Attracting Good Tenants - Tips for Landlords

According to studies by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) the following factors, ranked by their importance to those who responded to the study are essential in attracting a new good tenant

NEIGHBORHOOD: 23% (Location, Location, Location) While you can not easily move your rental home you can have a positive impact on your existing neighborhood by screening your prospective applicants and selecting tenants with good history of properly caring for there present rental home.

APPEARANCE: 19% (Curb Appeal) You only have one chance to make a first good impression! Does the entry look warm and inviting? Does the exterior look well maintained? Approach your property with an objective eye. Is the yard freshly mowed, edged and hedges trimmed, flower beds weeded? Is the interior clean? Do the appliances sparkle? Do all light fixtures function? Are the windows clean? Are the carpets and floors clean? If you can’t repair it – replace it. If you can’t clean it – cover it with a fresh coat of paint.

FLOOR PLAN: 19% If the home is currently occupied, un-clutter it as much a possible. Take the “stuff” to a storage company. An empty room always looks and feels larger.

RENT LEVELS 16% Establish a fair market rent. Check the competition. It is better to be a little under and get a good tenant than to be over and have another month vacancy.

AMENITIES: 10% Replace worn out light fixtures with an inexpensive ceiling fan and light kit. Install new vinyl mini blinds on all windows. Repair or replace screens, Replace dingy switch plates and outlet covers with new ones. Install new stove burner pans. Replace any furnace/AC filters.

REPUTATION: 7% Your reputation will proceed you! You are known by the company you keep. We at Professional Property Services, Ltd have enjoyed a reputation of service and excellence by our peers in Real Estate and Property Management and the public for many years. We gladly offer you the benefit of our experience and expertise.


You only have one chance to make a Good First Impression!

PROFESSIONAL PROPERTY SERVICES, LTD. strives to provide well maintained, properly functioning homes to all of our tenants. We believe it is most profitable long- term for your property to be kept in good condition. Better homes attract better tenants, and your resale value and rents will remain higher if the home is kept in good repair.

Below is an outline of the minimum property condition standards required prior to a new tenant moving into your home. These items will be verified or completed at each change of tenant.

Exterior appearance: "Curb Appeal" Approach your property with an objective eye, Is it inviting? Lawn mowed? Flower beds weeded? Trees and shrubs trimmed back and not touching the property roof? Dead limbs removed? Reseed dead or bare areas in lawns. Remove any debris or brush piles. The yard should be in maintainable condition. If the home is (or becomes) vacant hire a lawn service to maintain the outdoor areas until it is rented. Have exterior Steps, Porch, Door/ s/ Pressure washed if needed. Do any needed painting, caulking or repairs.

Remove ALL personal items, Stuff and trash from the premises. "Inside and out"

Change or have changed all Door Locks. (No double keyed dead bolts for fire safety). Change the combination on the garage door opener/s/ and the handheld unit/s/. Check all windows and locks/latches and make sure they lock and are operating properly. Secure all screens, windows and blinds or rods & make needed repairs. Install mini blinds at all windows or, if there, dust and clean all Mini Blinds. Wash windows inside and out, Remove any curtains or drapes that are not neutral, clean and in good condition. Remove old blind and drapery hardware, patch holes and paint.

ALL appliances: Stove, Refrigerator, Dishwasher must be thoroughly cleaned and in working order. Clean under and behind appliances and vaccuum refrigerator coils. Clean or replace stove burner drip pans. Clean the kitchen sink, under the sink, and inside and outside of ALL cabinets and drawers. 

Washer & Dryer move, clean under and behind and wipe down. Check Dryer filter and vent inside and outside, have vent hose professionally cleaned if necessary.  Replace any plastic hose with an approved metal flexible vent hose.

Floors vacuumed, vinyl floors scrubbed, removing dirt and marks. Wood floors should be cleaned and buffed with appropriate wood-care products. Have carpets professionally shampooed, or we will have them done. Check all fixtures, railings, cabinet doors, drawers, etc. If loose, tighten or repair them. (Note: After the first carpet cleaning, all future carpet cleaning costs will be passed through to the tenant).

Wash or paint walls and trim where needed, especially areas around light switches, door frames and hallways. Wash & clean switch plate covers. Make sure there is no chipping, flaking or peeling paint. Re-glue any loose wallpaper.

Bathroom fixtures must be thoroughly cleaned, polished and disinfected. Re-caulk tubs and showers, if needed. Replace worn toilet seats.  Check for loose towel bars, soap dishes and tissue holder. Make them sparkle.

Replace ALL burned out light bulbs. Clean and make sure all light fixtures and ceiling fans are working and in tact. Check and replace batteries in all Smoke Alarms. There must be at least one smoke alarm in each sleeping area and on each level of house, including basement and attic. Use 10-year sealed tamper proof smoke alarms when replacing them.

Clean out fireplace/woodstove (if applicable). Have chimney professionally inspected and cleaned.Vacuum and clean ALL heating/AC floor, wall ducts, air vents and returns, radiators, windows, sills, wells and baseboards. Replace floor register and vent covers if they are old, soiled or rusty.

Check: ALL plumbing fixtures for leaks and defects, Electric switches/receptacles, ground faults (GFCI) and breakers. Flip ALL breakers OFF, wait 15 seconds then turn them back on one at a time. Heating - (oil & propane) Have the burner serviced, fill the tank and buy a maintenance contract. Heat Pumps (gas and/or electric) Clean area around furnace and check filter, clean or replace if necessary. Leave some extra furnace filters. If Gas, Propane or Oil heat, install a CO Detector on each level - not the plug in type.  It will be the law in 2018.

Sweep, Clean and Vacuum Basement and Garage. Remove ALL of the Stuff. Do not leave any personal property for storage.

NOTE: ALL Rentals built before 1978 MUST be registered with MDE & TESTED for Lead Paint.

ALSO: ALL Rentals in the City of Hagerstown MUST be Registered, Inspected and Licensed.