How to Cleanout a Duplex to RentThe most advantageous part about owning and renting a duplex is you can accelerate the mortgage amortization simply by renting one of the two units and paying more toward the principal. What’s more, as the nearby quote explains, duplexes are usually exempt from regulations other multi-family properties must abide. If you’re considering buying a duplex to use as your primary residence and a rental income property, you’ve got to first become educated about what to expect.
Duplexes are attractive investments because one of the units can be rented out, bringing in cash; meanwhile, duplexes are ‘exempt from much of the municipal regulation that most states impose on housing structures of three or more units,’ says Matthew Reischer, a real estate attorney in New York City. An added benefit is that as rents go up, revenue improves — but the mortgage remains a fixed cost. —Banrate.comFirst and foremost, you’ll need to know just how much of a mortgage you’ll qualify for and have enough cash to put down to keep the monthly payments under your budget. It’s best to look for duplexes outside of low-income neighborhoods because you’ll significantly reduce its hassle factor (the amount of time and money spent trying to collect rent and maintain the property). Once you’ve found the right duplex, you’ll have to clean it out to rent by doing the following:
- Start with junk cleanout. Go through both units and remove all junk and debris. If there’s a lot of junk in the units, don’t waste your time and effort trying to do it on your own. Instead, call a local junk hauling and removal service to do it quickly so you can get it ready to rent in a shorter time frame. Remove any furniture from the unit, as well.
- Test all appliances. Once both units of the duplex are cleared out, you should test the appliances. If you need to replace any appliances, buy floor models or go to a used appliance store to get refurbished units. It’s best to have matching appliance finishes, even if they’re not the same brand.
- Have major systems inspected. Have a plumber, electrician, and HVAC technician check the plumbing, electrical wiring, and the heating and air conditioning. These should be up to code and in good working order to rent legally.
- Make any necessary repairs. Anything that’s broken or damaged needs to be fixed prior to posting your rental listing. Fill-in any holes and then replace the flooring, if necessary. Sanitize the entire unit from top to bottom. Once completely clean, brush on a fresh coat of interior paint.
- Update key fixtures. Lights, ceiling fans, and other fixtures should be updated to make the unit more attractive to potential renters. It’s also a good idea to put some effort into the landscaping to increase the property’s curb appeal.