Tenant turnover is part and parcel of managing a rental property. Regardless of a renter’s reason for moving out, it’s your responsibility to get your property ready to rent again.
Getting a property ready to rent involves getting certain things right. In today’s blog, we’ll walk you through eight tips to get you started.
Tip #1: Start Advertising Your Vacant Unit
You should start this process as soon as your tenant notifies you of their intention to move out. Generally speaking, this is usually 30 days prior to the tenant’s move-out date.
You can then use that time to start the marketing process early in order to minimize the amount of time the unit will be left vacant.
For best results, advertise your rental both online and offline. In addition to this, spread the news to your network that you’re looking for a new tenant. You may also want to involve your current tenants (if any) to spread the word, as well.
An extensive marketing process can help get your property in front of as many prospective tenants as possible and increase your odds of landing a great tenant.
Tip #2: Make Necessary Repairs
Damage is almost always bound to occur when a tenant is living in a rental property. In fact, what varies is the extent of the damage.
Now, there are two types of rental damage: normal wear and tear and excessive damage. Normal wear and tear occurs due to normal, reasonable use of the property by a tenant. Examples include faded carpeting, a loose door knob, slightly torn wallpaper, or faded paint. These are your responsibilities as a landlord to fix.
As for excessive damage, this is the type of damage that exceeds normal wear and tear. Examples of this type of damage include smashed windows, broken furnishings, and torn window blinds. Your tenant is responsible for the costs of fixing these damages.
If the tenant moves out without making the repairs, you can use some or all of their security deposit to do so.
Tip #3: Have the Home Professionally Cleaned
Most leases require tenants to leave their rental unit in the same condition it was when they moved it, save for normal wear and tear. Sadly, this is not always the case, especially if you had rented your property to a difficult tenant.
When they eventually move out, you may find your rental property to be in a dire state of uncleanliness. In such a case, a simple DIY cleaning may not cut it and you might need to hire a professional cleaning service.
A professional cleaning service will do a thorough job of cleaning your home, leaving it looking and smelling clean and fresh.
What’s more, you may be able to hold your tenant liable for the cost of the professional cleaning service.
Tip #4: Secure the Home
As a landlord, you have a responsibility under the state’s warranty of habitability to provide your tenant with a safe home. With that in mind, you’ll need to ensure that the home is only accessible by the current inhabitant.
Re-keying or installing new locks is an important part of the re-renting process. It’s a good idea to hire a professional locksmith to provide this service.
Tip #5: Invest in the Right Rental Upgrades
The perfect time to conduct rental renovations or upgrades is when the unit is vacant. It can be difficult to make upgrades when the rental is occupied and it can cause disturbances to tenants. Tenants have a right to peace and quiet enjoyment of their rented premises.
Not all rental upgrades are created the same in regards to return on investment, though. Some provide more value than others. The following are examples of upgrades you may want to invest in if you have the budget.
- Repainting the walls.
- Improving the curb appeal.
- Creating an open space.
- Investing in modern flooring.
- Investing in energy-efficient appliances.
- Adding the square footage.
- Making upgrades to the property’s lighting.
These will boost the desirability of your rental property, thereby reducing the amount of time your property remains vacant.
Tip #6: Test the HVAC System
First off, as a landlord in Texas, you’re under no obligation by state law to provide your tenant with an HVAC system, although local laws may vary on this.
That said, if you do provide one in the lease, then it’ll be your responsibility to ensure it functions properly. Scheduling routine inspections is the best way to ensure it’s working as it should. You’ll want to keep an eye out for things like:
- Pleated air filters
- Signs of leakage
- Broken pipes
- Abnormal water pressure
If you notice any of these things, seek professional help as soon as possible.
Tip #7: Get Rid of Pests
A pest infestation is one of the most common tenant complaints. A pest infestation is not only a nuisance but can also render your property uninhabitable. And when your unit becomes uninhabitable, your tenant may be able to exercise any of the following legal rights.
- Repair the issue themselves and then deduct the appropriate costs from future rent payments.
- Take legal action against you for damages that may result from the habitability issue.
- Report you to public officials for action.
Common pests in Texas include ants, cockroaches, spiders, and beetles. To prevent such pests from infesting your property, make sure to schedule regular inspections.
Tip #8: Hire a Property Management Company
You could also hire a professional property management company to help you re-rent your property on your behalf. A good company will know what exactly would need to be done to rent out your property quickly and to the best tenant.
These eight proven tips should help you fill your vacancy in the shortest time possible. And of course, make sure to screen every applicant to avoid renting to difficult ones. For expert help in every aspect of property management, contact Rollingwood Management today.