A new tenant moving into your property can be a stressful time. Finding the right tenant is already tricky; keeping them takes more than a good lease.

Before your tenant moves in, make sure your rental is prepared for their stay. Being a good landlord means providing a safe and functional living space that is worth the monthly rent.

Do a Thorough Walk-Through

The first thing you’ll need to do is conduct a thorough inspection of the rental unit. Doing this will help you identify issues that need to be addressed. It also gives you a better look into the unit’s current state.

  • Check each room to see what needs to be fixed, cleaned, or replaced.
  • Check the bathroom and kitchen for mold, mildew, and other kinds of water damage.
  • Check the fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace their batteries and note the date.

Once you’ve finished your inspection, note the areas and factors you want to stay the same, such as the unit’s condition.

Decorate the Walls

Landlords often take on the responsibility of painting their walls. While some tenants may ask if they can do this, most choose to leave their rental unit’s walls unchanged to lessen their responsibilities when they move out. Either way, putting on a fresh coat of paint or installing new decal wallpaper will make the unit look nicer and inviting.

Repair the Utilities

It’s not uncommon for a former tenant to leave the kitchen or bathroom in bad shape, especially the appliances and fixtures. During your inspection, test these items and note the ones that need fixing.

  • Test the oven and stove while checking for a potential gas leak.
  • Test all the faucets and identify which ones need to be tightened.
  • Test the appliances, like the refrigerator and air conditioning unit, to determine their working condition.

Make sure all repairs are completed before the new tenant moves in. Also, don’t forget to inform them of any issues they might encounter to prevent misunderstandings in the future.

Clean the Unit

The general upkeep of your rental is your responsibility in the time between tenants. With the current pandemic, taking additional precautions to clean and sanitize the unit is essential to prevent health and safety hazards. Hire a professional cleaning service to take on this task to ensure everything is clean and ready for the new tenant.

Change the Locks

You should always change the locks to your rental unit whenever a tenant ends their lease, even if they returned all the keys. There is no guarantee that they didn’t make copies and lent/gave them to someone else. Ensure the safety of the unit and the new tenant by replacing the locks on all the doors. Likewise, make sure to change the security code for your new tenant.

Remove the Last Tenant’s Belongings

Some tenants may leave appliances and furniture to save on space or because they no longer need them. No matter the reason, you should remove these items from the unit before the new tenant arrives. Since you can’t guarantee these appliances’ performance, it might not be safe to leave them for the new tenant’s use. These appliances might have problems that could cause accidents. Removing them will give you more control over the safety of the unit.

Being a good landlord comes with many responsibilities, even when your rental unit is still empty. However, these tasks are necessary to make sure your new tenant is happy and comfortable during their stay. It’s more advisable to improve retention in these trying times than look for new tenants every six months.


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