Getting Your Home Ready to Rent

September 17, 2020

Many people with a second home decide to rent one house out. If you are in that situation, how do you go about getting your ready to rent? There are a baker’s dozen of steps you should take in getting a rental property ready to show to new prospective renters.  “Rent ready” means the property has been cleaned, repaired, or remodeled and that it’s in rent-able condition for new tenants.

Getting Your Home Ready to Rent

  1. Re-key the locks. Change the garage door and alarm codes.  Re-key all outside doors. mailboxes, side gates, and outdoor sheds. Re-keying and recoding locks make old keys unusable
  2. Professionally clean the carpets. Professional “full-steam and shampoo” carpet cleaning works best.
  3. Spruce up the yard. Cut the grass, trim the bushes, prune the trees, pull the weeds, fix broken sprinkler heads, replace dead or dying shrubbery, and add some new flowering plants
  4. Change the air filters. Replace any reusable air filters with disposable ones. which don’t require monthly cleaning
  5. Get a professional top-to-bottom interior cleaning. Renters expect their rental property to be clean for move-in, so have the property professionally cleaned
  6. Let in the light. Replace any broken light bulbs; consider putting in energy-efficient bulbs, which reduce energy costs and don’t need replacement as often.
  7. Inspect your home. Make sure that all fans (indoor and outdoor) operate properly and are dust-free. Address potential problem areas including roof leaks, sagging or clogged gutters, driveway cracks, leaky faucets or pipes, electrical outlets, and burnt-out light bulbs.
  8. Clean away the cobwebs. 
  9. Clean, repair, or replace. Torn screens can allow pests into your rental property (besides being a security and visual problem). Windows and sliding glass doors get dirty. Cleaning lets in more light and helps them work smoother. Cleanliness applies to furnishings and appliances, too. If you are providing a furnished home, make sure everything you provide is in working order. Fix any holes in the walls before applying a fresh new coat of paint. Repair or replace any carpet that shows signs of damage
  10. Spray for pests. It’s best to hire a professional pest control company now rather than wait until there’s a pest problem.
  11. Determine how to manage renting out your house If you plan to manage the rental yourself, then secure a legal lease document for you and your tenant to use. If you’re not going to manage the home yourself, give yourself time  to find a reputable property management company. We recommend Delaware Realty Management.

Property management firms typically charge 4% to 12 % of the monthly rent for their services. A                company like WorryFreeTenant will screen potential tenants, manage repairs, collect rent, handle              IRS payments, and deal with evictions if needed.

  1. Notify your mortgage and insurance companies Contact your mortgage and insurance company to let them know you won’t be living in the home. Your mortgage company has certain rights to the house to protect its security interests. Once you’ve notified your mortgage holder of your intent to rent out your home, you may have to meet specific mortgage-as-landlord requirements.

It would help if you switched your homeowner’s insurance policy to a landlord property insurance              policy to cover any losses due to the tenant’s negligence, natural disasters, fire, or water damage.

  1. Secure rental information. Once you identify a potential tenant to rent your house out to, ask them to fill out an application from WorryFreeTenant. They will screen potential tenants, manage repairs, collect rent, handle IRS payments, and deal with evictionsif needed. Be aware of landlord and tenant rights, which vary by region but legally govern fair treatment.

Jane Perillo

2700 Kirkwood Highway

Newark, DE 19711
(302) 995-2535

(302) 995-2550 fax

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