Making Needed Improvements for

As the rental market becomes more competitive, owners of inves...

                                             THE RENT READY...


    Power-wash driveway and garage if needed
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Rent Ready Checklist


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Make your rental property Rent Ready. A simple guide for the new investor.

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Rent Ready Checklist

  1. 1. Rent Ready eBook 2009 STONE CREEK REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE Making Needed Improvements for Residential Rental Properties Do you want to obtain….. More Rental Income per Unit? Get Better Qualified Tenants? Sign Longer Term Leases? Spend Less Money on Damages? Achieve a Higher ROI? If you answered yes to any of the above….read further! | GUIDE TO RENTAL PROPERTY IMPROVEMENTS 1
  2. 2. Rent Ready eBook 2009 STONE CREEK REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE As the rental market becomes more competitive, owners of investment properties must change the way they maintain, improve, and market their investment real estate. This eBook is targeted to the “New Investment Property Owner” as well a refresher guide for the experienced investor as a guide to what improvements are required, those that are optional and those that will drive increased rent and quality of renters. The Basics As a landlord, you should maintain and update your property as necessary and appropriate to obtain and keep a good at or higher than market rent and credit worthy tenants with as much longevity as possible. If your property is in disrepair, you will miss out on the good tenants who have more choices, are more selective and just want a nice clean place to live that is close to schools and shopping. The amount of money you may pay to keep your property looking clean and neat will reap great dividends in the long run by attracting the right renters and incenting them to stay longer. Fewer rental turns means less expense to you. What is a Rental Turn? Every time you close the contract on one renter, you need to “ready” the property for the next. Typically rent ready improvements include a fresh coat of paint on the walls, baseboards and closets, sheet rock repairs, replacing broken items like mini-blinds and replacing items like smoke detector batteries and light bulbs. Other items are always bound to come up after someone moves out that will cost additional to repair or replace that the old tenant probably just lived with. Broken cabinet drawers, broken tiles, missing grout, burned out bulbs, etc. These items are commonly referred to as a Rental Turn. Curb Appeal The outside appearance of the property is called its "curb appeal". You only get one chance to make a good first impression with your potential new renter! If you approach the property with an objective eye towards maintenance, you will lead the prospective tenant indoors. Keep the yard mowed, edged and hedges trimmed. Keep the entry clean, warm and inviting. A fresh coat of paint on the exterior and updated trim colors will improve curb appeal tremendously and lead the renter indoors for a further look. Interior Presentation Is the interior clean and has a fresh coat of paint? Is it white throughout or did you select some basic neutrals so it doesn’t look just like the last place they visited? Is it warm and inviting? Does it smell clean? There should be no traces of mold, mildew or nasty carpet odors. Are the appliances and fixtures clean, ideally do they sparkle? Do all the light fixtures and ceiling fans function properly, no missing bulbs, blades or globes? Are the window coverings or blinds in new or very good condition? Are the carpets, floors and baseboards clean? Are the cupboards wiped clean? Do all the taps, toilets and plumbing features work properly? Have all broken outlet covers been replaced? If you can't repair it - replace it. | GUIDE TO RENTAL PROPERTY IMPROVEMENTS 2
  3. 3. Rent Ready eBook 2009 STONE CREEK REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE THE RENT READY CHECKLIST INTERIOR Always touch-up or completely paint the interior walls. A fresh coat of paint is your #1 investment for protecting the value of the rent you will eventually get. By selecting neutral rather than white tones, you create a “custom environment” which most rentals do not stand up to. This is a very inexpensive decision. If you own multiple properties, make them all the same. Check the paint on the ceilings and exterior patio ceilings. Assess the flooring to see if tile or carpet needs fixing or replacing Change all broken outlet covers to new ones. Ensure all sockets have light bulbs in them. Ensure all smoke detectors have batteries and are operational Ensure the security lights/motion detectors work. Ensure the electrical garage doors work properly and you have working garage remotes. Have all of the air filters been replaced? Are there any missing or damaged mini blinds or venetian blinds Any broken glass or windows? Does the garbage disposal work and isn’t super noisy? Is there any stuff still in the refrigerator? Is it running cold? Are the screens and windows secured? Are there any damaged doors or drywall? Do all the locks function properly? Are any of the cabinets damaged? Do all of the light fixtures work and are not missing globes? Ceiling Fans, check for missing or damaged blades and globes. Check for toilet paper holders, towel bars and hardware in place. Look for any signs of water damage such as leaky faucets or toilets Check grout in bathrooms, check toilets and showers Faucet aerators and sink stoppers Attic covers in place Closet rods, closet door guides Doors and door jams Check for broken toilet seats Check bath exhaust fans Check the water softener or RO System Door stops Check the Hot Water Heater | GUIDE TO RENTAL PROPERTY IMPROVEMENTS 3
  4. 4. Rent Ready eBook 2009 STONE CREEK REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE EXTERIOR Power-wash driveway and garage if needed Pool Fencing, if installed, is in good condition Automatic sprinklers are functional Assess exterior stucco for needed patches Ensure Block Walls are secure and gates fasten Assess yard, is there junk that needs to be removed? Does it need landscaping? Presenting your property in a rent ready state sends a message to your prospective tenant that you care about this property. This sets a standard for the maintenance of the property. This will save you costs in property repair as the tenant must maintain the standard you have already set prior to his move into your property or risk losing the rent deposit. Take into consideration when budgeting for improvements, what your long term goals are. For example, if you plan on keeping your investment for longer than 3-5 years, then plan on the need for capital improvements such as a new water heater, roof and carpeting. When deciding on these items, remember that in many cases you will be better off paying a little more for higher quality purchases that will last longer and save you money in the long run. Remember, the longer it takes you to rent the house, the longer you are paying the rent out of your own pocket. Even one or two month’s rent can make a huge difference in the ROI of that property. Focus on short turn times between renters and longer leases at higher than market rent. Setting Rental Rates The internet is a good resource for researching local rental rates. Check the website to get a good indication of your local rental rates provided they have enough rental "comps" for your area. Other websites such as and can be very useful as well. Be sure you compare "apples to apples" when it comes to your property's location, square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms and of course, condition! When selecting a vendor to complete your Rent Ready items, make sure they are Licensed, Bonded and Insured! Please direct questions to regarding these materials. Best regards, Dave and Gina Schudi Stone Creek Repair and Maintenance – “We Make it Rent Ready” | GUIDE TO RENTAL PROPERTY IMPROVEMENTS 4