Whether you’re renting a home out for the first time or turning it over between tenants, there are a number of things you’ll need to do to prepare for the leasing process. Before you can find a tenant and start collecting rent, you have to make sure your San Fernando Valley rental property is ready for the market.
What does this require? A close attention to maintenance and cleaning. A willingness to invest in improvements and updates that will increase your rental value, reduce your vacancy, and attract the best possible residents.
It helps to understand your rental market, too. Throughout Northridge and the San Fernando Valley, tenants are willing to compete for well-maintained homes in desirable neighborhoods. They’re willing to pay the higher rents that these homes are now demanding.
Let’s take a look at some of the things that absolutely must be done to get an investment property rent ready.
If you’re not working with a San Fernando Valley property manager, make sure you pay attention to each of these details. Otherwise, you could face a longer leasing process, a more expensive vacancy period, and unqualified tenants.
Remove Any Belongings Left Behind in Your Property
Prospective tenants do not want to see old furniture, piles of clutter, and personal belongings throughout the property they’re thinking about renting. Your rental needs to be completely empty before you list it on the market.
If you lived in this house yourself before renting it out, you might still have some linens or small appliances or boxes of books and clothing and who knows what else. Remove all of that. Don’t store it in a closet and don’t leave it out for tenants to find.
You don’t want anything in the home that belonged to the prior tenants, either. Clear out everything, including trash and things that may have been left behind. Check the refrigerator for old food and open all the drawers in the kitchen and the bathrooms.
It’s often tempting to leave things in the property because it doesn’t seem like it matters. But, it does matter. You don’t want to leave a sofa bed in the living room because it’s too heavy to move. You don’t want to leave a set of sheets in the bedroom closet in case your new tenants need them. Those new tenants will not want the blender that’s been taking up space in the corner of the kitchen or the set of dishes that are still in the cupboards.
You might think you’re being helpful, but you’re only diminishing the value and the appeal of your rental property. Tenants want to move in their own belongings.
Clean the property out completely. This is an important first step.
Inspect your Northridge Rental Home Carefully
Everything in your property has to work.
Conduct a thorough walk-through and inspection as you’re getting the home ready for the rental market. Test every system and function, including:
- Appliances. Do all of them work? Run the dishwasher and the washing machine. Check the dryer for a build-up of dust and lint.
- HVAC. Turn on the heat and the air conditioning. Check the batteries in the thermostat. Replace the filter.
- Run all of the water, including faucets, sinks, tubs, and showers. Flush every toilet.
- Test every outlet. Check for smoke and potential damage.
- Look at the locks on all doors and windows. Do they open and close easily?
Make a list of anything that needs to be repaired or replaced, and then get your vendors to work. You’ll want to have a reliable network of painters, plumbers, roofers, and other professionals to take care of any work that’s needed.
Look for Ways to Improve your San Fernando Valley Investment Property
It’s more than maintenance.
To get your property rent ready, you need to consider making some improvements. This can be difficult for some owners who are trying to rent their homes out without any major expenses. We get it. But, if you focus on cost-effective improvements and upgrades, it’s well worth it. As long as your home is in good shape, costly renovations are likely not necessary.
As you’re preparing your rental home for the market, invest in some fresh paint. Install new carpet if the existing carpet is stained or torn. Better yet, put in new hard surface flooring. Tenants will appreciate it, the floors will look better, and you won’t have to replace them as often as carpet.
You can put new drawer pulls in and upgrade your faucets. Install better lighting and window coverings.
These things go a step further than simply getting the property ready to rent. It shows tenants that you want them to love your home. It invites them to choose your property over the competition. It also increases your rental value and ensures high quality renters are applying to live in your home.
Professional Rental Property Cleaning
When prospective tenants begin to schedule showings, you want to show them a home that’s clean and bright and full of welcoming, crisp smells. Have a professional crew come in to scrub the home from top to bottom. Find cleaners who are willing to dust ceiling fans and baseboards and pull the appliances out to dust and sweep behind them. You want tubs and sinks that sparkle.
Create Great Curb Appeal
Curb appeal really counts because it’s your first impression. It’s how tenants feel when they approach your home, drive by it, or even scroll through marketing photos online.
There’s no need to completely upgrade your landscaping, but pay attention to the details that will get the attention of tenants.
- Clear any debris or trash from the outside of the home.
- Check the paint. Does the exterior need a power wash?
- Make sure the windows are clean.
- Sweep away cobwebs, leaves, and insects from the front door.
- Test the lighting to be sure it’s adequate and likely to help tenants feel safe when it’s dark.
If you have a lawn, make sure it’s mowed and neat. Trim back any branches from bushes and trees.
When all of this is done, your property is ready for the Northridge rental market. It’s time to put together a listing and show your home.
This can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time renting out a home. We’re here to help. Please contact us at Core Alliance Management if you need help getting your property ready for the rental market.