Our final installment of “So, You Want to be a Landlord?” focuses on the final stage of a Tenant’s residency, which is managing the turnover (sometimes referred to as “Make Ready”) of a property. This blog brings us full circle and has some similar sentiments as Part 1, which was “Preparing your Property for Leasing – The First Time.”
As your Property Manager, our job is to do a thorough evaluation of the property as soon as the Tenant vacates the home.
We refer to our Move-In checklist and also reference our Move-In video if needed.
The goal is to judiciously determine what charges belong to the Tenant and what charges are the responsibility of the Owner. Here is where the “normal wear and tear” gets put to the test and where the biggest source of both Tenant and Owner complaints come to light. Because at the end of the day, someone has to pay to get the home in rent-ready shape.
First, we require all of our Tenants to have all the carpets in the home professionally cleaned upon move-out. Rug Doctors are not acceptable. In addition, we provide an extensive cleaning list to our Tenants when notice is provided to ensure we’re on the same page with what cleaning is expected. A final cleaning immediately before the next Tenant, especially after a lot of foot traffic from showings, will almost always be necessary.
When carpet is beyond its useful life (generally 7 years) it’s time to replace it. When paint is beyond its useful life (generally 4 years) it’s time to repaint. Turnovers are not only expensive from a pure dollar standpoint, but they are also costly because of lost rents. So, it’s critical that we’re allowed to begin work on a property ASAP in order to minimize vacancy.
As we’ve discussed before, we encourage our Owners to keep at least 3 months of rent in reserve for repairs, which does include turnover work. While that’s easier said than done, having these reserves allows turnover work to be completed more quickly, thus saving money in the long run.