Regardless of how long the outgoing tenant was on the property, there are usually some nail holes or scuffs that you may want to touch up. Depending on the type of paint you have, this may be easy or difficult. Touching up flat paint is easy but if you have semi-gloss or glossy paint, touch-ups are more noticeable. Keeping the paint formula on hand makes it easier to get touch-up paint that matches or if you have touch-up paint, make sure you store it properly and not in a garage or somewhere where the temperature makes it unusable.
No one likes to move into a property where half the lights are burnt out. Replacing the light bulbs immediately after your tenant vacates will also help the property show better which can lead to it being rented faster.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries
Waiting until smoke detector batteries start to die and beep annoyingly is not pleasant for your new tenants, especially if it happens right after they move in.
If you have a fire extinguisher at the property, you should check and make sure it hasn’t expired.
Furnace and Other Filters (fridge)
If your outgoing tenant leaves behind a dirty furnace filter, you should replace it with a new one. Also, if your fridge has filtered water, you should order a new filter, and have it so you can easily install it between tenants. New tenants don’t like moving into a property where they must start replacing things that they’ve barely had a chance to use.
Check for Leaks
This is a good time to inspect for any leaks under sinks or around toilets. Leaks can cause damage and tenants don’t always report them while they’re living at a property if it doesn’t affect their use of the sink or toilet.
This doesn’t need to be done every time if you only had tenants in for a year, but you should have a schedule to do it every few years and check it regularly between tenants.
Replace Major Appliances
Instead of waiting for an appliance to fail while a tenant is living in your rental if an appliance is older and past its useful life, you should consider replacing it before your new tenants move in. This can save money and your future tenants’ time since sending an appliance technician out which can typically cost $80+ to tell you an appliance should be replaced is a waste of money and your tenant’s time. It can also take weeks to get the model you want to be delivered, so it’s better to start that process as soon as your outgoing tenants give notice. If tenants don’t have use of a major appliance that’s part of the lease like a washer, dryer, or fridge for weeks while you wait for delivery, they start asking for discounts on their rent. Replacing it between tenants helps to minimize the chance of this happening.
Paint or Replace Flooring
Tenants don’t want to have multiple vendor visits who come to measure for quotes and have their furniture moved for you to have the property painted or have new carpet installed. Try to get these things done in between tenants.
To minimize your liability and the possibility of a previous tenant having keys to the property, you should replace the locks between tenants. This should be the last thing done after all the work at the property has been completed if you’re using a lockbox and giving vendors access since you don’t want any vendors to have a key either.
Every property is different, and you may have a few more things to add to this list, like chimney cleaning if you have a fireplace, but this is a good start.