DIY Landlord Tools: The Ultimate Rent-Ready Checklist I

Is your home in a rentable condition?

A checklist to prepare a house for move-in.It’s time for some more of Royal Rose Properties’ advice for DIY landlords around Detroit and around the country. We know from a mountain of experience that one of the most difficult parts of landlording is staying organized and not missing any crucial details. So, we’re putting together a set of checklists to help you through some of the most detail-intensive parts of the landlord’s cycle. This first set is a huge, room-by-room checklist of everything you need to make sure is in place for a house to be Rent-Ready. We’re going to start with everything outside the house.

Yards
• As you roll up, check the mailbox to make sure it’s secure, undamaged, and the door and flag function. Repair or replace as needed.
• Inspect the driveway for damage, stains, and proper drainage. Clean and arrange for professional repair as necessary.
• Investigate yards, including fence, edging, grass, flower/garden beds, trees, hardscaping, walkways, etc. (basically, the ‘non-house’ elements of curb appeal). Remove any unwanted trash or other items and dispose of appropriately, landscape as needed, and arrange for professional care as necessary.
• Test the sprinkler system if relevant and arrange professional care if necessary.

House Exterior
• Inspect exterior walls. Arrange for professional repair/repaint as necessary. Power wash if necessary.
• Examine fascia, soffits, and windowsills. Arrange for professional repair/repaint as necessary. Power wash if necessary.
• Inspect roof. Arrange for professional repair/replacement/cleaning if necessary.
• Examine gutters and drains. Test for proper drainage, repair or replace as necessary, and clean.
• Test all steps, balconies, decks, and porches for stability. Test that wood steps, balconies, decks, and porches are sufficiently watertight and are free of loose or weak boards. Check all handrails for security, proper height, and tactile friendliness. Repair, replace, or remove as appropriate. Sweep and/or power wash.
• Inspect patios and concrete entrance pads. Arrange professional repair/removal if necessary. Sweep and/or power wash.
• Test exterior security lights, repair or replace as necessary.
• Test storm doors, including ease of opening, ease of latching, wind chain, pneumatic closer, and lock. Repair or replace as needed. Clean.

Garage
• Inspect exterior walls, windows, and windowsills. Arrange for professional repair/repaint as necessary. Power wash if necessary.
• Inspect roof. Arrange for professional repair/replacement/cleaning if necessary.
• Examine gutters and drains. Test for proper drainage, repair or replace as necessary, and clean.
• Human door tested for free swing, proper latching, knob function, lock function, and to make sure it doesn’t smash into anything when violently opened. Door, knob, and hinges repainted, repaired, or replaced as necessary, and cleaned.
• Garage door tested for ease of opening and lock function. If relevant, test garage-door opener keypad-open and remote-open functions. Arrange for professional repair or replacement as necessary. Clean door inside and outside.
• Remove all trash and other unwanted items, and dispose of appropriately.
• Examine interior walls and ceiling. Remove any unwanted nails, hooks, or other hardware. Repair as necessary, brush clean.
• Sweep and/or powerwash.

Whew, that was quite a bit, and we haven’t even gotten inside the house yet! Come back next week for a breakdown of the things you’ll need to look at and do in every room in the house, and the weeks after that for things to check on in specific rooms.

Posted in: 1. Property Owner Blog Posts, Finding Tenants, Managing Rentals

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