Each time a tenant moves out, you must jump in and prepare the property for the next tenant.
As a general rule, you will want to restore the unit to the condition that you want it to be in when the next tenant leaves.
Here are some things you will want to check:
Do you notice any smells? Mold, mildew and pet stains are the likely culprit, but it could be lingering cigarette smoke. Clean carpeting and drapes if necessary, then apply a general odor remover. As a precaution, if time allows, check the unit again before you allow new applicants to tour.
Test the fixtures — faucets, showers, tubs, toilets. Make sure they operate freely and don’t leak.
Check cabinets, closets, and storage areas for abandoned belongings. Also, look for mold, mildew, or signs of pests in those dark areas. Make repairs if you notice dampness. You may need to track down your previous tenants to pick up forgotten belongings.
Are there any marks or holes in the walls? Either paint or repair the damage, or, if damage is not severe, make a note on the move-in inventory so the new tenant is not charged for the damage. When deciding whether or not to repair damage, consider the impression this will give the new tenant regarding how you care for the property.
Test the appliances. Consider replacing old models with newer, energy efficient ones. This can be an incentive for new tenants, and saves money on utilities.
Check all of the doors and windows of your property to make sure that they open and close properly. This includes cabinetry, patio doors, and windows. Inspect all locks to ensure the tenant’s safety.
Test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, or replace aging batteries with new ones.
Take a look at the outdoor lighting fixtures. Clean globes or replace bulbs if necessary.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.