If you’re a Denver real estate investor with a vacant property, the most important task you have is to get the property rented quickly - and to a high quality, long-term tenant!
However, there are a few things you should do before showing and renting your vacant property.
Best Practices Before Showing Vacancies
While Colorado law doesn’t currently require property managers and real estate investors to take all of the following actions before showing a vacancy, we strongly recommend them you as a landlord do the following:
1. Rekey the Rental Property
For safety and security reasons, it’s always wise to rekey the property between tenants. Even if the tenant has returned all of the keys, you never know if there are others that have been duplicated or who may have them.
If a previous tenant does get access to your property once a new tenant has arrived, you as a property manager could be held liable for any liability issues that arise.
2. Ensure Everything Functions as Designed
After a tenant leaves your property and before a new tenant moves in, you should be checking to make sure all of the appliances, lights, and heating and cooling units are functioning as designed.
For example, it is not enough to have an oven that has three out of four burners that actually work. If you provide it, you must maintain it.
Part of ensuring that everything functions as designed falls under the newly updated Warranty of Habitability law. Lockable doors and windows, functioning heat, proper plumbing, appliances, and other big picture items fall under this law.
3. Clean the Property!
This may seem obvious, but as a landlord you’ll want to make sure that your vacant property is fresh and clean before showing it to potential tenants.
The cleanliness of a property is a reflection of you as a landlord and your management style. Potential tenants want to know that you will take care of the property.
You must also realize that your definition of clean, may not be good enough for some people. That’s why we recommend hiring professional cleaners to deep clean the carpets, kitchen, bathroom, and everywhere else!
How clean is clean enough? Think 5-star hotel room clean. Sinks should gleam, mirrors should be streak free, grass should be freshly cut, paint should look fresh, and countertops should shine. Having an extra-clean property is the easiest (and most affordable) way to set your property apart from the competition and attract a great resident.
4. Have the Property 100% Rent-Ready
While cleaning the property, you may decide that the carpet needs to be replaced, or a bedroom should be repainted.
If possible, take care of these jobs before showing the property to potential tenants. Why? People have a hard time imagining things. If they see carpet that is stained in the living room, it will be difficult for them to picture what this living room will look like with new carpet.
Plus, you don’t want to promise you’ll replace the carpet by the time a new tenant moves in, only to find out that you can’t actually keep that promise. As a property manager, you want to be able to tell a potential tenant, “what you see is what you get.”
The quality of the property is directly proportional to the quality of tenant it will attract. If a prospective applicant is 'ok' with the fact that your property is dirty or rundown - that may not be the type of resident you want living in the property.
Putting in the extra work on your vacant property now will increase the likelihood of attracting a quality resident.
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