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Repairs A Landlord Should Make Before The Tenant's Lease Starts

When you prepare your home for rent, there are certain repairs that as a landlord, you will definitely want to make to your home yourself before your tenant's lease starts.

By doing these easy repairs yourself, you will save yourself a lot of time, money and stress. Once the lease starts, we are obligated to use only licensed and insured contractors, which can be expensive. But the repairs below can easily be done by the landlord prior to the lease start date.

>> See How is a Tenant Repair Request Handled for my Rental Property

>> See Who Is Doing the Repairs on Your Rental Property

Small Nit Picky Repairs Landlords Should Make Before the Tenant's Lease Starts 

1.  Remove all curtain rods and brackets, patch and paint all holes to match wall color. 

You will already have purchased and installed white inexpensive mini-blinds to cover your windows. There is no need to have curtains, rods and brackets also. Let's get rid of them now so that tenants don't ask for them to be repaired or tightened later. 

2.  Remove all personal property from the home. 

Please do not leave any personal property items in the home that are not included on the lease. Tenants are expecting a vacant home and, when you leave items, we have to hire a hauler, at your expense, to remove them.  This includes, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, cleaning supplies, extra furniture, etc.  

We know you are trying to be nice and helpful but, if the tenant does not want these items, we have to remove them as they are not in the lease.

3.  Install plastic mats under all sinks in case of plumbing leaks.  

Plastic mats under the sinks protect your cabinets from water damage. Here is an example of the type of undersink mat that works well.

4.  Paint your rental home neutral throughout.

We recommend Antique White as it is easy to patch at move out.  

By having a fresh coat of paint on the home, it is easier for us to hold the tenant responsible for damages at move out. The tenant received the home in perfect condition and we expect it to be returned to us in the same condition but for normal wear and tear.  

>> See How To Get Your Security Deposit Back At Move Out

>> See What Is Normal Wear And Tear On A Rental Property?

5.  Rekey all locks in the rental property to a single key.

Every lock in the house that uses a key should use the same key.  This includes the front door, top and bottom locks, the door between the garage and the house, the back door, the door to the deck, etc. All doors should be the same key. This avoids a lot of confusion at move in and move out.

6.  Replace all toilet seats with inexpensive white plastic seats.

This is not only an easy item to replace but also sanitary.  Let's do it prior to move in. Here's an example of a white toilet seat.  

We don't know why, but tenants always call us to say that the seat is broken and has come off the hinges. Let's avoid these discussions and repairs. By purchasing and installing a new seat prior to move in, any breakage during the lease should be repaired by the tenant, unless the seat is faulty in some way.

>> See Renting an Individually Owned Home vs An Apartment: What's Different?

7.  Remove toilet paper holders. Patch and paint.

We do not recommend that the landlord supply toilet paper holders because the tenant will expect them to be replaced when they go missing or break. This is another one of those items that always seems to break during the lease term. Tenants are just rough with them. So, let's make this repair go away and just remove them. The tenants can then purchase whatever they want at their own expense. 

Here are examples that tenants might purchase:

 Toilet paper holder example #2 for tenants


8.  Remove towel bars. Patch and paint. 

Similar to number 7 above, towel bars just seem to come off the walls during the lease term due to tenants' rough usage. So let's just get rid of them and patch and paint the walls.

By taking care of these items prior to move in, we hope to cut down on service calls and save you time and money.  Our job is to give you "peace of mind" while you move on with your life.  By doing things correctly up front, you will save yourself a lot of time, money and aggravation during the lease term.

>> See 9 Risks a Good Property Manager Takes Over On Your Behalf

Anne Arundel County

8373 Piney Orchard Parkway, Unit 207
Odenton, Maryland 21113
(240) 297-1970

Baltimore County

P.O. Box 154
Owings Mills, MD 21117
(443) 588-5600

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