Maintaining the condition of rental properties is essential for Tampa property management companies and property owners. Quality tenants have high expectations for their future homes, and meeting those standards starts with the property owner.
If you’re a rental home owner planning to rent out your property, following specific steps to ensure your property is ready for each tenant is essential.
At The Listing Real Estate Management, we prioritize advertising well-maintained and adequately functioning homes to attract qualified tenants. Upholding these standards is a core aspect of our services, as we believe in delivering the best to property owners and tenants.
Outlined below are the minimum standards we require and recommend before a new tenant moves into your property. It is crucial to check or complete these items during each change of tenants to maintain the property’s quality and appeal.
It is important that you complete an inspection of your property to ensure it meets the minimum standards it should. Meeting these standards are required to provide your tenant with a safe and comfortable living experience, as well as making sure all aspects of your property are properly functioning. Below is a list of requirements we recommend your property meets.
- A/C and furnace verified to be operating properly.
- Furnished / built-in appliances operating as designed, or repaired/replaced with new.
- See that all appliances are in working order and clean.
- Plumbing fixtures/shutoffs checked and operating. Old or rusting sink traps and faucets replaced.
- Ceramic tile in good condition with clean grout and caulk – no cracked or missing tiles.
- Cabinet doors and drawers are in good operating condition throughout, with proper hardware.
- Doors and locks all function properly and have good doorknobs, latches, and legal locks.
- Windows all have good screens and open/close/lock properly – no cracked window panes.
- Window coverings functioning – no broken or missing blinds, old or worn drapes removed/replaced.
- Paint and sheetrock in good condition with clean appearance – repaint where needed.
- Ceilings free of water stains, cracks or other problems – repaired and touch up if needed.
- Carpet professionally steam cleaned- replaced if extremely worn.
- Sheet vinyl clean with no tears, curling on edges, or extreme wear.
- Electrical outlets, switches, breakers, and light fixtures/ceiling fans working.
- All towel bars and rings, paper holders and other attachments in place and properly secured.
- Exterior Siding in good condition – all gaps sealed, rotted wood replaced where needed.
- Exterior paint not cracking or peeling – touch up as needed.
- Front door is attractive and clean.
- Shrubs and trees trimmed back and not touching the property or roof – dead limbs removed.
- Pool Maintenance covered by a contract between the property owner/landlord and an external company throughout the term of the tenancy.
- Yard in maintainable condition.
Clean and Replace
We highly recommend that your property be professionally cleaned and free of all trash and debris, inside and outside. A deep cleaning done by a professional cleaning service is essential for sanitary purposes and the desirability of your property.
A wipe-down of the counters and a quick vacuum will not be enough. Prospective tenants who view your home want to know it is clean and well-maintained. Part of maintaining your home is also doing any necessary replacements such as light bulbs, water filters, air filters, and batteries.
In some cases, a dirty bathroom or a refrigerator with a broken light bulb can be enough to deter prospective tenants from your home. People may be very particular about the condition of their homes, so you want to do everything you can to ensure your property is functioning to the best of its ability.
Re-keying and securing the property is vital between tenants. Your new tenants will want to know that the previous tenants do not have the same key and access to the home. This is a necessary safety precaution. Tampa property managers commonly require securing the property as an owner’s responsibility or charge.
It is common that the property manager is given the authority to re-key the outside access doors at the broker’s discretion, at the landlord’s expense. The broker will not provide the landlord with keys to the premises while the premises are occupied, due to liability to the landlord and the broker.
Even if the tenant is responsible in the lease agreement for general landscaping, such as tasks like mowing the lawn, the landlord should understand and agree that drought, pests, and tenant neglect is common. It is challenging to expect the tenant to maintain the landscaping as would the landlord.
We urge the property owner to have professional lawn/landscaping services performed and hold the broker harmless for the tenant’s failure to maintain the landscaping properly.
If the property has a pool, the property owner should be required to maintain a professional, licensed bonded pool service on the pool at the property owner’s expense. If the property is vacant or the lease requires the tenant to maintain this service and the tenant fails to do so, the tenant shall be in breach of the lease agreement. In this case, the property manager should hire a pool service, giving the property owner the option to choose the service, to avoid damage to the pool.
Fair Housing laws prohibit property managers from requiring a tenant to sign any liability waiver or denying families with children to rent due to the pool. If you have a pool, we recommend raising your insurance coverage as the cost to raise it is minimal.
Failure To Disclose
Generally, some, any, or all of the following defects will result in the termination of the Exclusive Right to Lease and Manage Contract.
• Plumbing and sewage issues.
• Water leakage of any type, including garage and around windows.
• Termites or other insect, pest, mold, or rot infestations.
• Roof defects.
• Heating or air conditioning system issues.
• Property drainage problems.
• Foundation instabilities, sinkholes, or cracks.
• Problems with legal title to the property.
• Neighbor disputes or boundary issues.
• Presence of lead paint (disclosure of which is required nationwide, under the federal Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act).
Suppose the property management company has already procured a tenant for the property. In that case, the owner may be liable for all management fees due to the property manager and any associated costs due to the tenant.
A phrase we like to say is “When in doubt, disclose.” This means that a property manager will be better able to assist you when presented with all the facts surrounding your rental property. As the rental property owner, it is crucial to communicate with the property management company any defects that may be present in the property and don’t try to hide them. More than likely, a defect not disclosed by the property owner will eventually reveal itself.
As an experienced Tampa property management company, The Listing Real Estate Management will not place non-rent-ready homes on the rental market. We have found we are able to lease rent-ready homes on an average of 30-days or less. Because the Florida Rental Market is thriving, a home must be ready and available for an immediate move-in when we place the house on the market.
Rent-Ready Repair Estimates
The way property management companies handle rent-ready repairs varies depending on the company. Some companies do not routinely provide multiple bids for rent-ready repairs. Property management companies usually have vendors they prefer to work with who have competitive pricing and are licensed and insured technicians. Some companies may allow the owners to hire any vendor of their choice for rent-ready repairs.
Like any other aspect of the property management process, consulting with your property manager about their rent-ready repair policies is essential.
Property Manager Summary
For Tampa property management companies, it is crucial to maintain and upkeep properties to meet high standards. Quality tenants expect well-maintained homes, and as an owner, you are responsible for ensuring your property is in optimal condition.
Open communication and providing all relevant information are vital for a successful partnership between a rental property owner and a Tampa property manager. By following these guidelines and working closely with your property management company, you can attract quality tenants and maintain a successful rental property.
At The Listing Real Estate Management, we can help ensure your property operates at the highest level. Contact us, your boutique property manager, for more information on how we can lead you and your rental property to success!
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