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What do I need to do to get my property ready for a renter to move in?

What do I need to do to get my property ready for a renter to move in?

It is common for a property owner to call to let us know they've moved out and the property is ready for the new resident to move in, only for us to find a property that still needs a lot of work before it can be occupied.

What is rent ready?

This is the standard that we deem a property must meet for a tenant to move in. We are committed to ensuring that our residents receive safe, clean, and adequately maintained homes. We believe this is essential to getting and keeping good residents that will care for your home.

Important: The quality of the property will determine the quality of the resident you attract.

We cannot provide tenants with a new home, but we will provide a fresh, clean home with mechanical items working as they were designed. Below is a list of items that we most commonly see.


  • The interior of the property should be thoroughly cleaned. Many people refer to this as hotel room clean.
  • Carpets should be professionally steam cleaned.
  • Patios and porches should be cleaned.
  • If the home's exterior is very dirty and covered in mildew, it should be pressure washed.
  • The inside of the garage should be swept out


Assessing the paint condition can be challenging. The property should have a fresh and clean appearance. There should be no mismatched areas that have been touched up. A few minor scuffs usually do not stand out as noticeably as areas that have been touched up. If repainting is necessary, it should be done from corner to corner.

Personal Property Removal

All personal items must be removed from the home. This includes:

  • plungers
  • toilet bowl cleaners
  • shower curtains
  • cleaning supplies
  • kitchen items
  • window curtains
  • tools in the garage
  • lawn care equipment such as lawnmowers
  • old paint

Essentially, anything not permanently attached to the home is deemed personal property.

Safety Items

  • All windows should be able to open and lock.
  • All door locks should work properly - we handle this when we rekey.
  • A smoke detector should be located in the common area on each floor, just outside each sleeping area, and in each bedroom. A carbon monoxide detector should be located on each floor if the home has gas service.
  • Replace all smoke detector batteries. If smoke detectors are ten years old or close to it, they should be replaced.
  • A fire extinguisher should be installed under the kitchen sink.
  • Railings, both inside and out, should be secure. If no stair or deck railings exist, they should be installed according to local code.
  • Rotten deck boards should be replaced.

All Mechanical Items Should Work Properly

  • HVAC systems
  • Plumbing - this includes faucets, faucet sprayers, and sink drains
  • Electrical - all outlets, interior and exterior lights
  • Appliances - if the fridge has an ice maker, it should work properly
  • Fireplaces

Other General Items

  • Doors open and close smoothly and have door stops.
  • Interior doors with keyed entry need to be replaced with standard non-keyed door knobs.
  • All light bulbs are working, exterior and interior (including appliances).
  • Blinds are installed on all bedroom windows and other windows the public can easily see in.
  • Blinds should not have any broken slats and should open and close properly.
  • Garage door remotes for each parking spot in the garage.

Exterior Items

  • The lawn should be cut and trimmed just before the tenant moves in
  • Landscaping should be trimmed, weeded, and fresh
  • Fence gates should open, close, and latch properly
  • No exterior debris

While not comprehensive, these items represent a common list of tasks typically required to prepare a home for a new tenant.