Preparing a home to be a rental home is a lot of work. There are many things to think about and depending on the condition of the home it can be a bit costly. The good news is that once it is rented you’ll be able to make some of that money back over time and the improvements will increase the value of the home. Keep a list of all the improvements and the receipts for your taxes.
You’ll want to think about the curb appeal of the home. Does the landscaping match the neighborhood. If not, you will want to improve it. This will make the home more presentable when it is listed for rent. Look at the siding, the roofing, the gutters, the paint the windows. Check for dry rot and areas that may need repair. The idea is to protect the house from being further weathered and to make sure the house is clean and ready for tenants.
Move out before you do the inside repairs. Once you are completely moved out you will be able to see the real condition of the home and what needs to be replaced or repaired. If the carpet is more than 5 years old consider replacing it before tenants move in. Carpets do not last forever and should be replaced every 5-7 years. Have the walls painted if needed and repair any holes, damaged or peeling areas. Replace old appliances and make sure all plumbing is operable.
Hire a professional cleaning company and make sure the house is what property managers call “hotel clean”. A professional cleaning company will clean the inside of the cabinets, drawers, curtains, blinds, closets, doors, appliances fixtures window tracks and inside of windows.
Make sure everything works. When you live in a home people tend to overlook the “quirks” like the gas stove doesn’t turn on unless you blow on it, or the cupboard doesn’t open, the blind doesn’t open all the way, the wash machine only works unless you sit on it. Things like this reduce rent value and must be fixed before tenants move in.
Think about safety. It is very important to fix anything that may be a hazard that someone could get hurt by. Things like loose flooring or kick plates, broken steps, loose or torn carpets, torn linoleum, missing electrical outlet covers and sharp edges are all things to be cautious of and have fixed before tenants move in. Install smoke alarms and Co2 detectors and have a fire extinguisher installed nearby the kitchen area.
A rental is a second home and owners are expected to upkeep appliances and fix repairs in order to maintain the highest level of rents. There will always be costs that come and go just as if you were living there yourself. The home is an investment and should you should be proud of it!