Every time your tenants move out, you are faced with some work to get your OKC rental property ready to rent. Follow this rent-ready checklist for getting a house ready to rent as quickly as possible and at the cheapest

It’s really the most expensive part of being a landlord. 

The main idea is to look at the money your spend on your make ready as an investment.  That is, how to get the biggest bang for your buck on that money you spend. 

The purpose of this article is to discuss what you need to know about making three basic types of OKC rental property ready to rent.  

You can read here about how to rent a house 

Rent Ready Checklist: Getting Rental House Ready to Rent on the Cheap

A rent-ready checklist means the important checklists you need to consider before the new tenant moves into your property. Along with it, you should also consider about rent-ready checklist before a tenant moves out too.

Rent Ready Checklist: Before Tenant Moves Out

Rent Ready Checklist: Before Tenant Moves Out

1. Consider Tenant Making Changes

Before a new tenant moves in, make sure you talk about the tenant on the changes they will be making in the property before they move out. For example, a tenant may leave some furniture before they move out that a new tenant might find unnecessary. Being a landlord and a property manager it is your duty to know about it and get rid of unnecessary materials. 

Similarly, a tenant may also take belongings that necessary may not belong to them. Hence, it is very important t consider your old tenant changes in the property.

2. Complete the Payments

You probably do not want any pending payments left before a new tenant moves in. Do not cling to the past. In short, make sure to collect all the payments such and rent collection, maintenance cost, or any extra payment that your formal tenant hasn’t paid yet. 

3. Provide Notice to the Former Tenant

Before your new tenant moves in, provide your formal tenant with a notice on when they should be clearing the property and moving out. Make sure they do not take much time moving out as your new tenant should be your foremost priority. 

Here, you can also mention the pending payment that needs to be paid by the former tenant and changes about the property. 

4. Provide Notice to the New Tenant

Provide notice to your new tenant on when they can move in and start getting all set to come to the property. Here you can also mention the changes made by the former tenant in the property as well as the condition of the property. 

You can also mention the maintenance and remodeling of the house that has been made and ask if they’re ok with it or not. 

Rent Ready Checklist: Getting Rental House Ready to Rent Process

On those teams, you want to have uniform skill across the team, not one or two-star players and the rest not so much.

In an OKC rental property, if your house is a level 8, you don’t want to have a level 5 heat and air system or bathroom.

For example, if you are going to do a remodel but your budget is getting tight near the end, don’t skimp on the heat and air system if everything else in the house is really nice.  It’s going to cost you when you try to lease that OKC rental property.

You want that whole house to be a level 8. Notice that I say level 8.  It’s a mistake to think that you need to have a level 10.  And that leads me to the first of three types of properties that you might be getting ready to rent.

So let’s start with the first type of property, a new home. 

Type #1:  Getting Newer, Modern Homes Ready to Rent

In this group, I include homes that were built within the last 15 years.

In the OKC metro area, here’s generally what I’m talking about is pictured in the photo at the top of this article.

These are mostly brick with at least three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage. I can’t think of anything I’ve had to update in a house like this except occasionally the paint and carpet. And, that’s only if the occupants were hard on them.

If there aren’t obvious smudges on the walls, don’t repaint them just to change the color. If the carpet doesn’t have stains that won’t come out or is some other way damaged, don’t think it needs to be replaced, and don’t do it.

Getting Newer, Modern Homes Ready to Rent

1. Clean and Make Repairs

Before painting, fill cracks in the ceiling, replace the damaged or heavily stained carpet, recaulk the tub or sinks, search for broken tiles, and make any other repairs that could not be done when the previous occupant was still in the unit. 

If during your informal walkthrough you noted these problems, hopefully, you have bought the necessary supplies and can finish the repairs within a day!

2. Hire a Cleaning Company

You need to make sure that your property is at a professional level of cleanliness before the new tenant moves in. You can also ask the former tenants to make sure to keep the property clean as they were also taking responsibility of the property. Depending on how large the property is and how deep they need to scrub, cleaning firms appear to charge from $25-$40/hr.

3. Ask for Remodeling Preferences

Being a landlord and a property manager it is your duty to make sure that your tenant has a comfortable environment to live in. You can ask the tenants for suggestions on the remodeling and design of the house and make the property ready accordingly. 

NOTE: If you have your own preference on how you want the property, you can sign an agreement with the tenant.

Type #2: Try Cutting Down Unnecessary Expenses

Take that money you might have spent repainting and save it for some unforeseen maintenance expense.  Or, for the next time, the tenant moves out and you do need to repaint.

The real estate investing game is more of a long game than a quick buck.

You should think about it that way.

The key is that the OKC rental property should be clean and ready to move in. It should smell fresh. I think it’s a good idea to include a refrigerator,

washer, dryer, and nice bonuses, but not necessarily.

Type #3: Getting Older Home that Needs Updates Ready to Rent

There are properties that might be older,  that haven’t been updated.

For example, a home that an elderly person lived in, and a family member inherits.

Or, they sell it “as is” to a landlord.

If you wind up with a property like this, you have a choice to make.

How far are you going to take the remodel?

Chances are, the kitchen and bathroom are very dated.

You could do almost nothing on the minimal end.  On the high end, you could tear out the entire bathrooms and kitchen, including all the cabinets, bathtubs, sinks, plumbing, etc., and replacing them all.

I usually end up in the middle ground.  I’ll usually save the cabinets, and redo the countertops, sinks, plumbing fixtures (faucets, etc.), and bathtub surrounds. You can also resurface a tub. As above, the house needs to be clean and smell fresh. Fix even faint odors.  

A pet smell in a rug may be hard for you to detect, but some people are very sensitive to that smell.  We will use ozone to permanently remove the odor.  You need to fix a mildew smell or pet odor in order to make that OKC rental property ready to rent.

Type #4:  Getting Tired Old Rental Properties Ready to Rent

It seems like you always end up having to do a complete repaint.  And, replace at least some of the carpet. It’s not always necessary to do a total repaint.  Sometimes it’s possible to do some touch-up painting and call it good.  It depends upon the type of paint used.  If it’s flat paint, you usually can’t scrub off scuff marks or do touch-up paint.

That’s why I like to paint trim, baseboards, doors, and walls with semigloss paint.  You can scrub walls that were painted with semigloss paint.  And, it’s easier to do the touch-up painting. The reason I’m going on and on about painting is that it can be a very big expense item.

If you are going to do a total repaint, it’s nice to use contemporary colors.  I’ll usually change to a light gray for walls and almost white for the trim, baseboards, and doors.

Depending upon how long you have owned the rental property, you may end up having to do some of the updates to the kitchen and bathroom discussed above.

It’s also a good idea to pay attention to weatherization.  If you notice plastic over windows in a house with wood frame windows, you know there are issues with air leaking out badly.  And, the utility costs for the Oklahoma City rental property are on the high end. Are the walls insulated?  Many of the homes built before 1965 don’t have insulated walls.

It’s also a good idea to take a look into the attic to see how much insulation there is.  I’m always surprised at how much I forget about properties I’ve owned for more than a few years.  It’s a good idea to double-check the amount of insulation in the attic.

Type #5: Consider to Recheck Everything

Make sure that everything works well on the property. For example, you need to make sure that the door handles works well and is not jammed. Make sure other areas of the property such as windows arent broken and the ceiling do not have any leakages or crack.

Assuming the glass is in good condition and well seated in the frame, consider adding a residential window tint once your windows have been fixed. This plastic-and-metal composite film is available in a variety of thicknesses and provides protection and security as well as privacy and decorative appeal.

Also recheck other stuff such as light bulbs working, electricity and water suppliance. 

This is very important as you wouldn’t want any complaints from the tenant who has just moved in.

Type #6: Consider the Safety Checklist of Your Tenant

You should make sure that your tenant has a safe environment. By conducting a few simple safety and maintenance measures before and after a lease period, landlords and property managers will provide secure conditions for their tenants. Before they cause further property damage or injure a tenant, safety checks will help you fix risk problems.

Make sure that your safety checks, including notices with dates and photos, keep excellent records. Inspection reports and records help you keep track of the condition of your house, and if anything happens to your rental home, they can also act as legal documents.

Tenant Safety Checklist Include:

  • The light switch in a proper condition
  • The fire alarm should work well
  • Fencing outside of the house should be done well
  • Provide the tenant emergency numbers 
  • Appliances should be operating safely

Type #7: Make Replacements

Make Replacements

1. Change Locks

It is important to change the locks after your previous tenant moves out. You never know what happens next. Your tenant may not feel safe if they find out that the lock has not been changed and that the former tenant might have a copy of the keys. This will help to ensure that they feel safe and can have peace of mind inside and outside the house.

2. Change the Batteries

You should change the batteries of the appliances such as smoke detectors and security or fire alarm. This is very important as it’s a safety measure and you wouldn’t want the appliances not working when your tenant has an emergency. So, throw those old ones out and bring the new ones in.

3. Safer Electric Outlets

Although they are a little more expensive than normal outlets, if the electricity passes through anything like sewage, GFCI outlets will automatically turn off. For your units, these types of outlets are an outstanding protection upgrade. Often, since these rooms have water units in them, the law also allows you to use GFCI units in areas like the kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom.

Summary: Things To Consider At Different Areas of the Property

Let me provide you with an example of things that should be considered in different areas of the house as a reference that will make it easier for you to understand. 

KITCHENClean fridgeRemove improper storageSeparate area for crockeryRemove damaged dishholder and appliances
BEDROOMCables and wires (behind the T.V.)Replace the springs of the bed and clean closetCover radiators and electrical outletsPad the sharp edges and clean the room well
LIVING/DINING AREASEmergency alarms and nonslippery staircaseSafety cover over electrical outletsFire extinguisher if there’s a fireplaceEnough space to move furniture

Areas Outside the House That Needs to Be Looked at Before Renting:

  • Remove the waste bin, recycle bin, and all the hoses in the garden.
  • Put all the toys, instruments, shoes, and sports equipment in the shed.
  • Make sure the walls outside are not dirty.
  • Fold up or, if possible, take away the washing line.
  • If necessary, vacuum and sweep the decking.
  • Trim back trees and bushes, which can add more light and enhance the property
  • Make sure that all fences and external retention walls are in good shape.
  • Check for leakage, damage to all downpipes, and spouting.
  • Take a look at possible leaks on the roof.
  • Check the windows and doors for leaks or cracks, and all exterior openings.

Additional Areas Inside the House That Needs to Be Looked at Before Renting:

  • Ensure that all electrical goods are safe and compliant: light fixtures, switches, power points.
  • Both lights have working bulbs and have a few spares, like the light from the oven!
  • For protection and to avoid damage in high winds, fit remains for opening windows.
  • Using draughts around windows and doors without foam strips.
  • You can save a fortune on damage to walls from door handles by adding door stops on all internal doors.
  • Check all the washing machine and dishwasher taps and faucets, even taps.
  • Plumb the washing machine waste into the waste pipe of the laundry tub
  • Checkmarks and wear on all walls, ceilings, and skirtings. Ensure that the entire house, including windows, floors and carpets, toilets, and kitchen, is clean.

If you are considering having a property management company assist you with the management of your property, OKC Home Realty Services, LLC. 

Potential FAQs

What are the things to do to get the house ready to rent?

There are a few simple things you can do to spruce up the exterior if you’re getting a house ready to rent. To start, cut the grass and ensure that the garden beds are snuffed and presentable.

What are the needed to know before renting?

Electrical goods
Check the guide price for your area
Reading the contract

What to do before the tenant moves in?

Repairing any damages
Cleaning the property
Look for topics
Review and Sign Lease With Tenant
First Month Rent and Security Deposit Collection
Finish the required property inspections
Change Locks

How long is it appropriate for you to live in a house until you can rent it out?

In order to stay in your lender’s good graces, you can remain in your primary residence for a minimum of 12 months before renting it out.

How do I improve my chances of having a property for rent?

Contact to discuss the property with the agent
Have all the necessary documents

Is there a need for a landlord to change locks when a new tenant moves in?

Yes, a lock must be changed when a new tenant moves in for different security reasons.

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