Renting out your Los Angeles house, apartment or even a spare bedroom can be a straightforward way to make extra money, but you have to ensure the space is appropriate for tenants. The space should be appealing, which can help you increase your pool of possible renters, but you also need to make the place safe and livable. Whether you’re a first-time landlord or a seasoned property owner, it is important to be thorough when preparing your house or apartment for a new tenant.
As a landlord, you always want to be sure your home is presented well to possible renters. Going through the property before showing it to renters can help you determine what needs to be changed or improved to attract the type of renters you want. The Los Angeles real estate market is competitive, so your leasing option needs to be distinct. The following pointers and home improvement tips can help you prepare your property for new tenants.
Inspect the Property
Before you begin any home improvement tasks on your rental property, you need to inspect the building to see where you stand. A full inspection can give you a better idea of what needs to be done, and it also gives you a comprehensive checklist to ensure each item is accomplished. An inspection — whether done personally or professionally — can help you find possible safety hazards, structural issues or things that may need to be updated to make the home more comfortable for tenants. Completing this checklist first can save you time between tenants, and it can help you stay on budget when doing changes and repairs. Keep an organized list of all changes to be made. Then prioritize which issues are most important so you can tackle those first. Then, go down the list until everything is taken care of.
Repair Any Safety Issues
As a landlord, your first priority should be safety. Once your inspection is complete, you should prepare for home improvement tasks related to safety issues. This could be as simple as repairing a broken window, adding smoke detectors, changing the locks or fixing faulty flooring. In some instances, the safety issues could be more significant, such as electrical issues or defective gas lines. You should focus on these items first to ensure your tenants are safe and there are no hazards that could lead to health issues for the renters and legal issues for you. Once these problems are resolved, be sure to let possible tenants know of the changes you’ve made to the property. People want to feel secure where they live, and they want to know landlords are responsive to their needs.
If you plan to include appliances in your rental property, you need to be sure they work properly. Before a tenant moves into your rental, you should check each appliance to ensure it is clean, it works as correctly and there are no issues, even if they appear minor. It is easier and more cost effective to repair or fix any problematic appliances before a tenant moves in, rather than once they already are renting. This also can keep your tenant-landlord relationship positive. It is important they have access to working appliances while living there, so planning ahead is critical. You do not want to keep faulty appliances and face issues later if they fail or cause damage.
Make Cosmetic Changes and Clean
Nothing can repel possible renters more than a dirty property. This is why cleaning and sprucing up the place can help to secure a quality tenant. If your property is out of date, you may need to make cosmetic changes to make it more attractive to tenants. This could include changing the countertops, adding a fresh coat of paint or adding new window coverings. If you don’t want to go this far, or the upgrades simply aren’t in the budget, you still should ensure the place is tidy and inviting. Simple changes like shampooing carpets, updating ceiling fans and a thorough cleaning can help make your home more tempting to possible tenants.
Determine Rental Terms
It is important to determine rental terms for your property before you find a tenant. Once your place has been inspected, cleaned and readied, you should have a better idea of what price to list the property. If you previously rented it, you should check to see if your former price matches current market price. You also should be sure to think of any extra addendums you would like to add. For example, you should determine the length of the lease, if pets will be allowed, if the tenant will maintain lawn care, how the tenant will pay and so on. First-time landlords may need some assistance in this stage, so it could be wise to have an attorney look over the documents. Having all of this information prepared before finding a possible tenant can speed up the leasing process and can reduce possible questions or complications later.