If you’re an investor buying a home specifically for this purpose, getting your house ready to rent is pretty easy. However, if you have been living in the property and you’re now turning it into a rental property, preparing your home for a tenant can be somewhat overwhelming. Removing yourself from the property emotionally might be one of the biggest obstacles. Even the best tenant isn’t going to take care of your home the way you do. While renting out your house, you have to stop thinking about it as your home, because someone else will be living there. You also need to make a few changes to the property.
Clean Out Personal Belongings
Unfurnished properties are a lot easier to rent than furnished properties. Tenants are going to want to move in their own things, so make sure you move out all of your personal furniture and belongings. Don’t leave things behind, because tenants won’t like them or won’t know what to do with them. Sometimes, landlords will keep things in an owner’s closet or in a secure storage space on the property. That’s not the best idea, but if it’s important, it can probably be arranged. You just want to make sure that you aren’t storing things that you need on a regular basis, because the tenant isn’t going to want you to stop over every week to retrieve personal items.
Make Landscaping Changes
Perhaps you loved gardening while you lived at the home. Tenants will probably not want that responsibility in a rental property, so you need to switch your landscaping to something that’s easy to maintain. Look for something that’s drought-resistant, or hire a landscaping company to service the lawn. You can include the cost of this service in your rent, and make sure it’s listed in the lease as something you’re providing for the benefit of your tenant.
Cosmetic and Maintenance Issues
When you rent your home, you want to make sure there are neutral colors on the wall. You might have loved the purple walls in the bedroom, but tenants need something like beige or cream. Install counters, floors, and window treatments that aren’t likely to be damaged or need a lot of upkeep. You will probably rent your house to tenants who don’t want to spend a lot of time on maintenance.
Inspect your hot water tanks, your furnace, smoke detectors, appliances, and anything else that might need service or attention while you’re getting your property ready to rent. Leaving deferred maintenance behind will only be a headache for you and your tenant.
If you have any questions about how to rent out your house, please contact us at Real Property Associates. Working with a Seattle property management company can make the entire process smoother and more successful for you.