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How to Get Your Rental Unit Ready for New Tenants

If you’re a first-time landlord and your tenants have just given you their notice for moving out, the first thing on your mind is probably finding new tenants to replace them. While this is important to ensure you don’t have a lapse in rental income, there are a few other steps to take in order to prepare your rental property for your next tenants.

Here are the steps every landlord needs to take to ensure their property is ready for new tenants. 

1. Fix Any Maintenance Issues
Doing a full inspection of the property and making a note to fix anything that’s broken or needs maintenance is important. There are potential health and safety issues when appliances or utilities aren’t working properly. Anything from a broken window lock to a malfunctioning HVAC system needs to be repaired before you start showing your property to prospective tenants. Furthermore, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors should all be inspected and tested to make sure they’re working properly. 

2. Do a Deep Clean
Whether you take on this task yourself or you hire a company to do the move out cleaning for you, every inch of your property should be deep cleaned and sparkling fresh before new tenants move in. This includes any and all hard-to-reach problem areas like behind the fridge and in cracks or crevasses that are usually overlooked. Not only does it help you better present your property to prospective tenants, but it also eliminates the risk of hidden health and safety concerns like black mold build-up. 

3. Change the Locks
If your rental unit was previously occupied, it’s a good idea to change the locks in between tenants. Even if your previous tenants returned all the keys, they could have made copies without telling you. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and you want to avoid a situation where your old tenants could still enter the unit while your new tenants are living there. 

4. Go Through Your Lease Agreement with Your New Tenants
Once you’ve found new tenants, it’s incredibly important to go through the tenancy agreement with them, including things like a rent guarantor agreement that you might also require, and answer any questions they have. This helps ensure their tenancy starts off on the right foot and that everyone is on the same page. Once all questions have been answered and everything has been clarified, you and your new tenants can sign and date the document.

5. Review Your Move-In Checklist
On the tenants’ move-in day, you should be present so you can crosscheck the move-in checklist. This list makes note of the condition of the property before they move in so that any damages they make are identifiable and anything that was already there is not held against them when they move out. Do a walk-through of the property and inspect each room, making a note of every detail. Go over the list with your tenants and once everyone has seen and agreed on the list, have both parties sign and date the document.


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