When purchasing an income property the goal is obvious, to make income! We purchased our second income property (site unseen) and had the rental ready to list within 30 days. Today I am sharing the steps we took to get our rental property ready for renters and making money quickly.
Preparing an Income Property for Renters in 30 Days
This timeline obviously depends on the current condition of the property, but referring to this list will help to get your rental ready as quickly as possible.
1 | Get Access to the Property
In most cases, you will receive the keys to your income property at the title closing. In the case of our second income property, we purchased it sight unseen and the current owners lived out of state and had never even seen the property. They did not have keys to provide so we immediately called a locksmith to access the property.
2 | Transfer/Turn on Utilities and Assess the Systems
Ideally, you will have called the utility companies prior to close to alert them of the transfer. If a property has been vacant with utilities (water, gas, electric) turned off, you will need to get them turned back on.
Our second income property had signs on the door that the pipes had been winterized, but when we turned on the water, we found that some of the copper pipes had burst. Our first task was to find a plumber to quickly repair the pipes to access the water.
3 | Create a List for Renovations
Similar to managing a fix and flip investment property, create a spreadsheet to manage and track all repairs needed. Add a column for the cost and when the project needs to be complete. You will begin to see a timeline emerge and an estimate of costs to get the property rental ready.
Reach out to multiple contractors/companies to compare quotes for jobs you need to hire out. You want the job done right, but it is important to know all price options.
Make all necessary repairs to create a safe living environment for renters. Fix any leaks or safety hazards to keep everyone in the home safe.
4 | Cosmetic Updates
When I am getting a property ready to rent, I always ask myself, “would I sleep in this house?”.
I want to make sure a home feels clean, safe and taken care of. This doesn’t mean I sink a bunch of money into it, but a clean house with basic necessities is important.
- Give the walls a fresh coat of paint (neutral colors are best)
- Hire cleaners to DEEP clean the house
- Have carpets professionally cleaned (if you have them). This may not be required after every turnover, but carpets should not smell or look filthy
- Install blinds – this is an easy step to skip, but is really nice for renters. Blinds make a house look so much better from the exterior and it prevents renters from having to take up ugly blankets if they don’t want to buy curtains.
5 | Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
When renting an income property, you have to have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors installed properly throughout the home.
6 | Give the Exterior Attention
Even if you don’t live in your rental property, it is still important to show pride in a home that you own. Give your income property a little curb appeal.
- Cut the grass
- Clean out flower beds
- Power wash the siding (if necessary)
These steps to prepare your property to rent will attract more buyers, especially ones that have pride in where they live. An ideal renter will treat the property like it is their own and take care of it.
How to Find Qualified Renters
Take Great Photos
- Open the blinds, turn on lights to capture light and bright images of each room.
- Add light staging to a few rooms – a hand towel, soap, or a plant on the counter.
Research the Rental Market
Check out similar rental properties nearby to determine monthly rent.
Other questions to answer:
- Review comps to determine monthly rent
- What is your lease length? Do you allow month to month? One year? Two year?
- Do you allow pets?
- Who will pay utilities?
- Who maintains the yard? Will you offer a monthly credit if the renter maintains it?
- What addendums do you want to include in your rental agreement? Ex: No smoking addendum
Upload Listing to Rental Websites
Create a detailed description of your rental property and upload your listing to rental websites like Zillow, Turbotenant & Apartments.com. Candidates will be able to apply online and complete a credit check and backround check on one platform.
Meet Candidates & Tour the Property
When you find a few qualified candidates, meet them at the property for a tour. Once you find a renter, fill out the rental agreement and transfer utilities to their name on the move-in date.