Summer weather has arrived, school is out, and families are making their travel plans. That means it is prime furnished rental season.
For those of us in the business of leasing furnished rentals, it is go time.
Travelers want furnished places to rent but finding and ensuring a place is pristine and well-kept can be difficult, especially when trying to shop online and depending on a few photos. What looks well-kept in an online profile can and often is tacky (or worse).
If you are considering providing a furnished rental in any capacity, keep in mind the rules listed below before placing your property for rent. If you’re looking to rent, ask the leasing agent about these fine points before committing to a rental agreement.
How old is the furniture and how often is it updated? As a landlord, regularly update the furnishings, including the mattresses. We constantly caution our clients against using grandma’s old furnishings that are lying around unused. You don’t need to spend a fortune on new furniture, but you do need to present a cohesive look to the property. The property should look comfortable and homey, without being cluttered and mismatched.
Make sure the kitchen is well stocked and has all the necessities, without clutter and unused items. Make a useful and comprehensive list of everything that should be included in a complete kitchen.
Buy only open stock, white dinnerware, and then inspect all the dinnerware and flatware for chips, cracks and other signs of wear ̶ and replace as necessary. A coffee maker and a toaster are must-haves, but have you thought about the importance of a blender? When furnished rentals provide a blender, renters are delighted. It’s summer. People love their smoothies and margaritas.
Inspect and thoroughly clean all the appliances, including the toaster; clean out the crumb tray between tenants. Keep a record of when the refrigerator filter was last changed to ensure that it is always clean and up to date. Remove half-used, assorted condiments any well-meaning tenants leave behind. The refrigerator should be spotless with nothing inside but a couple bottles of water, left as a thoughtful gesture.
Get rid of half-used cleaning supplies left under the sink. (You can offer them to a cleaning crew.) Leave a new (in the package) sponge, a small new bottle of dishwashing liquid and several dishwasher tabs. Leave them somewhere visible, perhaps in a small basket on the countertop.
In between tenants, replace all shower curtain liners, launder the outer shower curtain and replace all tub mats and toilet bowl brushes. This may seem like an unnecessary expense but ask yourself if this would be important to you.
Throw out all unused beauty products, including shampoo, conditioner, used razors and hand soap. Make sure the hairdryer is in good working condition and neatly stowed and that there is an ample supply of toilet paper. Generally, keep bathrooms all white; it’s easier to keep clean, coordinated and sparkling. Finally, don’t forget to inspect the grout and caulking between tenants.
Stick with all-white linens: crisp, white sheets and fluffy white towels. Stay with the open stock so everything can be updated and still match. Take the time to inspect each set of sheets and every towel for signs of wear. Small holes, stains, fraying at the edges? Replace immediately.
Mattress pads should be replaced every six months. It may seem costly to the owner, but tenants are very appreciative of these small but important details and will reward you with five-star reviews and returning visits.
Lastly, allow ample time between tenants to make sure everything is up to your high standards. It is tempting to turn the units quickly to maximize income, but it is nearly impossible to accomplish everything on the must-do list in a short amount of time. It takes a team of people to clean windows, replace light bulbs, do touch-up painting and wash and inspect every item. As a landlord, mobilize your team and be ready to go in within a short amount of time. As a renter, ask about everything. A quality furnished rental will happily provide every item outlined above.
And remember: The best surprise is no surprise. Start your blenders!