Whether you're renting out part of your home, an ADU, or standalone units, as a landlord it should always your goal to have your rental units fully occupied with great tenants.
You want to maximize your rental income while minimizing the time spent addressing petty concerns or minor issues.
One of the first steps you need to take to ensure the success of your rental property is to get it looking attractive and ready for renting. An appealing space will help tenants envision a high standard of living in your rental property.
Tenants want well-maintained homes that don’t have issues like cracked window panes, fractured tiles, clogged sinks or faulty wiring systems.
Thinking of renting out your home? Before getting your rentals on the market, make sure you have tied up the loose ends and gotten your property into the necessary aesthetic condition.
Essential Maintenance Tips for Your Rental Property
Fix Anything That’s Broken
Start by addressing the issues that are staring you in the face. No tenants are looking to move into dingy accommodations. Whether it’s a broken window pane, a crack in the wall, or holes in the fly screen, you’ll need to fix any noticeable flaws as soon as possible.
Make an effort to see your property with fresh eyes. When we become used to our surroundings, flaws may vanish. For instance, you might forget about a door that requires extra energy to swing open. You’ll need to conduct repairs to address regular wear and tear in your units.
While you might forget about your property’s flaws, such issues might end up costing you a good tenant. From a tenant’s perspective, if a landlord isn’t willing to make minor repairs before move-in, they might also not respond to maintenance requests during the tenancy.
Have the Roof Inspected
A roof leak will not go away miraculously on its own. Over time a tiny leak can end up soaking your entire insulation and ceiling, causing mold and other expensive damage. It’s in your best interests to ensure that your roof is always in good shape. Stopping issues from snowballing will save you money in the long run.
Here are some tell-tale signs of a damaged roof:
An increase in heating or cooling leaks.
Broken, damaged, or missing flashing.
A sagging roof.
Roof shingles that have curled, cracked or blistered.
If you notice any of these signs, seek professional help as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse a roof problem will become. Because a roof is usually out of sight, it can be easy to neglect roof maintenance. If you’re able to tell tenants the roof was recently repaired, that will go a long way.
Have Your Property Cleaned
Another thing that will push tenants away is dirt. A dirty property is like a preview of the level of care and consideration you’ll show as a landlord. An inability to keep your property clean will indicate that you don’t care about upkeep, which will put off prospective tenants.
Fortunately, cleaning is something that doesn’t take much technical skill. With some basic tools, spare time, and some DIY skills, deep cleaning is something that anyone can do.
Alternatively, hire a cleaning company to do the cleaning on your behalf. They’ll not only have the skills and the resources, but you can rest assured that they will do a thorough job, saving you time.
Improve the Curb Appeal
When it comes to renting out a property, first impressions matter. If you’re going to attract prospective tenants, the exterior of your rentals must be appealing. Quality tenants are always looking for quality living conditions.
Standards for curb appeal will depend on which neighborhood in San Diego and the surrounding areas your property is in. Improving the curb appeal of your property isn’t rocket science. Here are some of the simple things you can do:
Clean and paint the walls.
Make the windows crystal clear.
Pressure clean balconies and steps.
Mow the lawn.
Get rid of leaves and branches.
It doesn’t take much to give your property a cared-for appearance, and the investment of upkeep time will really pay off down the road.
Get Properly Insured
As a landlord, insuring your property against potential damage is one of the main keys to your investment’s long-term success.
A comprehensive insurance policy will cover the building itself, including burst pipes, flooding, and fire. Paying for insurance may seem expensive, but it’ll be worth your while. It will cover you in case the worst happens.
Additionally, you should also consider making it mandatory for your tenants to purchase renters’ insurance. This will help cover your personal property against a range of issues.
Consider Including Appliances
Many renters are willing to pay more per month if it means they’ll have access to high-end amenities. Rental units equipped with some luxurious features will draw significantly more tenants than those without.
The following are some appliances you can consider providing for your tenants:
Flat screen TV
Washer and dryer
Inspect the Plumbing
Having a faulty plumbing system is one of the most challenging situations a landlord can face. The last thing a tenant wants is for their home to turn into a pool one day.
Common plumbing issues include sewer damage, leaky faucets, and clogged drains. Before advertising your rental unit, go over each plumbing fixture and check how it’s functioning.
If you spot an issue, have it fixed by a professional. Professional plumbers will have the experience, tools, and machinery to get the job done fast.
Check the Wiring
Wiring problems are not just unsightly. Bad wiring can also be a potential disaster in waiting. Some warning signs of faulty wiring are relatively easy to detect, so long as you stay proactive.
While most landlords aren’t electrical experts, anyone can check for common electrical problems by:
Checking the switches—Turn the switches on and off several times to gauge their function. Do the lights flicker? If so, an electrical issue may exist.
Listening for sounds—Lights should be mostly silent. If you hear any buzzing, seek expert help.
Feeling the outlet cover—Does it feel warm when an appliance is plugged in? If so, electrical flow may be faulty.
Sniffing around the outlet—Plug an appliance into an outlet and leave it for a few minutes. Do you smell an odor? If you do, that can signify potential electrical problems.
The Bottom Line
Getting your property ready for renting is a vital phase in the leasing process. It can be tricky when your units are already occupied by tenants, in which case you need to be strategic about presenting your property in its best light.
When your rentals are presentable, they’ll not only attract the right tenants quickly, but they can also earn you more rental income. You can also check out our Fall maintenance guide for help on seasonal maintenance for your San Diego property!
If you’re looking for someone to handle every aspect of getting your property ready for the rental market on your behalf, North County Property Group can help. Our team has years of experience in the San Diego area and can get your rental property operating at its full capacity.