Preparing Your Vacant Unit For Rent


In order to minimize financial loss due to vacancies, it’s important to minimize the time that a unit stays vacant.


A lot of landlords make the mistake of showing an apartment before it’s ready for occupancy. This can be a major time waster for you the landlord, the prospective tenant, the real estate agent (if there is one), and the housing inspector (if an inspection is necessary). Some people just can’t visualize what the finished product will look like, nor will they trust you to do what you say you’ll do. 


Showing dirty property can also drive a good tenant away. We suggest that you spend a little extra time, and maybe a little extra money, to make the property attractive to potential tenants.


By incorporating the suggestions below into your turnover routine, you can eliminate wasted time on return visits by prospective tenants and inspectors, and increase your chances of a quick rental to a desirable tenant.


1. Make sure all necessary repairs are completed- and all tools used for repairs are not left on the floor of the unit. They should be out of sight.


2. Have the unit freshly painted -it’s inexpensive and makes a world of difference.


3. Make sure the unit is clean and smells good. A tenant who is willing to overlook dirt and dead bugs may not be the type of tenant you want to rent too.


4. Exterminate. Even if you don’t see bugs or rodents, but you know they are in the house-exterminate and clean up the dead bugs (and traps) before showing.


5. Hire the right people to do the right jobs-don’t hire “fly by night” maintenance people who may do incomplete or shabby work.


6. Spend money where it counts. Kitchens and bathrooms sell apartments just as well as they sell houses.


7. If carpets need cleaning, clean them. It also makes the unit smell good. If they need replacing, do so. This can be done with linoleum, linoleum tiles (all matching), or just re-finish the hardwood floors.


8. Pay attention to inexpensive details- light fixtures, switch plate covers, outlet covers, and doorbells-are all inexpensive but can enhance aesthetic appeal.


9. Remember that first impressions are lasting impressions- so if you want to find a clean, responsible tenant, your unit should reflect that you are a clean, responsible landlord. Your goal is to meet the expectations of a desirable tenant and rent the unit to a qualified prospect in as little time as possible.


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