How to Prepare Your Rental for New Tenants

How to Prepare Your Rental for New Tenants

The new year is right around the corner. For many landlords in Santa Ana, this means that their renters’ annual leases are coming to an end. Soon, new people will be moving into your properties. However, before filling those vacancies, you should learn how to prepare your rental for new tenants.

Dedicating your time to this will ensure that your unit is safe, clean and that everything in it works as it should. Both you and your new renters will reap plenty of benefits if you take this path. You’ll protect their health and prevent any unexpected maintenance issues down the line. But on top of that, this proactive approach is also a gateway to a healthy landlord-tenant relationship.

While you’re there, you can take it a step further and decorate your rental for more relaxation. Make it look inspiring, and people will fall in love with it as soon as they see it. It will make finding new tenants a lot easier if you’re struggling with it.

Of course, your property might not need redecorating. So, let’s get back to the point and see what areas you should focus on.

Ensure That the Property Is Safe

Start with the basics. As soon as your last tenant leaves the unit, go ahead and change all the locks. You can’t know if they made any copies of the key, and the chances are that you don’t trust them enough to take the risk. At the end of the day, property crime rates in Santa Ana aren’t that low that you can be carefree about it.

Make a new set of keys for everyone who needs access to the property. One for you, a couple for new renters, and one for your property manager (if you have one). If your unit has some smart features, change all the PINs so you can be sure no one can get through the doors if you don’t want them to.

Writing a good contract will help you protect yourself legally.

It’s always a good idea to screen new tenants to confirm their identity, check their criminal history, and ensure that they have enough money to pay the rent. If everything seems fine, write a rental agreement that protects all parties.

You might also need a few additional documents on top of it to make everything legal. In this case, it’s best to contact a lawyer and let them put together all the paperwork for you. You’ll be sure that what you’re signing makes sense, and that’ll bring you peace of mind.

Alarms and Detectors

Next on the list is testing all the safety devices. Go through your security system, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors, and make sure they’re all in working order. Don’t forget to change the batteries where needed.

Mold and Fungus

Lastly, ensure there are no health hazards on the property. Don’t try to be smart here and save a buck by relying on your eyes and nose to do the testing. Hire an expert to take a look at everything.

Mold loves to hide in places such as:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Walls
  • Ceiling
  • Furniture

Yes, you’ve read that correctly. When the conditions are right, or rather wrong, mold and fungus will grow on furniture. When this happens, you can only contact Santa Ana professionals to transfer unwanted furniture straight to the dump. You can’t save it, so don’t even bother trying.

Thoroughly Clean the Rental

Next on how to prepare your rental for new tenants is cleaning. Once again, you’ll want to let a professional crew take care of this task. Taking this path will ensure that all the stains, odors, dust mites, and pet dander are out of the way before new tenants even come to see the place. It will make it look and smell nicer, and it’s clear how that helps your case.

Furthermore, it’s a big step toward the prevention of mold and fungus we talked about earlier. You won’t have to worry about new renters’ allergies either, and that can’t be a bad thing.

Overlooked Areas

Even if your previous tenant put in the effort to clean the unit before leaving, there are areas people forget to clean, and you should check them.

Some of them might be logical to you, but not everyone thinks the same as you do. So, take a peek under the furniture, the top of kitchen cabinets, ceiling fans, light switches, and your dryer and HVAC vents.

If you have an outdoor area, you should deal with it as well. Pick up the leaves and pressure-wash your walls. You’ll be surprised by how clean and fresh that old backyard can look.

A professional cleaning a telephone.

If you’re wondering how to prepare your rental for new tenants, start with cleaning it.

The first impression is everything when showing off your rental. Luckily, it’s easy to up the looks of the place with just a fresh coat of paint. If you aren’t scared of a bucket and a brush, you can do it yourself in no time. Just be careful not to overdo it and stick to a sensible idea.

Painting your walls will bring you the added benefit of sanitizing the place. It’ll kill off any young mildew growth and prevent it from growing in the future.

Make Sure Everything Works

Tenants in Santa Ana expect that the place they rent is move-in ready. Of course, this means that all the appliances in the apartment should work. Test each of them to check if everything’s fine. If you don’t mind getting a bit dirty, do the maintenance tasks like changing the filters on your own.

Walk around the unit and see if you can spot any signs of damage. Problems with sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets occur even with regular use, so you should check them all. Make sure nothing’s leaking and double-check the areas that were troublesome in the past.

Test the railings, floors, and steps; doorknobs and kitchen drawers; and circuit breakers and light switches. If the tenants are going to use it, be sure to go over it.

A rusty faucet.

Sometimes, you have to change a thing or two around the unit.


As you can see, it’s a lot of work to get things where you want them to be. You need all the help you can get – even moving-out cleaning can be very helpful. Once the unit is sparkling, you’ll easily spot what else you might need to do.

And that’s how to prepare your rental for new tenants. Make a list, and get on with it – the sooner, the better.