Property Management 101: Preparing Your Home for Your First Tenant

Property Management 101: Preparing Your Home for Your First Tenant

Meta: Is your home ready for a tenant? Use these property management best practices to ensure a strong start when renting your home.

Renting your home can be a great way to earn extra (or full-time) income. But first, you need to brush up on some basic property management best practices. Before you bring in your first tenant, make sure your home is ready to accommodate them.

Put the following tips to good use to create a positive first impression:

1. Make Sure Your Mortgage Allows Renting

You should be able to do what you want with your own home, right? Your mortgage might say otherwise. If you are still paying on your home, make sure that your mortgage does not prohibit renting. For example, FHA loans require you to live in your home for at least one year before you can rent it.

2. Create a Livable Space

Maybe you could live with that window that never seems to open all the way. Or a toilet that runs several times during the night. But that doesn’t mean your tenant will be so forgiving. Before renting, make sure you fix any issues in the home that could impact its livability. You have a legal duty to your tenant to tend to problems in the home that impact their bills, health, and comfort.

3. Test Systems, Appliances, Locks, and Safety Features

Landlords need to protect their investment, even if issues will not affect them every day. To ensure a safe and functioning space for your tenant, test all of your home’s major features. Some areas to explore include:

  • Toilets
  • Sinks
  • AC and furnace
  • Garbage disposals
  • All appliances, such as oven, range, etc.
  • All lights and switches
  • All window and door locks
  • Stair railings
  • Steps
  • Keys
  • Smoke alarms
  • Fans

This isn’t an exhaustive list, as your home may have unique features that need special attention.

4. Conduct a Thorough Inspection of the Home

There’s a reason why property management companies conduct a visual inspection every time a tenant moves out and before a new one moves in. Without assessing the home’s condition, you won’t know who to charge for damage or whether damage charges are warranted.

Take a walk through your home and make note of any damage, even if you don’t plan on fixing it. This gives you a baseline for the condition of your home. When the tenant moves out, you can reassess the home and decide whether issues are from normal wear and tear or tenant damage.

Bonus tip: give your home a deep cleaning so you can better spot issues and welcome your new tenant to a clean, sparkling home.

5. Hire a Property Management Company

Using a dedicated property management company takes a lot of the work and guesswork out of renting your home. You can make better use of your time by leaning on our expertise. We’ll ensure all the right boxes are checked and get your property rent-ready faster. Contact us today for a consultation!