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Rental Turnover: Repairs & Upgrades to Maximize Rental Returns

by Kevin Kiene
Landlord Coaching 11/12

Rental Turnover: Repairs & Upgrades to Maximize Rental Returns 

There are lots of things for Landlords to do when Tenants give notice that they’re moving out. Last month we talked through the steps for a smooth move-out process, and this month we’re going to discuss the turnover process and getting the rental ready for your next Tenants. 

Before you’re ready to start marketing the rental and screening Applicants, there are some important tasks that you need to complete to make sure your rental stays in good condition and attracts quality Applicants. Here’s an overview of those projects and tips for making turnover as efficient as possible. 

Consider & Plan for Upgrades

As soon as your Tenants give their notice, you should consider what upgrades you want to make when the rental unit is vacant. Upgrades can help you attract better Applicants and increase rental revenue. They also are a way to minimize maintenance requests and ensure your rentals stay in good condition. 

When thinking about upgrades, first consider the specific needs of your rental – are the appliances outdated, have Tenants asked for bathroom upgrades, is the flooring showing a lot of wear and tear? This should help you create a list of possible upgrades. 

Next, research your area to determine which projects will lead to the best return. For example, do comparable units have updated kitchens, landscaped outdoor space, or more storage options? 

Some common upgrades to consider are: 

  • New appliances
  • New flooring
  • Updated fixtures 
  • New countertops or the addition of a backsplash in the kitchen
  • Replacing or repainting the front door
  • Pressure washing the exterior 
  • Adding storage or shelving 
  • Landscaping outdoor spaces 

You can always come up with plenty of projects to do, but you want to narrow that list down to  focus on the projects that will lead to the best returns, attract quality Tenants, and make your life as a Landlord easier. 

Once you’ve picked a couple of upgrades that you want to make, go ahead and order any supplies and schedule contractors. To minimize your vacancy time, it’s best to make these plans before Tenants move out so you’re ready to get started as soon as the unit is available. 

Make All Necessary Repairs

After you complete the move-out inspection, you’ll have a good start on a list of repairs needed in the rental. After the Tenant moves out, you should do another walkthrough of the property to make sure you’ve got a thorough list of everything that needs to be repaired before the unit’s ready for the next Tenant.

In addition to those projects, here are some maintenance tasks that you should make part of your turnover routine: 

  • Clean or replace HVAC air filters
  • Have the HVAC system professionally serviced
  • Check to ensure that all appliances are working correctly 
  • Inspect plumbing to ensure there are no leaks or clogged drains 
  • Replace burnt out light bulbs
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries 
  • Make sure all doors, locks, and windows are secure and functioning correctly 
  • Clean up landscaping as needed – getting rid of debris, cleaning out weeds, and trimming trees and bushes as needed
  • Fix or replace broken hardware or fixtures
  • Patch holes in the wall and paint using neutral colors

As you tackle these projects, remind yourself that it’s worth it to take the time to be thorough and get things done correctly. It might make the turnover process a little slower, but it will save you time and money in the long-run. 

Deep Clean the Entire Unit

Finally, once all repairs and upgrades are completed, you need to deep clean the unit. This might seem like a pretty straightforward step, but it’s important to do this well. You’d be surprised how much of an impact a deep clean can have on your property and the way prospective Tenants view the property. A fresh coat of paint and a deep clean will make your unit look bright and inviting to Applicants. 

If you’re going to clean the unit yourself, make sure that you: 

  • Dust all surfaces, including fixtures and fans
  • Clean windows, windowsills, and blinds
  • Vacuum and mop all floors
  • Clean appliances inside and out 
  • Clean counters, cabinets, and drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms
  • Clean and scrub sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and showers 
  • Clean the interior of closets, including the shelves
  • Deep clean carpets to remove stains and signs of wear and tear

While this is a project you can certainly do yourself, it’s often a good idea to have the unit professionally cleaned. This will save you a lot of time and ensure it’s deep cleaned from top to bottom.

Get Ready to Market the Unit

Once you’ve made all repairs and upgrades and thoroughly cleaned the unit, you’re ready to start marketing the property. In next month’s coaching article, we’ll talk about how to efficiently fill vacancies. 

Until then, contact us with any Landlording questions you have or visit ezLandlordForms.com for property management tools and support.

Kevin Kiene, ezLandlordForms Founder/CEO

Kevin is passionate about helping others to become a better Landlord by providing tools and education to help them thrive.



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