Landlord’s Guide to Preparing Your Sonoma County Rental Property for New Tenants - Article Banner

After a tenant has moved out, and you’ve managed the security deposit return and the move-out inspection, you’ll need to begin preparing your rental home for the next resident. 

This process has to move quickly, otherwise you’ll extend the vacancy period and delay the consistent rental income that you rely on as an owner. 

We at Healdsburg Property Management, have been leasing, managing, and maintaining single-family homes, duplexes, four-plexes and multi-unit properties of up to seven units throughout Sonoma County’s Wine Country, including Healdsburg, Windsor, Northern Santa Rosa, Cloverdale and Forestville. We know the ins and outs of preparing your Sonoma County rental property for your new tenants in a way that’s thorough and effective.

Here’s a brief guide.

Make Any Necessary Repairs and ReplacementsConduct Inspection

After your prior tenant has moved out, you’ve likely conducted an inspection to look for damage. That inspection should also tell you what needs to be done before you market the home for a new tenant. Make a list of minor things that are needed such as new air filters, new light bulbs, and updated landscaping, and paint. 

There might be some larger investments needed as well. New appliances could be required if the existing ones are older and deteriorating. You might need fresh carpet in the bedrooms or new window treatments if the blinds are faded and bent. 

Check everything. Make sure all of the major systems in the property and in the outdoor spaces are functioning. If something is needed, schedule the work right away, before you list the home, show it, and have a tenant move in. 

Check for Safety and Habitability Issues 

The repairs you make and the work you do are essential to making the home livable and desirable to your next renters. You also have to make sure it’s safe and ready for occupancy. Keep the utilities on when the home is vacant, otherwise you won’t be able to get the necessary work done. You’ll also want to have at least some light on at the property so it doesn’t look vacant and vulnerable. 

Include the following items in your checklist to ensure that they’re working properly:

  • Smoke detectors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Plumbing (you want to avoid any problems related to leaks)
  • Electrical systems (ensure you’re not in danger of a fire)
  • Doors and windows (they should open, close and lock properly)
  • Handrails
  • Trip hazards on floors inside
  • Possible liability issues outside (like branches or roots that may present problems)

Schedule a Professional Cleaning 

Once everything is working, you’ll want to have the home professionally cleaned. Marketing your rental property in Sonoma County will not be easy if there’s dirt left behind by prior tenants or the vendors who performed work during the turnover period. 

Hire cleaners who will pay attention to detail. You want shining surfaces and dusted ceiling fans. Exceptional marketing photos will require a clean, empty home.

Conduct a Rental Property Move-In Inspection

Take PicturesBefore your tenant moves in, you’ll need to document the condition of the home. We recommend that you take a lot of pictures to back up your description of the property’s condition. Give your new tenant an opportunity to conduct a walk-through of their own so they can sign off on the condition report. It’s important that you both agree on the condition of the home. You’ll use this report at the end of their tenancy, when you’re making decisions about whether there was any damage caused by the tenant

We can help you find and place a new tenant. We can also help you prepare your home for the Sonoma County rental market. If you’d like some help, contact us at Healdsburg Property Management.