HOW DOES A LANDLORD MAKE A PROPERTY “RENTAL READY” ?

rental ready, Amhurst Property Management, Calgary Property

When you have a tenant that moves out of your rental property, it is imperative that the property is made ready to be re-rented. Landlords often think a property will rent as it is but this is not the case in general markets and certainly not the case in soft markets.

Here are five ways to make your property rental ready:

  1. Clear the house of unwanted items, from both inside and outside the unit. Remember, a clean curb appeal is important when you are trying to rent a house. Thorough cleaning of the unit is vital. This includes walls, floors, light fixtures, doors, frames, baseboards, walls and trim. Give special attention to bathrooms and kitchens, which are the main selling feature in any home.

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  1. Freshen the paint if required. Painting is an area owners often leave unattended, but it is a very important deciding factor for tenants. If the walls look tired, blemished, and marked, the tenant will go elsewhere. Refreshing the walls (and trim if required) can make the difference between renting the place and having it vacant. Coloured walls are typically less appealing than neutral colours. Most tenants tend to prefer neutral colours such as taupes, creams, and greys.

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  1. Attention to detail in such items as light fixtures, plug and switch plates, door knobs, and other details is imperative. If prospective tenants come to see your rental property and notice that it is missing items such as curtain rods, blinds or other items, they may pass judgment on your standard of care as a landlord. This will detract them from renting your home. Little things like a rusted shower curtain rod, a dowdy looking drape, a plug outlet with a broken cover, a stained toilet or toilet seat, can make the difference between them renting your property and going elsewhere. Think seriously about these matters as renting a house is an emotional exercise; the little things turn people away.

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  1. In cold weather, do NOT turn the temperature down in your vacant suite, just to save on heating bills. A cold house has a negative impact on potential tenants, as it does not have the homey feel. Keep the temperature above  18 degrees, so as to ensure the property feels inviting.

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  1. Finally, if something appears like it needs a renovation or replacement, such as dowdy counter tops, or cabinets or blinds, just DO IT! Tenants do not want to live in a place that feels older or poorly taken care of. It is worth putting in the time and money to keep your rental property up to date so as to maintain a steady cash flow. Sometimes, your delay in this area can leave you with a vacancy for longer than you know.

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Amhurst specializes in making your rental property rental ready! Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

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Tenant Retention: the Lifeblood of Good Property Management

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Anyone interested in Calgary property management knows the objective of real estate ownership is to recognize cash flow when not heavily leveraged, and to enjoy capital appreciation.

In a normal economy, we see a bit of both. In recessionary times, we see a dip. Overall, in a long term strategy, we see both.

How to Keep Good Tenants

A prudent property owner recognizes that tenant retention is critical, yet cash flow and appreciation is just as important. In order for the property to remain fluid and for the property to appreciate one needs to be cognizant of the fact that the landlord must provide the tenant with good service, and keep up the property. This is the dilemma that professionals deal with all the time.

When To Increase Rent?

In this arena, we ask about rent increases. If the market is a landlord’s market, we can seek to gain a small increase based on the strength of the market. In a tenant market, we are often faced with struggling to retain the tenant, who might be looking to leave unless we have been good to them, and the property has been optimally maintained.

Landlord Fairness

I have found that if a landlord is fair and just and prudent, a small increase regularly provides stability and longevity of tenancy. This stability and longevity is the lifeblood of good landlord practice. Short term “rent grabs”, in my opinion, provide only short term successes.

Rental Customer Service

I am a strong proponent of good tenant customer service at all times, regardless of the state of the economy, as well as consistent property upkeep and maintenance. The investment in real estate has to be a long term strategy, and rent increases have to be tempered with long term thinking and planning.

Ability, Stability, Longevity

If you three words guide your relationship with a tenant: ability, stability and longevity, there should be little else that would stand in your way in retaining good tenants for the long haul. At Amhurst, our retention rate has been greater than 90% over the past ten years and we believe it’s our focus on good service and good maintenance.