View Rental Property Like Tenant Will

Rental Property Through Potential Tenant’s Eyes

This is a fairly new property that was been occupied by the owner’s friend. The friend didn’t do so much of a good job in maintaining a clean space and the owner is a little hesitant to charge her friend for professional cleaning services.

And the point of this conversation is, a potential tenant is going to see all the unkept spaces on the property such as, cobwebs, discolored walls, personal belongings laying around, water condensation drips, etc. The current sight of the property is just not marketable in the current state.

Through the eyes of a potential tenant would be that they would want you to install a hot tub. Do you install hot tub? No. Not necessarily sell. If they cost of a hot tub is going to be more than what a potential tenant is going to pay you for, then absolutely not. You would not go ahead and spend the money on installing a hot tub. But if a potential tenant is going to pay you more rent and it’s going to reduce your vacancy, then absolutely, it would be worth $300. Actually, this is probably about a $240 thing.

What tenants most want is cleanliness. And the sidebar of this is, if we give this property to an incoming tenant in this condition, how can we expect the tenant to care for this property as they live here? So if we actually don’t have respect for the property, it’s a really hard thing for us to ask the tenant to have respect for the property as well.

All in all, it’s not that dirty, but the tenant could have removed her personal belongings. She certainly could have swept and wiped things down. Items that the tenant didn’t want was left at the space without consideration. It is down to the question of whose responsibility is it going to be to remove the items? And again, if we give this property to a tenant in this state, how can we expect them to take care of the property and what happens when they move out?

So when the tenant moves out, we’re going to come in here, we’re going to do mobile inspection, and if it’s not in good condition, then we are going to inform them that the property should have been cleaned and tenant ready, and we’re going to charge that tenant for that service. For those items that are beyond normal wear and tear and if it’s not clean, we’re going to charge him for that. And that’s hardly fair considering the state that we would be giving the property to them.

Now, is it fair for this current owner to have to pay this? No. But that’s kind of the choice you made once you decided to rent to a friend. It’s never worked really a great idea. But whether or not the tenant is exiting s willing to pay to have this property cleaned, whether or not the owner is willing to bill the exiting tenant, the question is the financial one; will the owner make more money by getting this property professionally cleaned or not? And the answer is clearly yes. The owner is going to get a tenant much faster, and vacancy is incredibly expensive, so get more rent, and in turn get a better quality tenant. Again, going back to where a tenant is not going to take care of a property that we clearly don’t care about.

I definitely recommend looking at your properties through the eyes of a potential tenant, not as a property owner, you know, not as a property manager as myself, but through the eyes of a potential tenant. What do they see? And obviously this property is not a place that a tenant would necessarily want to move into. I mean, they would have significant amount of cleaning just to get rid of somebody else’s filth.


Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

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