Landlord Tips – Getting The Apartment Ready

October 25th, 2010 · 8 Comments · Rental Property

Before showing the rental space to potential tenants, you’ll want to make sure it is ready. What I really mean is CLEAN and ORGANIZED.  I’ve had excellent luck renting a space under renovation if the workmen have neatly piled their supplies. New tenants like to move into newly renovated spaces and who can blame them?

What really turns tenants off is promises that work will get completed sometime in the future with no sign of work underway. In fact,  for the honest landlords out there that are not aware of this, this is actually a common slumlord ploy. Slumlords will promise the world to a prospective tenant and then do nothing. By the time the tenant realizes that the work is never going to get done… it’s too late, they’ve given their money and they generally don’t have time to find a new place. I fired a landlord client for lying like this and leaving me in the middle of the situation. In that case it wasn’t something minor either, there was huge chunks of hardwood floor missing, and not one appliance worked. The place was even full of furniture left by the previous tenant, none of which was removed. So if you get suspicious looks when you say work is going to get done, now you know why.

Start Renting Early

Good tenants do not go out moving day to look for a place. In some cases they even look months ahead of time, with plenty of folks calling for apartments before they even give notice. So if you know your renovations are going to be completed a month from now (give yourself some leeway) start showing it. I always warn people ahead of time that the apartment is under repair so that they are not shocked by the mess.

If you have a place that doesn’t require repair, show it before the other tenant leaves. Here’s a post about Ontario Landlord Law on Property Showing If the tenant is CLEAN you may well be successful and save yourself a month of vacancy.


I cannot emphasize enough how important cleanliness is to the potential renter. People will just not rent a dirty place. Not decent tenants, anyways. So make sure it’s spic and span before you show the apartment.

Walkway To the Property

It’s time to pay particular attention to the entrance to the property, starting right from the street. Is there some neglected landscaping? Is the common area dirty? Is there some overflowing trash in the laundry room? Details are important. This is an opportunity for you to address any outstanding little tasks that are so easy to leave undone.

Who Would Live There ?

Whenever I evaluate a potential property, this is the question I ask myself. What kind of person would this place appeal appeal to? If the answer is a tenant who can’t hear, see, or smell, you may want to change your business model. You’ll want the place to appeal to good tenants and good tenants are in demand, they don’t need to move into unkempt places.

Decent Places = Decent Tenants

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Dave

    Is your husband on ODSP? And can you shave your kid?

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  • Chris t . Kirk

    Fenced in yard.

  • Pat

    Hey, Rachelle

    I had a question, I’ve been working on putting together a rental property maintenance company, that offers tenant turnover packages for residential landlords, and property managers.My idea was depending on whether you have a bachelor, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom apt, I would offer a set rate for, removing the leftover junk, painting all the walls, and trim, cleaning the entire apartment, and going through each room with a checklist making sure everything is in working order. Do you think this would be a helpful service for landlords, and property managers?

    • Rachelle

      It think it would but landlords are cheap. And I don’t really know how you could possibly offer a set price. I’ve seen some really trashed places.

  • Zoran

    I’m a property manager of a 24 unit low rise apartment building in Etobicoke. We rarely have a vacancy (good neighbourhood). We have a Tenant moving out on April 1, 2016 and a new Tenant moving in on the same day. How can we allocate time to clean and paint the unit? Typically we ask the current Tenant if thay can leave early and we re-imburse them part of last month’s rent deposit, up to a maximum of 7 days, which leaves us enough time to prepare the unit for next Tenancy. The current Tenant cannot leave early, so we are in a bind. Please advise. Thank you.

    • Rachelle

      The 1st is on a Tuesday any decent painting crew can go in and have an apartment painted by the end of day. Then hire the cleaner to work after hours, let the tenant move in the evening tell them what is going on and do your best.

      Any small details, get them dealt with after. It’s a mess but do your best and it would work out ok.