Turning your property over to new tenants the right way is an important step in ensuring you have a successful tenancy. Making sure everything looks good and works well will establish trust between you and your tenants and it will keep them happy. Happy tenants tend to stay in properties longer and that means fewer turnovers and more profit for you. That’s why it’s important to do this right the first time.
Make sure all the locks have been re-keyed with new keys. If tenants want to re-key the property on their own, that’s fine. Just make sure your lease stipulates that you get a copy of that key in case there is an emergency. You also need to have the right locks on all the right doors. Each exterior door needs a regular handle and lock, a deadbolt lock and then a keyless deadbolt or a locking ring. A peephole with a view of at least 160 degrees is also required. This is a Texas Property Code issue, and the door that leads from the utility room to the garage is considered an exterior door. All exterior doors need these locks and viewer holes.
Next, you need to make sure your property is clean, clean, and clean. You want to have the carpets professionally cleaned because you expect the tenants to maintain them and then clean them again on their way out. Hotel-ready is the industry term that we use to describe what you want your unit to look like. Clean out the fridge, open the oven and check the broiler pan drawer. Check the dishwasher and look for soap scum. Look under the sinks and vanities and make sure there aren’t any leaks or drips.
We also recommend a checklist of items for you to go through. Things get missed all the time, and when your tenant moves out, you should have a checklist to make sure they gave it back in the same condition you leased it them in (minus normal wear & tear…).
If you are a do-it-yourself landlord and you need some advice, we are happy to help you. Contact us at Bluefax Realty, and we can talk about what we’ve seen and how we handle different situations.