The definition of this real estate term may always be the same, but what it means to various individuals can be extremely different. The actual definition of rent-ready means that a specific property is in a state which makes it ready to be occupied by a tenant. But that definition is subject to some diverse interpretation by property managers and owners, depending largely on how keen they are to get the property rented out and income coming in. Here are some of the most universally accepted criteria for determining whether or not a given property is ready for occupancy.

What is rent-ready?

Mechanical systems in good operating order

The HVAC systems in your rental unit must be working properly, and any necessary maintenance must have been performed. For instance, a furnace should have filters that are either new or recently cleaned, and an air conditioning system should be serviced so that all moving parts have been lubricated, and the refrigerant has been checked. The water heater for the unit should be in excellent operating condition, and if the unit has a water filtration or softener system, this should also be serviced with a new filter. This is the first step towards to make your home rent-ready.

Safety devices are operable

Smoke detectors should be functioning properly, and the batteries should have been changed recently. There should be smoke detectors installed in every bedroom and in the hallway of each level of a building. Carbon monoxide detectors should also be installed at every level of the structure. All windows of the building must open and close properly, and the latch which secures them should be functional and lubricated if necessary.

Fresh paint

Ideally, the unit should be painted with the same neutral color throughout the residence, since most tenants shun darker colors. It should also have the appearance of fresh paint, even if the last paint job was not a complete re-painting. There should also be no bald spots or holes in the walls, and if the unit has wallpaper installed, it should all be securely attached and uniform.

Hotel room clean

Any unit which is to be considered ready for tenants should literally be as clean as a hotel room. Your best bet when preparing for occupancy is to hire a professional cleaning service to administer a thorough and professional cleaning. This will make a good impression on tenants, and it will serve as a model for how tenants should treat the unit on an ongoing basis.

Professionally clean carpets

When carpets are cleaned by professionals, all odors and debris will have been removed from the fibers of the carpet, so there are no lingering smells or contaminants to be removed. The carpet should also be free of any stains, and it should have no visible damage to any part of the flooring.

Operational appliances

All appliances in the unit must work as they were designed to, which means that a four-burner stove should have all four burners functioning correctly. The dishwasher drain line should be clear, and if there’s an ice dispenser in the refrigerator, it should have a new water filter. The oven should be capable of heating to the appropriate setting, and the exhaust vent should be clear of all debris. If all these things done than you can consider your home rent-ready. 

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