Property turnover is inevitable in the rental industry. When it happens, landlords become overwhelmed by a myriad of repair and cleaning tasks. All of which are important steps to making the home ready for a new tenant to move in. However, one of the traits of successful landlords is planning ahead for the eventual vacancy. So, below we will walk you through the steps in the rental turnover process and discuss how a professional cleaning company can be your best investment.
Steps in the Rental Turnover Process
Turnover is the process of readying the unit for new occupants once the previous tenants have vacated. Without the proper experience or a comprehensive checklist, it is easy to miss some details. Therefore, to help landlords prepare, check out these steps for a smooth rental turnover process below.
- Complete the Move Out Inspection
- Change the Locks
- Complete Necessary Repairs or General Maintenance
- Paint the Walls
- Check Your Flooring
- Property Deep Cleaning
Complete the Move Out Inspection
A thorough move-out inspection is essential for several reasons, including evaluating the overall condition and determining tenant damage. Most leases state that tenants should clean the home and return it in the same condition as the move in. The home must be tidy and free of any remaining personal items so a comprehensive inspection can occur. When compared to the move-in report, a move out inspection allows landlords to decide what deductions to make from the security deposit. Once complete, work with your vendors to schedule necessary repairs.
However, a tenant’s version of cleaning is not a substitute for a more extensive deep clean of the unit. Especially as COVID-19 concerns weigh heavily on incoming tenants’ minds, cleanliness is of the utmost importance.
Change the Locks
For safety and security, it is vital to change the locks between tenants. So, once you have completed the final walkthrough, change or rekey any exterior locks. Even if the former tenants turn in their keys, there is no guarantee additional copies were not made. Therefore, better safe than sorry. However, do not forget to make at least two extra copies for yourself, maintenance, or just in case of emergencies.
Complete Necessary Repairs or General Maintenance
Chances are the rental turnover process will require some minor repairs. Ensure this maintenance gets completed before doing any extensive cleaning. As part of the rental turnover process, landlord’s must commonly address the following:
- Replace burned-out bulbs or broken/inoperable fixtures
- Change the HVAC filters and have them serviced by a licensed technician as needed
- Test emergency equipment such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors
- Ensure all appliances are functioning properly
- Tighten loose hardware or replace as needed
- Test drains to check for clogs
- Look for and repair any leaking seals or pipes
- Complete any miscellaneous repairs found as part of the move out inspection
Paint the Walls
It is possible to patch and touch up walls when they are in overall good condition. However, it is good for landlords to repaint every few tenants to keep the unit looking fresh. Scuffed up, mismatched, or damaged walls are a turnoff to potential tenants and make the unit appear drab.
Take time to tape off areas and choose a paint in a neutral or soothing color. Rental unit walls can take a beating, so durability so key. Therefore, spending a little more for higher quality paint may save you both time and money in the long run.
Check Your Flooring
Flooring, like walls, tends to show its age in a rental unit. As part of the rental turnover process, evaluate the flooring, and take the necessary steps to make it look its best. Carpets may require deep cleaning or a complete replacement, depending on the level of wear and tear.
If the property needs a deep clean, consider hiring a professional. They have the experience and equipment needed to achieve the best possible result. However, if a replacement is the way to go, try removing the carpet yourself as a great money-saving tip. Keep in mind; some jurisdictions have specific requirements that dictate how carpet debris can be disposed of, so check before you dump!
Property Deep Cleaning
Once all other steps are complete, it is time to clean. Tenants appreciate but have also come to expect landlords to provide a thoroughly cleaned and sanitized unit upon move-in. Thus, landlords must schedule ample time to complete the property cleaning during the rental turnover process. Detailed cleaning takes a significant amount of a landlord’s time away from other vital tasks.
To help landlords get an idea of what is required when cleaning a rental property, check out this brief sample list of items to address below:
- Wipe down cabinetry inside and out
- Vacuum and steam clean flooring, including carpeting if applicable
- Clean appliances inside and out
- Sanitize countertops and all fixtures
- Clean and disinfect the toilets, shower, bathtub, and sinks
- Dust and wipe down light fixtures and ceiling fans
- Clean windows and dust or wipe down blinds
- Remove marks on walls, doors, ceilings, and trim
- Clean laundry area including any appliances and utility sinks
Why Professional Cleaning for the Rental Turnover Process Pays Off in the End?
For busy landlords, time is money, and cleaning takes a tremendous amount of time. Therefore, hiring a local and professional cleaning company is an efficient way to close out the rental turnover process. Continue reading below as we examine the reasons every landlord should consider turning cleaning tasks over to professionals.
The Benefits of Professional Cleaning Services for Rentals
- Guaranteed Results – Established businesses stand behind their work. Therefore, landlords can rest assured that there are ways to remedy the problem if they are not satisfied. So, carefully screen potential vendors by checking their services, fees, policies, and online customer reviews.
- Higher Standards – Professionals, offer property owners the equipment, staff, and expertise to get the job done right. Therefore, these companies provide the highest level of service to both deep clean and sanitize your rental property. Also, professional cleaning appeals to tenants who see this as a standard of how an owner cares for their unit.
- Saving Time and Money – Taking several hours or even a full day to clean property is not always feasible. Landlords cleaning on their own occupies resources and valuable time that could be better used on other tasks. Professional cleaning does require landlords to budget; however, benefits far outweigh the cost.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Professional Cleaning Company
- How long has the company been in business? – Locally established companies are best.
- Is the company licensed and insured? – This is vital protection for both landlords and the cleaning company should an accident or damage occur.
- Do they offer a satisfaction guarantee? – If something goes wrong, landlords need to know who to talk to.
- What services are included in standard cleaning? – If you are worried about a certain area, ask because it may impact pricing.
- Do they have experience with rental properties? – Rental often have short notice or pressing timelines, so it helps if they already have clients in the industry.
- How are cleaning rates determined? – Ask whether there is a set or hourly fee for cleaning tasks.
- Are free estimates or virtual quotes provided? – If it is the first time using the service, a quote can provide owners a ballpark of potential fees.
- What cleaning products do they use? – Understanding what products a company uses to clean and sanitize your property is important if an issue arises. Therefore, professional cleaners should have material data safety sheets for any product they use.
The property turnover process consists of many moving parts, all of which contribute to a smooth transition. Professional cleaning plays a vital role in showcasing your property, maximizing value, and keeping tenants safe. So, consider hiring local cleaning experts to handle an otherwise tedious and overwhelming task for landlords. If you plan on hiring professional cleaners, why not hire professionals to manage the entire process?
Bay Property Management Group offers full-service rental management solutions for every property owner. Our experienced team can handle every aspect of the turnover process as well as leasing, regular maintenance, rent collection, and tenant communication. Give us a call today to learn more.