In order to successfully transform your owner-occupied home into an investment property, there are certain things that you or a rental management company need to do. Similar to preparing a home for sale, the steps that you’ll take involve getting the property in shape, followed by documenting the contents and condition of the home. These steps are crucial if you hope to have low-maintenance relationship with your future tenants.
Take Care of Maintenance Items
Rental homes require routine maintenance to keep them optimally functional and structurally sound. In order to ensure your investment will continue to perform over the long-term, you’ll need to be committed to standard maintenance. For starters, replace smoke detector batteries, air/furnace filters, clean/seal flooring, check fixtures for fit and functionality, etc. Remember, you are liable for the condition and safety of your home. We have another article called “Rental Property Maintenance List” that outlines the complete process for both the interior and exterior of the home.
Make Necessary Repairs
In addition to the maintenance, you’ll need to attend to any repairs that you’ve been putting off. Cracked walls, scuffed (or ugly) paint, loose fixtures, or any other non-working features. If you have the time and ability to tackle them, by all means DIY. Otherwise hire a handyman to knock them out. The most important thing is that your property provide a comfortable environment for your future renters.
Also included in the necessary repairs is ensuring that your property is up to code. Check your local state laws regarding the number and placement of smoke detectors, fire extinguisher, and any other necessary items.
As a final note, save all receipts as all of these costs are tax-deductible!
Document Contents and Condition
Once the property is prepped and ready, it’s time to establish the condition at the time it’s turned over to the tenants. Using a digital camera, take many photos of each room and surface in the home. If you’re including any furnishings, thoroughly document each item as well as the associated value. Once the home is leased, you should give the tenants (restricted) access to these items so that any questions regarding condition are easily resolved.
With these steps taken care of, you can be confident that your rental property is sufficiently prepped to be leased. While there will always be things that come up, you’ve greatly increased the chances of quiet enjoyment on behalf of your tenants.
Andrew Payne is a licensed Real Estate Agent and owner of Louisville Property Management LLC. Read more informative articles on his property management blog. For information on homes in Louisville, visit his website.