Renting Your House For The First Time? 4 Things To Do & Document Before Your Tenant Moves In

If you have decided to rent your house out to a tenant, there are a few important things you'll need to do to prepare the house. That way, the house can be documented to be in good working condition prior to handing over the keys to your new tenant. Here are four important things to do.

Hire a Drain Cleaning Service

Over time, a build up of grease, hair, noodles, and other things can accumulate in the drains. It's important to have the drains cleaned before a tenant moves in so you'll be able to include a stipulation in the lease agreement that they are responsible for the costs to repair clogged drains. In the lease agreement, list the inappropriate usages of drains.

Of course, drains that clog from tree roots or other types of natural causes during their tenancy will be your responsibility. But by having the drains cleaned beforehand, the tenants won't be able to say that they aren't the ones who caused the problem if the clogs aren't due to a natural cause. At the time of the drain cleaning, ask a service, such as Gold Seal Plumbing, to inspect the entire drainage system. Keep the bill from the drain cleaning service as documentation of what was done and when.

Hire an Exterminator

As much as you've poured over the tenant applications to find a suitable tenant who will pay their rent on time and take good care of your house, you may unknowingly select a tenant who doesn't take proper care of the property. Poor housekeeping can attract rodents and insects. Even though you may not currently have a problem with pests, hire an exterminator to inspect the property before a tenant moves in. And if they do find pests in your home, have the service work their magic to clear the pests out.

Also, have the extermination service inspect your house for any possible entry points for common pests. Then, repair those entry points so pests cannot get into the home if the tenant is a poor housekeeper. Use the bill from the exterminator service as documentation that the property was free and clear of any pest problems.

Hire a Professional Carpet Cleaner

One thing that can get damaged by tenants is carpeting. If you choose to keep the carpeting in the house, have it thoroughly cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner. This is especially important if you've had pets in the house so no pet dander will remain in the carpet and trigger allergies that your new tenants and their family members may have.

Also, by having the carpets professionally cleaned, your tenant will not be able to later say that any stains were already there when they moved in. Again, use the bill from the carpet cleaning service as documentation that it was done prior to the tenants moving in.

Hire a Home Inspection Service

It's important for you to make sure that the house is free of mold, structurally sound and that all of the mechanical systems work in the house. Hire a home inspection service to inspect things like the foundation, HVAC systems, electrical outlets, wiring, hot water heater, plumbing, windows, doors, and roof. If you have a deck, have the inspector check for damages to the deck. Make all necessary repairs before the tenant moves in, especially for things that could cause the house to be uninhabitable, such as a heating system that doesn't work or mold growth.

If repairs are necessary, have the home inspection service perform another inspection to verify the repairs so he or she can include the repairs in their report. Use the report they give you as documentation that your house passed the inspection and is suitable for occupancy.