When you become a landlord, you will eventually discover that it’s not really “passive income.” Practically no tenant leaves a home completely clean, and, in most cases, it’s left in what real estate professionals and real estate attorneys refer to as “broom swept condition.” Even though it might not be squeakily clean, it won’t be a complete mess. However, any experienced landlord will tell you that they’ve personally had to deal with a tenant’s junk. It could be household furniture, decor, or, just a bunch of junk garbage that’s left behind. When this happens, you’ll obviously have to clean it up in order to make it ready to show the property to potential new tenants.
Rental Clean Outs for New Landlords
If you’re dealing with a big mess and lots of tenant junk, you should first document everything. Walk through the property, inside and out and take lots and lots of pictures. You should also document any damage you find when first going through the interior and around the exterior. Depending on the landlord-tenant laws in your state and locality, you might have to store all the stuff, but might be able to charge your former tenant for some or all expenses incurred.
In most states and jurisdictions, security deposit laws allow a landlord to deduct from a security deposit for any damage or excessive dirtiness, but not for any expected, normal wear-and-tear. Sometimes a security deposit is called a “damage deposit,” and is generally some amount of money that the landlord is able to hold on to if a rental property needs any cleaning or repairs, in order to return the property to the condition it was in when the renter first moved in. – —Find Law.com
After you’ve thoroughly documented the entire property, you can begin the clean out process. If there’s anything that’s questionable to handle, do not go through it or even touch it. Call a professional junk hauling and removal service to take care of it so you aren’t exposed to health and/or safety risks. Should the home be in generally good condition and the stuff is benign, do the following to get the property cleaned out and ready to show:
- Get everything thoroughly organized. Go through the home and organize everything that’s left behind. Separate it into two piles: things to put into storage and stuff to throw out. Whatever is clearly junk obviously needs to go but anything of value should be kept as long as the law and the way the law dictates.
- Make any necessary repairs. Once the home is emptied out and fairly organized, you should make all necessary repairs. Before you do repair this or that, be sure to document the damage as you may need it in the future.
- Clean the exterior of the home. After the junk is gone and all repairs are finished, it’s time to give the exterior some attention. You might consider brushing on a fresh coat of paint and giving the curb appeal a little pop with flowers and mulch. At the very least, pressure wash the exterior to make it look clean.
- Clean the inside of the property thoroughly. Now, go through each and every room and deep clean and disinfect. The home ought to be completely clean so it can be shown to potential tenants. Be sure to deal with any lingering odors and unsightly stains.