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                           Prepare Rental for Occupancy  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Not only are people attracted to nice surroundings,

   it also makes them feel good about themselves.

      

           Make it Attractive 

a.       Fix, 

-  Any and everything that is broken or damage must be fixed and in good repair.  

 

 b.       Improvements or Updates 

-  Kitchen appl. and fixtures.  Should be cleaned to look like new inside and out and be in good working order.  Dirty appliances and fixtures will turn a good tenant off.  It will also leave a not so good impression on you as a landlord. 

-  If the appliances or fixtures are old and rundown they should be replaced.  Note: if you are replacing any fixtures spend a little extra to get a nice looking appliance or fixtures. It will be worth it and go a long way to getting a good tenant.   

- The bathroom and kitchen are the two most important rooms in a rental unit a prospective renter will judge. By spending a little extra to get the nicer fixtures and new appliances if needed ( new appliances with basic or standard features and a low cost ) with some upgrades to make both the kitchen and bathroom look attractive will be well worth the investment.   Remember most people make decisions based on emotions. So If you can make the kitchen and bathroom “ attractive “  you will certainly find some emotions in a prospective tenant.  It’s a great feeling when you have many people who would like to rent where you need to select the best qualified applicant to rent to.

- Noted improvements will not only make your rental look great but it will also allow you to get a better rent and increase the value of your property. This will help if you ever decide to sell or refinance later as it will contribute to the increased resale value of your property.

 

c.       Paint 

-  Some people like to use a flat paint and some use a semi-gloss paint because it is easier to clean. Either way if the walls can’t be cleaned without it looking smudged it would be best to paint the walls.  Not only will the walls look good and the room(s) appealing but the smell of paint usually gives the impression of NEW and FRESH.   

-  When ordering paint get a little extra and store it in a safe place away from a flame or furnace. Also make sure the cans are sealed properly.  The extra paint can be used later for touch-ups and will save you the time and expense of painting the entire wall or walls at a later date especially when you are renting again.   

-  Before you store the extra paint it would be wise to make a note on each can of paint stating the apartment address / the room the paint was used in and the year it was painted.  This will be a great help later when you need to touch up.    

-  Rental properties should be painted using neutral colors. This will enable the tenant to match most any type of furniture and accessories.      

    

d.       Clean 

-  After all of the Repairs and Improvements have been completed, if any were needed, then clean, clean, clean. If the rental unit is dirty or with clutter here and there a prospective good tenant will be turned off and most likely ex your rental. To begin cleaning start with the walls and windows then bedrooms, living room and dining room. Clean the bath and kitchen last. Cleaning in this order will help eliminate double work.   When doing the kitchen and bath “ Detail Clean  and make sure that the everything shines. Wax the floors if needed.  It is worth mentioning again that the bathroom and kitchen are the two most important rooms in a rental unit a prospective renter will judge. Not only will your rental unit look clean it will also smell clean and this will be a great impression and a positive note.

 

e.       Carpeting  

-  Carpeting can be an expensive feature to maintain for a rental unit.   A  carpet that looks old, shabby or worn will most defiantly discourage a prospective good tenant.  Therefore maintaining wall to wall carpeting will require you to shampoo the carpet before showing the rental unit or installing a new carpet if needed. If you have several rental units you may find that purchasing your own upright shampoo machine will be the most cost effective.  And if you are handy you may wish to install the carpet yourself. Check out some techniques for do-it yourself.    

-   Hardwood floors are great. They are the most economical in floor maintenance and upkeep.  Also hardwood floors are a popular feature used in a room design.  Many times hardwood floors are treated with area rugs or carpets to become part of the room décor and accent the room furnishings while exposing the wood floor on the perimeters of the room. Area carpets can be supplied by either the landlord or by the tenant.       This is your call and your decision will become apparent after showing the rental unit several times to get a consensus of what prospective tenants are looking for in your area.  There are times a prospective tenant will prefer to purchase their own carpet for one or more reasons.  If you supply the area carpet it is easier to keep the rental floor looking good for a lot less than installing wall to wall carpeting.   Depending on the responses of showing the rental unit with bare wood floors you may offer to supply the area carpet while setting some guidelines for color and price.  

- Hardwood floors in an apartments where there are tenants living below are not good. Area carpets, hall runners, or wall to wall carpeting is suggested.      

 

           Smell Nice 

a.       Fresh, Clean, Pleasing Smell 

-  Now that you have prepared your rental unit and have it ready to show it is going to smell clean and fresh.  This is important and will also effect the emotions of a prospective tenant in a positive way. As was mentioned before most people buy on emotion.   You may want to enhance the smell a little by spraying some air fresheners that are light clean smells.  Do not spray any heavy artificial scents as this will defeat the purpose and may turn some people away. Use natural scents such as fresh air / rain scents /  light floral /.   It is important as to what scents you use.   Some years ago research  was conducted on how scents can influence a person in a retail environment.  It noted that when a retail store sprayed certain scents the customers would respond differently.  When the scent of orange was sprayed they note that the retail sales would increase.  Orange was also found to have remarkable cleaning qualities.  

 

 

        Safety Features               

- Safety is important for several reasons just to mention a few. First safety should always be practiced in everyday life, for yourself, the people around you, and your customers.  As a Landlord,  an inspection of  the property inside and out should be done on a regular bases.  Any time you are at the property observe any area that can or may be a safety hazard  and have it repaired, adjusted, or improved whatever is applicable to make it safe for everyone.    Inside the rental unit  the following are safety features that should be addressed.

 

a.       Smoke Detectors 

-  Depending on you local codes they may stipulate where and how to place Smoke Detectors.  Some municipalities may require Smoke Detectors be placed at least one on each floor and at the bedroom areas and/or one in each bedroom. Please check with your municipality for any local fire and safety requirements in your area. Smoke Detectors come in several different types, such as  battery operated, hardwired with battery backup and wireless inner connected. 

b.       Fire Extinguishers   

- Every Rental Unit should have at least one Fire Extinguisher and be inspected once a year by a Registered Fire Inspection Company.   A Fire Extinguisher is usually placed in the kitchen area on the wall that is easily accessible and in plan view Please check with your municipality for any local fire and safety requirements in your area.

c.       Proper Exits with Signs  

-   Each Exit should be marked with an exit sign.  Depending on your type of rental unit(s) and the local codes you may be required to have  Exit Sign(s) that are lit with a battery back up in case the power should go off. Also a rental unit with a third floor living space should have a rope latter for exiting in case of an emergency.     Please check with your municipality for any local fire and safety requirements in your area. 

d.       Locks  

-   All Entrance Doors of the rental unit should have deadbolt locks and must be changed  preferably as soon as the old tenant moved out.  Do not replace the lock with a lock that was used on another rental unit as this is NOT a good practice.  Deadbolt locks are easy to replace. The most inexpensive method for changing a lock is to remove the tumbler cylinder from each lock and take them down to the locksmith.  Make sure the locksmith can change the tumblers of the locks while you wait. Most of the time waiting for this service to be completed should not be a problem. Always ask for the old key back so you can verify the changed lock(s).  When changing the entrance door locks of the rental unit all should be keyed alike. By doing this it will be a convenience for both you and the tenant.  Another way to change the deadbolt locks is to buy a new lock at the hardware store. By using the same brand and lock style the locks can be easily installed by just removing the old cylinder and replacing it with the new key cylinder.  The deadbolt itself would not need to be changed because there is no difference between the old and new bolt unless there was some type of improvement made to its style or durability