Tips to get your Rental Unit “Rent Ready”
Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. strives to maintain a high standard of cleanliness in the buildings that under management. While some Resident Managers are responsible for the cleanliness of common areas and prepare vacant suites themselves, other larger rental communities may have cleaning staff or third party contractors who fulfill this need. In either situation, it is ultimately the Owner or the Property Manager’s responsibility to ensure that all of the following expectations are addressed to maintain pride of home for residents and maximize the first impression of prospective renters.
When it comes to getting a property rent ready, the goal in an ideal world is to have the unit in rent ready condition on or before the first of the month. An inspection mid-month prior to the tenant moving out provides a great opportunity to see what work will be required. Recognizing that a variety of factors may impact a tenant moving out, it is recommended that the cleaning services and repairs are scheduled in advance to accomodate a 24-hour turnover.
If “life happens” (and it often does) you may may need to discuss options with the incoming tenant to work around them, especially in a tight rental market where turnovers are tightly timed. In a softer rental market where vacancy is higher sometimes you have the luxury of time, but to maximize rental showings the goal should be to have suites cleaned within three days of vacancy. First impressions matter and the propsective renter should feel positive if the unit is in great condition or they can see that renovations and repairs are underway.
During suite preparation, thoroughly inspect each room from the light fixtures to the baseboards. It is important to make sure all elements of a room are clean and in good state of repair. While doing your checks, be sure the smoke detectors are working and change the batteries (if required) to ensure proper function. In cooler months, double check that the heaters are working, the baseboard heater panels are straight and free of dust, and set the thermostat appropriately for the weather conditions.
An area that often gets over looked is a deep cleaning of kitchen appliances. Fridges should be cleaned (don’t forget the seals) and if needed, the icebox must be defrosted. Keep the fridge plugged in and running while the suite is vacant. A box of baking soda or open jar of coffee beans will help with odors. Range hoods should be in working order and free of grease and oil, this also includes the oven and trays under the elements. Make sure to clean the wall behind appliances and the flooring underneath.
Its important to triple check all of the hard surfaces too. The cleanliness of the floors is very important. Strip and wax hard surfaces, or polish tile if necessary. Ensure that the carpet has been professional cleaned as the carpet cleaning equipment rented from local grocery stores often just doesn’t do the job. Windows should shine and drapes or blinds checked for good working condition. Clean ridges in patio doors and dust drapery rods. Bathrooms should be spotless and lime stains removed with products like “Lime Away” or “CLR”.
Last but not least … make sure to remove any items left behind by the former tenant and/or any of your own personal property if you are renting your unit for the first time. This includes: shower curtains and hooks, foil on the stove, coat hangers, toilet paper, nails in the wall, etc.,. While the unit is vacant, make sure to check the suite regularly and be mindful of insurance requirements.
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