agreement, a consent to sublease, a landlord’s notice to enter, or a landlord’s notice of non-renewal.
Bottom Line Screening offers multiple services for tenant screenings so landlords can be confident that they are renting to the best tenants. We offer Nationwide, County, and State Criminal Searches; Sex Offender Searches; Nationwide Eviction Searches; Tenant Credit Reports with FICO Score (soft inquiry); Employment Verifications; and Residence Verifications. Call or email to find out how Bottom Line Screening can help you choose a tenant who will respect your property and all of the hard work that goes into maintaining it.