Biggest Rental Home Cleanout MistakesThe reality of owning a rental property is there will be vacancy periods. Experts advise rental home owners to have at least three to six months of cash reserves on-hand each and every year. When the property is empty, it won’t (by definition) be generating an income. Like an apartment cleanout, you as the owner need to make sure that it’s completely clean and disinfected before you even advertise it for rent.
At some point in your time as a landlord, you will be faced with an empty or half empty unit, wondering where your tenant is. Perhaps it’s because you served the tenant with an eviction notice and you think they’ve moved out in the night to avoid further action. Or, another possibility is that the tenant simply wanted out of the lease and the rental property and just broke it. Either way, you now have what you think might be an abandoned rental property. However, proceeding as if the tenant is long gone can be a costly mistake for you. —RentPrep.comThe good news is, practically any rental home can be put into show-able, livable condition with a little elbow grease and TLC. You can hire a property management service to do all of this for you, but, you’ll pay a fee (usually about 10 percent of the rental rate). Another option is to do the rental home cleanout on your own and save a little money. This will not only cut costs, but also, allow you to get more familiar with the property. When you’re ready to do a rental property cleanout, be sure to avoid the following mistakes:
- Throwing the last tenant’s personal possessions out. Regardless of what it is or its condition, you can’t throw out someone else’s personal possession, if even these seem worthless. The last thing you want to do is cause legal trouble for yourself unnecessarily. Store it and keep the storage rental receipts to charge the former tenant.
- Not making repairs before purchasing new appliances and/or materials. It’s very tempting to forgo repairs, especially cosmetic damage because you want the property to generate an income as soon as possible. Whatever time and money you might “save” will be lost because potential tenants are turned-off.
- Cleaning out the property too quickly and not assessing and documenting its condition. If there are no personal possessions left behind, but, there is junk, old furniture and/or appliances you own, it’s a good idea to document its condition. For instance, if the carpet is heavily stained, you need to document it before ripping it up and throwing it out.
- Trying to show it before it’s properly cleaned out, disinfected, and ready to rent out to another tenant. You’ll have a very difficult time renting the home out if it’s not completely cleaned and sanitized. Take the time to do this and it will be worthwhile.