Checklist for Getting a House Ready for the First Tenant: Factors to Consider

The safety of your tenants is your first priority. You need to ensure your property is safe for use and that it complies with all the necessary health and safety regulations. These regulations apply to various factors such as insulation, ventilation, drainage, heating etc. 

  • Check building infrastructures like walls, roofs, floors and stairs 
  • Check plumbing, electrical, ventilation, hot water heating and HVAC systems
  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with fuel-burning appliances. 
  • Check for vermin or rodent infestations or environmental contaminants like asbestos, lead or mold.

Anything that isn’t up to code will need to be dealt with, and all utilities need to be working when a tenant moves in. 

When you sign an agreement with property management companies in Colorado Springs like Evernest, Timberline or APM, a property manager will do a walkthrough inspection of your property. You will receive an initial inspection report that details any safety work that needs to be done before the house is rent-ready. 

Clean the house thoroughly

You will need to make sure the property is a clean and hygienic space before tenants move in. 

  • Have any carpets professionally cleaned
  • Clean the windows.
  • Check for blemishes on walls and remove them. 
  • Pay particular attention to cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. 
  • Deep clean baseboards, under and behind appliances, window blinds and light fixtures. 

The cleaner your property is when tenants move in, the more likely they are to take care of it and maintain the condition. If they don’t maintain the standard of cleanliness, you can use part of the security deposit to pay for cleaning. 

Check appliances

When providing appliances for the use of tenants, you need to make sure they work properly and efficiently. If you inspect and service major appliances like stoves, refrigerators, washers and dryers, it can extend their life and prevent tenants from constantly having problems with them. 

Make minor repairs

You need to fix any issues with lights, doors and windows and make minor repairs. 

  • Flip all the light switches and test outlets. Replace any light bulbs that need replacing. 
  • Run all the faucets to make sure they work properly. Check for leaks, proper drainage and good water pressure. Fix or replace faucets that aren’t working properly.
  • Run the garbage disposal to make sure it’s working properly.  
  • Make sure windows open and close smoothly. Replace broken screens and make sure locks work properly. 
  • Check that all the doors lock properly, including any sliding glass doors. 
  • Change air filters and replace batteries on smoke alarms and carbon dioxide monitors.
  • Replace broken tiles. 

Freshen up the exterior

Most likely, the first thing prospective tenants may do when they see a listing is to drive past the property. The exterior of the property gives them their first impression, and you need to make it a favorable one. It doesn’t cost that much to refresh the exterior of a house with some paint. The exterior landscape can also affect whether tenants are attracted to a property or not. Cut the grass, remove leaves, trim any overgrown shrubs or trees and remove dead plants and any debris. Investing in a plant or two for the front porch can make the entrance more attractive. 

Price your property correctly

You need to price your property correctly if you want to attract the right tenants. Look at other listings of a similar nature in your area. Consider amenities close by, such as schools and grocery stores. Find out what about your property would appeal to a specific target audience.

You also need to take the time to calculate your running costs and estimate the costs of repairs and improvements. You need to find the sweet spot that’s not too low or too high when calculating your rent. 


Taking the time to make sure a rental property is clean, safe and ready to rent will set your house up for showings. The better your property looks, the higher the rental you’re likely to get and the better quality of renters you will attract.

Working through the above checklist will help you to make sure you don’t neglect any important tasks when getting your property rent ready.