7 Tips for Getting Your Property Ready to Rent

Tenants can move out of your property for any number of reasons. This leaves you with the responsibility to launch a marketing strategy to attract new tenants. Once you’ve found prospects, you then need to get your California property ready for your new renters.

A series of steps must be followed before permitting a new tenant to unpack their bags and settle into your rental unit. As a landlord, you need to master the process of turning your rental into a proper living space for new renters.

Defining Tenant Turnover

Tenant turnover is the series of activities you need to perform to prepare the rental unit for a new tenant. It requires cleaning your rental space, repairing damages, and signing on a new renter. You want to showcase a property that’s well-maintained otherwise, you risk dealing with a small claims suit.

Note that the tenant turnover begins when your current tenants notify you that they won’t renew the lease 60 days from its termination.

Here are 7 steps to manage the turnover process of your rental unit:

1. Advertise the Rental Immediately

Once your tenant sends a 60-day notice of non-renewal, you need to market your property right away. Remember that a vacant unit can dilute your financial reserves. You’ll be paying for maintenance costs while not collecting any rent.

Starting the marketing process early gives you more time to screen tenants and find a suitable one to ensure consistent earnings. Avoid putting off the marketing aspect as landing a new tenant can be challenging and uncertain.

tenant turnover for rentals

2. Contact Vendors for Property Maintenance

Reach out to vendors who specialize in the upkeep of a property such as professional cleaning companies and painting contractors. Schedule their services ahead of time to ensure that you can transition your Poway, CA unit into a rent-ready space as soon as your tenant leaves.

Another area to focus on is tending to repairs. Once the property is vacant, you can then set out to repair appliances, fill in small nail holes in the wall and steam the carpet. Being a proactive landlord helps you gain a new renter quicker.

3. Conduct a Final Property Walk-Through

Some states require landlords to perform property walk-throughs. Others will leave it up to the landlords. The advantage of this practice is that you can assess the property damages left by your current tenant.

Before a tenant moving in, conduct an inspection and documented the state of the property through photos and videos. You can then compare it with the final walk-through documentation when that tenant moves out.

Engaging in a property walk-through helps to easily categorize damages and expedite the turnover process. You can differentiate damages caused by tenant negligence virus those resulting from normal wear and tear. This is where security deposits can cover damages occurring outside normal wear and tear.

walk-through inspection

Consequently, you need to present a list of the deductions including the cost of repair to the tenant upon refunding the security deposit. Documentation aids this process to provide clarity to all parties. It’s also useful as proof should a tenant contest the claim in court.

4. Arrange Property Showings and Tours

Part of your duty as a landlord is to show prospects around your rental. Now, you might feel that conducting a tour when your unit still has a tenant is inconvenient. However, lining up a new renter before the current tenant leaves is better. It means you will be able to generate a continuous income.

An occupied unit means negotiating property showing schedules with the current tenant. But considering the stress and added expenses that an empty rental brings, doing a property showing early on benefits you a lot. Just ensure to communicate clearly with the current renters and provide appropriate notice before showing the unit.

5. Inspect Property for Needed Repairs and Upgrades

A landlord needs to evaluate the condition of the rental and perform maintenance tasks to keep it habitable to tenants. This is covered by state habitability laws and landlord-tenant laws.

To easily attract new renters and raise the value of your rental home, you can also perform renovations. Initially, you might feel reluctant to spend money on property upgrades but consider it a worthy investment. Creating more storage space and remodeling the kitchen or bathroom can increase the interest of potential tenants and the value of your property. You can also decide to set a higher rental amount when your amenities are sought after by prospective tenants.

property maintenance and inspections

6. Conduct a Thorough Cleaning of the Unit

Tenants are impressed by a refreshing space that has undergone deep cleaning. If you don’t have the time to clean the space yourself, you can always hire a cleaning company to do the task on your behalf.

If you opt to do the cleaning on your own, try to clean room by room to lessen the burden. The floors should be cleaned last as they tend to hold the most dirt. Note that it’s advisable to clean after the repairs are done so the space remains pristine.

If the last tenant left a mess, you can consider using the security deposit to cover cleaning charges. Just make sure to present proof that the tenant caused the mess and that you’re always complying with California rental laws.

7. Rekey and Find New Locks

Your new tenant should feel safe in your rental. Keep it secure by remembering to rekey the locks. Having new keys safeguards the new renter from any trespassers. There are a lot of options when it comes to rekeying locks. You can choose which ones fit your budget. It helps to keep an extra set for emergency repairs, inspections, and tenants losing their keys.


When a tenant notifies you that they don’t plan on renewing their lease it’s your responsibility as the landlord to begin the turnover process. Market the property, inspect and repair the unit and consider upgrading certain amenities.

If you would like help managing your investment properties contact the experts at Halcyon Real Estate Services!