Whether you are looking to rent your property for the first time or the tenth, part of finding a great renter starts with getting your property rent-ready. A “rent-ready” property is clean, has completed repairs, and is available for the new tenants to move in when they sign the lease. We are highlighting six things you can do to make your rental property more appealing to renters and also reduce your maintenance expenses along the way. Some of these items are a little more costly than others, but they are all worth considering as you try to find the best renters for your Brevard County, FL rental properties.
Easy Ways to Get Your Property Ready to Rent in Brevard County
Clean Thoroughly and Check for Mold
New lessees are attracted to rentals that are “move-in ready” clean. Many property owners have their rental professionally cleaned which includes everything from scrubbing the baseboards to cleaning out the appliances.
A clean property also includes changing the air filters. Instead of reusable ones that tenants have to clean, replace the air filters with disposable ones. Make sure to tend to the inside and out of cabinets and vanities, light fixtures, window sills, toilets, and appliances, including the dryer vent. Note and complete repairs along the way.
Professional carpet cleaning is also a necessity as well since their shampoo and steam machines do not leave behind a residue like rental and personal machines. Some landlords include this as a checkout requirement of the previous tenants.
Sometimes previous tenants don’t “keep house” as well as you’d like and this can leave a home in need of deodorizing from mold and mildew. While cleaning, make sure to check for mold especially in dark corners of the laundry room as well as in the bathroom around fixtures and in showers.
Scrub mold with soap and water off surfaces, except drywall, which will require replacement if found.
Check, Service, or Upgrade Appliances and Light Fixtures
Making sure the appliances are working and in good repair is a crucial part of getting your property ready to rent. In general, people tend to take care of nicer things, so the nicer your appliances, the better the chance that new tenants will take care of the items you upgrade or replace.
Appliances to check include turning on the oven to check the temperature on the dial and a thermometer inside is the same. Check the water heater pilot light to make sure it’s steady and blue. Wash a load in the washing machine and dry it in the dryer. Service any appliances that are not working properly.
Check to make sure all light fixtures are in working order. Replace any broken or missing light bulbs; consider putting in energy-efficient bulbs. This kind of bulb reduces energy costs and doesn’t need to be replaced as often. Sometimes a simple upgrade in lighting fixtures refreshes a room, making it seem less dated.
Re-key or Change Locks
Re-keying and recoding locks make old keys your previous tenants may still have unusable. You never know who may have a copy of a key or know codes to your property. Make sure to change the garage door and any security alarm codes. Re-key all outside doors, remembering outdoor locks such as mailboxes, side gates, and outdoor sheds.
If you are part of an HOA, make sure you have all the codes to any community buildings, fitness centers, swimming pools, or community gates. It’s also a good idea to let your HOA know there will be new tenants occupying the property and the old tenants should not be allowed access to any of the community facilities attached to your Brevard County, FL rental.
Painting Walls and Trim
Tenants want a property that is or looks like it is, freshly painted. Repainting every time you have a new tenant is the most costly and aggravating expense for property owners. Professional painting costs vary depending on the size and difficulty of the job as well as where you live in the country. You can reduce this cost greatly by doing the work yourself.
Fix any holes in the walls from pictures or decor your previous tenants hung before applying a fresh new coat of paint. If you plan to rent for more than one year, it’s most cost-effective to paint the entire house. Using a neutral color allows the chance that it can be touched up, if needed, at a much lower cost than totally repainting every wall in the future.
Exterior Refresh and Landscaping
If you have spent considerable time and or money to improve and maintain the exterior and landscaping of the property, consider a lawn and landscaping service to provide most of the care. You can include the cost of the monthly rent.
Depending on how well your previous tenants maintain the property while living in the rental, you may need to put time into repairs and paint any wood on the exterior. This includes having gutters cleaned, check trees for any potential hazards, and pressure wash siding, sidewalks, decks, and driveways. If your rental property is in an area that pays an HOA fee for pressure washing some things may be included in the annual work.
Clean and Replace Windows and Screens
Remove window screens, and wash them. You should replace them if they are torn or the frames are bent. Torn screens allow pests in the rental property. Repairing or replacing them saves you money in the long run since you will have fewer visits from the pest control company.
Consider having the windows professionally cleaned to bring light into the house. Repair any broken windows or windows that are difficult to open. Inoperable windows are both a safety hazard and a visual blight on the property.
The amount of time and money you have to invest in getting a unit ready to rent in Brevard County, FL depends on the current market and the condition of the unit. Finding the best tenants often depends on ensuring your property is “rent-ready” when a unit is open. If you don’t have the time consider, hiring a property manager.
At All Brevard Property Management, we specialize in property management services. Our full-time property managers represent the owners’ interests while watching out for the tenants’ rights and obligations as well. Contact us to learn more about our services or view our properties.