Basic maintenance and making some simple improvements before listing your house for rent (or sale) is key to reducing future maintenance costs, recouping your investment, and staying profitable. In addition, you’ll attract more desirable tenants committed to treating your property respectfully.
The amount of time and money you have to invest in getting a unit ready to rent depends on the rental market and the condition of the unit. In a community with low vacancy rates (like Vancouver), you may not have to invest much money or time at all. Things are different in a competitive market, but do not hesitate to make a small investment in getting your property rent-ready.
We’ve asked Meysam Pourkaram, owner of the full service construction, design and staging company, Enzo Design Build, to share some of his advice on the topic based on years of personal experience.
Outside The House
If you own single family home or townhouse, pay attention to the front yard and entrance. You will want the first impression of the property to be a good one.
- Do some basic gardening and landscape – cut the lawn and make sure the garden is well maintained.
- Consider adding planters or hanging baskets at the entry way to make your property look more inviting.
- Power wash walkways and stairs.
- Wash windows, gutters, mailbox and door.
- Remove clutter from front porch.
The entire unit needs cleaning after a lengthy tenancy, but especially the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Hire a professional cleaner.
- Grease buildup in the kitchen may call for a strong detergent, such as TSP, for removal.
- Use liberal amounts of disinfectant cleaner in the bathroom. You may have to re-grout the tub/shower area.
- If your unit is carpeted, steam clean the carpets or replace altogether. Unless the tenants who just moved out were particularly conscientious, this is a must.
- Clean or replace curtains and window screens.
- Wash the windows – inside and out.
- Consider a simple coat of white paint throughout your property. It instantly brightens up the place and helps remove musty smells.
- Pro Tip: Elicit 2 or 3 painting quotes before you hire a painter.
- Or, learn how to paint to save money on painting in the future.
- Consider a floor restoration. Unlike a refinish, this doesn’t involve sanding off the finish. Instead, you merely scuff up the finish with a floor buffer and apply a refresher coat. It costs a fraction of what refinishing costs and can make a floor dulled by years of traffic look new again.
- Make sure all nails are hammered flat.
- Replace any broken tiles.
Test and service all appliances.
- Make sure thermometers work
- Check water heater pilot
- Do a load of laundry to test washer and dryer.
- Clean dryer vents
- Test oven – turn it on to verify temperature on dial matches the thermometer inside the oven.
- Clean the oven. Most ovens are self cleaning but require hours to do – do it!
- Make sure all faucets are in working order. Check for drips, pressure, plugged drains. Repair if necessary.
Search for and eradicate mold. This is a serious health hazard and should never be ignored.
Look for mold in the following places:
- Basements or cellars, especially if flooding has ever occurred
- Underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks
- Underneath or behind refrigerators
- Behind walls that house plumbing (shower walls)
- Around air-conditioning units
- Around windows (especially single-paned ones)
- Provide a fire extinguisher
- Make sure fire and smoke alarms are working (i.e. check battery life)
- Consider installing carbon monoxide detectors (check strata and city by-law requirements)
Make sure there are no leaks.
- Check below sinks and tighten pipes if necessary.
- Check behind the base of toilets and tank.
- Tighten shower heads and handles.
- Ensure faucets are working properly. Tighten and/or repair if required.
- Try all the drawers and cupboards and tighten hardware and hinges as required.
- If doors are squeaking, apply some WD40 to the hinges.
If you’ve made the effort to go through this checklist, your property should be rent ready! Now all you have to do is upload the details and some quality images into the liv.rent app, sit back and wait for incoming qualified applicants!