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How To Get A House Rent Ready

Getting a home rent ready can be daunting if you don't know where to focus your efforts. Which repairs should you prioritize? What can you do to make your home tenant-proof? What are the tax implications of all these expenses?

It can be overwhelming and you should have a system to help.

Whether you are an accidental landlord getting your home rent ready or you are a real estate investor who just scored your first rental property, this system will help you manage the process.

It will help you streamline turnovers and avoid over-investing in unnecessary repairs and improvements.

Assessing Property Condition-The Rent Ready Walkthrough

The first step in the process of making a home rent ready is to conduct a thorough assessment of the property's condition.

The condition of your soon-to-be rental property makes a big difference. It will significantly impact how much rent you can receive as well as how long it takes to rent.

You need to assess how well your home compares to others on the market. And if this was your personal home, you need to be as unbiased as possible. You may have become used to your home's quirks and faults but a prospective tenant will spot them right away and may be turned off.

Here is a room-by-room list of what to look for during a property walkthrough.

How To Prioritize Rent Ready Repairs That Add Value

Now that you have your punch list (also called a make-ready list), you need to decide which rent ready repairs you must make versus which rental repairs don't add any value or aren't necessary.

The reality is that no home makes a perfect rental. Your list will be long. It will include things that are absolutely necessary and things that are nice-to-do's. However, you don't want to over-invest in getting ready to rent your home.

Assign rough dollar figures for every item on your punch list. How much will it cost to address all the issues you found? Chances are it would be cost prohibitive.

Now try prioritizing into four categories:
1.High Impact and Low Investment
2. High Impact and High Investment
3. Low Impact and Low Investment
4. Low Impact and High Investment

Tenant proof your property for more ways to save.

Other Tenant-Proofing Tips

Here are a few other things you can do to make your life as a future landlord much easier:

  • Remove or shorten the chains on ceiling fans. Kids and adults both like to rip these out.
  • Use dark grout colors to hide stains or go with a very narrow grout line.
  • Switch to LED or CFL light bulbs to save yourself the hassle later.
  • Use a dual fan and vent in the bathrooms. Wire them to one switch so the vent is always on when the tenant showers.
  • Replace the flush mechanism with a new Fluidmaster Universal one.
  • Install contact paper under sinks to avoid water stains and damage.
  • Simplify landscaping by installing more hardscaping, mulch, rocks, etc. Avoid high maintenance plants, trees, and shrubs.
  • All information provided here is courtesy of