If you’ve decided to rent out your Los Angeles home, you’re setting yourself up for some consistent rental income and some long term gains. Earning consistent rental income and long-term ROI starts with an occupied property. You want to get a tenant into your home and paying rent as quickly as possible. But before you can do that, you have to make sure the property is ready for the market.
Listing a property before it has been cleaned and made move-in ready will only lead to longer vacancy times. Tenants won’t want to apply for a property that isn’t looking its best.
Whether you’re renting out a home that you once lived in yourself or you’re preparing a new investment property for the rental market, we have some tips for you on what needs to be done to prepare it for the market.
Think of this as part of the leasing process. Being rent ready means finding better tenants quickly. It means reducing your vacancy loss and increasing your rental value.
Here’s how to make sure tenants see your Los Angeles rental home as move-in ready.
Remove any Personal Property and Clutter
Have you lived in this property yourself? If you’ve used this as your own home, there are special challenges involved in getting the place ready for tenants.
First, you’ll have to detach from the home emotionally. That’s not always easy. It will still be your property – you’re the owner. But, it’s going to be someone else’s home. They may not love it the way you do, but you have to trust them to take care of it. Let go.
Next, the property needs to be completely emptied of any of your own belongings. Don’t leave behind anything of your own, and if another tenant was living there, make sure all of their personal possessions are out as well.
Remove anything that isn’t necessary. Appliances should stay, but new tenants won’t be interested in a toaster on the counter or a stack of linens in the closet. They’re planning to move in with their own things.
Inspect your Los Angeles Rental Home
With everything moved out of the home, you now have a blank slate from which to work. It’s tempting to start advertising the home right away. Wait until you know that everything inside of it works the way it’s meant to. Do a thorough walk-through and inspection as you’re getting it ready for the rental market. Test every system and function.
We always recommend a checklist to lead you through the property. It will ensure everything has been inspected, tested, and evaluated. It should include health and safety issues like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Is there a fire extinguisher in place?
Other checklist items for your inspection must include:
- Turn on the heat and the air conditioning.
- Run all of the water, including faucets, sinks, tubs, and showers.
- Flush every toilet.
- Test every outlet.
- Turn on the appliances.
- Look at the locks on all doors and windows.
- Open closets and drawers.
Make a list of anything that needs to be repaired or replaced, and then get your vendors to work.
You’ll need some solid relationships with vendors and contractors. You might find that there are waiting lists and schedules to navigate. These professionals are pretty busy, and there’s a lot of demand for their skills and talents.
If you have trouble finding licensed, insured, and professional vendors to do the work, talk to your local Los Angeles property managers. We have relationships in place already, and we can coordinate the maintenance work that your home needs before it’s rented out to good tenants.
Invest in a Professional Rental Property Cleaning
Your property has to be totally clean.
When prospective tenants begin to schedule showings, you want to show them a home that’s clean and bright and full of welcoming, crisp smells. Have a professional crew come in to scrub the home from top to bottom. Find cleaners who are willing to dust ceiling fans and baseboards and pull the appliances out to dust and sweep behind them. You want tubs and sinks that sparkle.
Consider Upgrading and Updating
Providing a well-maintained home is important.
Also important is providing a modern home. Tenants are looking for a place to live that’s safe, comfortable, and attractive. Take a look at what you’re offering. Maybe the appliances are aging and it’s time to upgrade them to something more energy efficient. If the carpet is looking worn and frayed, consider installing new carpet or hard surface floors.
There is always room for improvement, and those improvements do not have to be expensive. Making cost-effective upgrades and updates will make your property stand out in a crowded Los Angeles rental market. You’ll get the attention of good tenants who are looking for special touches like new lighting or shiny hardware on sinks.
Landscaping and Curb Appeal Creates Good First Impressions
Your curb appeal is your first impression when you’re renting out a property, and it needs attention.
The way your rental home looks from the street will either inspire or dissuade prospective tenants from coming inside to see the entire home.
Keep the landscaping simple. You don’t want prospective tenants to worry about the lawn. They don’t want to imagine they’ll need to spend every weekend mowing and watering. Provide something that’s clean, attractive, and low-maintenance. These details will get the attention of prospective tenants.
Other important details include cleanliness outside. You don’t want trash bins to gather at the edge of the lawn. You don’t want debris and trash to collect against the property. Make sure the windows are clean and the window blinds aren’t bent. The paint on the exterior of the property should be in good condition. How does the mailbox look? Should you paint the front door or install a new doorbell? How’s the lighting?
These details matter. They make your home look attractive to the tenants who are coming to see it.
When all of this is done, your property is ready for the Los Angeles rental market. It’s time to put together a listing and show your home. If you’d like some help with any part of the leasing process, we are here to assist. Please contact us at Earnest Homes.