Putting a property on the rental market can be stressful. Whether you’re getting your property ready to lease for the first time or between tenants, a few simple checks and measures should be done to ensure you’re covering yourself and making the property as enjoyable as possible for your tenants.
Find the right agent
Finding the right agent for you and your rental property is half the battle. Once you have an understanding of the property management fees, how your agent selects a tenant, and what duties the agent is responsible for, making your choice should be simple.
One thing to note is that most property management businesses take a percentage of the monthly rent. If your property is on the more expensive side this can end up being a lot of money, so make sure you check the property management contract for the managing agency's fee structure.
It's a good idea to get Landlord Insurance. Knowing that you have a reliable back up in case sh*t hits the fan with your tenants or disaster hits is peace of mind.
When shopping around for insurance make sure that you are covered for lost rent. Many of us wouldn’t be able to pay the mortgage for an extended period of time if tenants stopped paying rent. A good landlord insurance should protect you from tenant damage, rent defaults, legal expenses, and tenant hardship, just to name a few.
If the previous tenants have not left the place as clean as a whistle, deduct money from the bond and hire a professional. There is nothing more annoying than moving into a new place and having to clean as you unpack. Property inspection is crucial in this stage.
Make sure the property is as you would expect the new tenants to leave it. In other words, a general wipe-down of surfaces isn’t going to cut it. Ensure the oven is spotless, the garage/workshop/shed is ready to be used, blinds and curtains are clean, and carpets are steam cleaned.
Getting the garden up to scratch is also in order. If you plan on updating or have recently planted new plants, leave instructions for the tenants or hire a gardener to come on a regular basis. If you’re looking for garden inspiration, check out this recent post.
"Make sure the property is as you would expect the new tenants to leave it"
Before putting your property on the rental market, walk through and see what needs repairing. Now is the time to fix any niggling little issues. Anything from missing cupboards handles, to a broken letterbox... or is the place looking really tired and needing a lick of paint?
If you’re not able to look through the property yourself, have your agent walkthrough and compile a list of what should and could be improved. A few small updates will not only make tenants feel more comfortable but will often increase the rent.
If the previous tenants left damage you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with your real estate agent about any damage and holding back on the bond in order to pay for any repairs.
If you have appliances in the property such as an oven, stovetop, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, etc, make sure they are all in good working order and have been checked over by an electrician. Record exact details of items and when they were last serviced and have these to hand in case anything goes wrong.
Anyone that has rented understands the pain of moving into a new place that isn’t up to scratch. Having unfulfilled promises made by agents or landlords is disappointing. It can make tenants resentful and feel undervalued. By giving your tenants the best possible experience, you can expect the same at the end of their tenancy.
"Anyone that has rented understands the pain of moving into a new place that isn’t up to scratch"
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