A Landlord’s To-Do List Before Listing a Rental Property

A Landlord’s To-Do List Before Listing a Rental Property

Having a rental property means generating income without going through a tedious nine-to-five routine. However, to ensure you get the best return from your property, it is essential to keep up with the routine maintenance, renovations, and upgrades.

The median rent price in Pittsburgh is over $800, and the relatively higher unemployment rate is among the main causes of an increase in the rental population. The average rent of a 1-bedroom apartment (depending on the location) is $1,244, which is 4% more than the rent in 2022! Hence, with the rising demand for rentals in the city, you must ensure your property appeals to decent tenants.

If the thought of where to begin and what to change confuses you, here is a landlord’s to-do list before listing a rental property.

1. Look for the Signs of Damage

After an old tenant leaves, the first thing you must do is spare time and look for signs of neglect and damage. Even if there wasn’t any neglect from the tenant’s side, the items installed there might be subjected to wear and tear due to regular use.

Observe the entire place and note down the things that may require changes. Are the pre-installed appliances working correctly? Is the bathroom functional? Jot down everything that is worn out, damaged, or needs an upgrade.

You might be able to detect some faults, but certain things may require you to dig deeper or hire professional services. Utility bills are 22% higher in Pittsburg than the state average, so use this opportunity to make your home energy-efficient. Hire an expert remodeler in Pittsburgh, like Legacy Remodeling, who can install energy-efficient windows and much more while simultaneously examining internal and external issues in your property.

2. Check Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are an incredibly important but often neglected add-on in the house. The batteries may not have been replaced for a long time, or the device itself may be outdated. Safety measures in your home will appeal to tenants, especially those with children. If you own a home with multiple levels, you’ll need the latest smoke detector in the bedrooms, kitchen, and hallway on each level.

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) recommends that batteries of a replaceable-battery smoke detector be checked and replaced every month. In contrast, the model with non-replaceable batteries can be used for ten years before changing the model altogether.

You can install the smoke detectors a day or two before the new tenants arrive so the product is in ideal condition.

3. Fix Any Leaks

A house may have water leaks because of outdated plumbing, worn-out fixtures, and clogged gutters and pipes. Roughly 37% of American landlords make claims against water damage. When it comes to damage caused by water, the first thing to look for is the primary source. It is essential to take immediate action for the safety of the people living there as well as to protect the structure of your building.

Seek services from professionals like plumbers, gutter cleaners, and restoration companies to identify the source of damage and recommend a viable solution.

It is normal for a property to experience water damage even after repair. So, a monthly check is the best way to stay on top of things.

4. HVAC System

The HVAC system of your property is the most complex and useful system with multiple functions. An unattended HVAC system can disrupt the atmosphere and temperature in the house, leaving your tenants feeling frustrated.

Although a landlord is formally not required to provide an HVAC system, keeping tabs on one if you do is mandatory. If you have installed an HVAC system for the tenants, include clauses in the contract regarding the protection of the device.

HVAC systems can significantly increase the value of your property. Most landlords even consider becoming HVAC-certified to upgrade and repair when needed without additional costs.

5. Assess Appliances

Most landlords keep residents’ comfort in mind and provide them with optional accessories like electrical appliances. It also boosts the value of your rental property. If you install such appliances, check that all of the things installed in the property do not just look good but also function optimally.

Before welcoming a tenant, ensure that the fridge works properly, the burner and stovetops are smooth and clean, and the dirt collected in the washing machine is removed. When new tenants move in, it will give a fresh and clean aura.

Keeping the appliances clean also increases their lifespan. You can add a clause regarding penalties people can face if the appliances in your rental property are damaged.

6. Electrical Repairs

Electrical damage is the malfunctions and faults in the property caused due to old wiring, wear and tear, improper installation, negligence, or natural disasters. Regardless of the reasons, it is one of the most hazardous issues in a house. NFPA reports that 30% of household fires in Pittsburgh are caused due to electrical damage.

You need to get everything assessed by a professional plumber after every five years. Most landlords keep their wiring records updated by hiring a reputed electrician to look after such concerns.

7. Pests and Infestations

Different types of termites, insects, rodents, and creatures can enter your property and cause significant damage. For example, subterranean termites and rats are primarily reported to infest Pittsburgh homes. From disturbing hygiene to causing diseases and damaging property, there are various reasons why infestations should be dealt with urgently.

Initial signs that your property might be infested with a plague of undesirable creatures are droppings and appearances at night. It is mandatory to deal with this issue as soon as possible because infestation can lead to major problems if the situation worsens. You might even need to tear down the walls to control it.


Landlords are always in search of tenants who can pay well and take good care of their property. However, to get compensation of choice, it is also essential that you take care of your property and ensure that it is in optimal condition before renting it out.

There are multiple things to consider, from leaks to the functionality of appliances and infestation. The ideal solution to stay on top of repair and maintenance in a property is by conducting routine checks and making lists of things that should be changed. Lastly, consider hiring professionals who will evaluate your property’s condition and provide effective solutions.

Bella Duckworth

Bella Duckworth

Total posts created: 2151
“Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space… On the one hand, it’s about shelter, but it’s also about pleasure.” – Zaha Hadid

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