by Logan Ransley April 27, 2019 3 min read


Everyone loves a fresh start. Your rental property should be no exception. Whenever an old tenant leaves and a new tenant moves in, your rental should be in a clean, tidy and ‘ready-to-rent’ state.

Not only does this send a clear message to your tenants that you expect your rental to be well-looked after (no one likes an untidy tenant), it also makes it easier to assess wear and tear.

We have highlighted the top 4 ways to prepare your rental property for incoming tenants.

Even if you are short on time when it comes to turnover between tenants, most of these tasks can be done over a weekend.

Related: Best ways to Greet New Tenants

Clean, Clean, Clean

There is no excuse not to clean your rental after a tenant moves out. This is especially the case if your existing tenant has been in the rental property for a long period of time. Even if the place looks sparkling clean on the surface, there may be grime lurking below the surface.

Pay careful attention to grease buildup in the kitchen, especially in places that are above eye level and you cannot ordinarily see.

Bathrooms are also harbors for germs and drains may need unblocking. There is nothing worse than moving into a new rental to find that that the drains are blocked from a previous tenant - EW!

It is also good practice to clean the carpets and floors - unless you have a dream tenant who has previously done this for you!

Watch out for mold in rooms that carry moisture such as the bathroom and laundry, and if you find any, take steps to eliminate it. Know your obligations and responsibilities when it comes to providing a healthy and safe home for your tenant by checking your state’s relevant laws.

preparing your rental

Change The Locks

Every property you rent out to tenants should be safe and secure. It is wise to change the locks on your rental between tenants so that you can ensure previous tenants do not have access to a rental property after they leave.

If you often have short-term tenants and this is too much of an expense for you, consider your other options.

Some landlords mark keys with “Do Not Duplicate”. However, we would not recommend this measure as you still run the risk of unauthorized duplication. To our knowledge, there is no law in the USA that prohibits the copying of “Do Not Duplicate” keys. 

A better alternative would be to invest in a technological solution such as a smart electronic lock or an electronic access control system. These devices can be reprogrammed after a tenant leaves and before a new tenant moves in. To look into these options, speak with your local locksmith.

Test The Appliances

preparing your rental

This step is especially important if you are renting your property fully furnished.

Some landlords supply more appliances than others, but some important ones to check are the dryer, washing machine, water heater, refrigerator, oven/stovetop, and dishwasher (if your tenants are lucky enough to have one).

Follow the instructions outlined in the appliance manual to make sure you are safely checking each appliance.

It is also prudent to check for gas leaks. If you suspect a leak or are unsure how to test for one, seek advice from a licensed gas technician.

Finally, use an outlet tester to test each power outlet. Check all lights are working and that no bulbs have blown. Ensure you have sufficient smoke alarms within the rental and test each one by pressing the ‘test’ button so that the alarm sounds. If not, change the smoke alarm batteries and test again. If the problem persists, you may need to invest in a new smoke alarm.

Take Photographs

This simple and easy task can make a big difference when it comes to settling disputes about wear and tear with your tenants. Take photos of all the rooms, appliances and furniture, and note any damage.

If your property is fully furnished, it may also be helpful to write an inventory of furnishings so you can tell if anything has gone missing when your tenants move out.

When your new tenants move in, you have an exact record of the state and condition of the rental property. When they move out, you can look back at the pictures and use them as evidence if there has been any damage. It’s as easy as that!

Any tips you think we have missed? What steps do you take when you are turning over a rental property between tenants? 

We hope you found this blog interesting! However, do note that it should not be used as a substitute for competent legal and/or other advice from a licensed professional.

Logan Ransley

"Logan is a co-founder, and content creator at LandlordBoss. His primary role is interviewing our community members, growing the LandlordBoss brand and team, and driving education within the real estate entrepreneurship industry. Logan also enjoys playing music, and spending time in the outdoors."

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