Property Management Checklist – To Do’s Before Listing Your Rental


As an owner there’s nothing more exciting about getting a new property ready for rent because you’re anticipating the income from the rental and what that cash flow will mean to your bank account on a monthly basis but before you list your rental property there is a list of “to do’s” that you should follow before listing your property either online or offline.

Tour Your Rental

The first thing to do before listing your rental property online is to take the time to tour your rental property and look for very obvious signs of neglect from the previous owner or repairs that should absolutely be made before you list your rental property online.

Some of the most common areas in rentals that are left neglected include:

  • Doors
  • Garage door
  • Lights
  • Windows
  • Sinks
  • Bathtubs
  • Showers
  • Shower heads
  • Fencing
  • Locks
  • Security systems

Some of the other things that you should do before listing your rental property online include:

1. Inspect and repair

Rental property maintenance and inspections should be a top priority. Is there any obvious damage? A broken window, a hole in the wall? Address the property from top to bottom, from potential roof leaks to floor issues. Test the electrical and plumbing, from systems to fixtures. Check outside as well. Are there any eyesores that could bring the attractiveness of your property down, such as a driveway crack or dying landscaping?

Beyond the obvious, some health and safety issues can be harder to spot. If your rental property was constructed before 1978, making sure there are no lead-based paint hazards is important. Checking for leaks or any sign of mold is also paramount. Remember to check the batteries and to make sure the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good, working order.

2. Clean

The initial inspection will often reveal a host of things that need to be done in order for your property or unit to be listed. In a perfect world, your previous tenant left the property in the exact same, pristine condition that they found it. Unfortunately, if you have been a landlord or property manager for longer than a few minutes, you know how likely that is.

Even if the previous tenant left the place in good shape, there are likely areas that have been overlooked. Some of the most neglected areas are the windows and the walls. In the midst of a move, it’s easy to miss the windows, especially if they are not particularly dirty. The walls, depending on the paint color, can hide lots of grime and may have never been wiped down. The carpets are another spot with frequently missed areas, specifically the corners where it isn’t easy to get to with a vacuum. Don’t forget the blinds and ceiling fans!

The kitchen and bathroom are key areas, and need to be spotless. No potential renter wants to move into a place with a dirty toilet or a ring around the bathtub.

3. Evaluate appliances

While inspecting and cleaning the kitchen, take a minute to evaluate the appliances. If you have a traditional, electric range, replacing the drip pans should be something you always do. It is inexpensive and will make a big difference in the appearance of a clean range top. The oven and racks should be thoroughly cleaned, and all of the burners and the oven should be tested. If you have a gas range, the connections should be tested for any potential leakage.

The refrigerator can be one of the most disgusting places in the house. Remove the shelves and drawers if possible and make sure no food debris or mold is lurking in hard to reach areas. While you’re in there, make sure the temperature is right. Too cold or not cold enough can spell ruined food and unhappy tenants.

4. Change locks

Whether or not your previous tenant returned their keys, there is no way for you to know if they made additional keys. In the worst case scenario, the previous tenant could come back and rob future tenants. If you’re turned off by the expense of changing locks every time you rent your property, you can always offer the renter the option of having it done themselves. Though if you chose this option, make sure they give you a key. You could also look into Kwikset’s SmartKey technology. This technology allows you to re-key the locks yourself, without having to call a locksmith.

At this stage, you should consider extra security options that could make your property more attractive to tenants. Things like deadbolts, chain locks and even options of security systems can all be attractive to prospective renters. Don’t over-do it! Having too many security features in place may make a perspective tenant think the neighborhood is a dangerous place to live.

Take Excellent Photos

Last of all, but most important, before listing your rental property online you will want to take at least 30 photos of your rental property. These pictures should include both interior and exterior pictures because a prospective tenant will want to know the most information about your rental property possible before they decide to move in there.

Get Property Management Here

Need affordable property management for your rental property in Portland Oregon? Contact the experienced team of property management professionals at Property Management Systems today by calling us at (503) 515-3170 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online. 

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