Company Blog

Rental's Tips, Renter's Corner

By Amber

Sometime a well-kept property jumps out at you as you drive by — a happy vision of diligence and care. But there are less obvious aspects of good maintenance, too, things you can’t see from the outside. Do you know how to look for all the signs?

The exterior
These tell-tale clues are what you might expect when looking for a solid rental property: A healthy-looking lawn and well-maintained landscaping, fresh paint and straight porches, eaves and fences. A closer look might reveal whether weather-stripping on doors and windows looks intact, whether or not there are areas that seem to have drainage problems (especially around the basement), or if there are fallen limbs or dead trees in the yard.

On the inside
Once you walk through the door of the rental property, let your eyes and nose be your guide. Does it smell fresh, and look clean and dry? Look for fresh paint on the walls, free of nail holes or other damage. Inspect the flooring; wood floors should look like they’ve been finished or at least well-cared-for. Linoleum should be intact and well-tacked. Carpets should be stain-free, without obvious holes or wear.

In the kitchen, check the general age of the appliances. Most stoves, dishwashers and refrigerators can only go for so long without needing to be replaced. Inspect inside for cleanliness and solidity. All racks and doors should move smoothly.

Check around faucets and under kitchen and bathroom sinks for cleanliness and dryness. In the bathroom, also check the shower or bath to see that all tiles and grout are intact and clean.

Be sure to look up as you go through the house to check for ceiling leaks or damage to fixtures such as lights or fans.

The surrounding area
Sometimes all the property care in the world can’t make up for a declining neighborhood in which other homes and businesses are not cared for or sit vacant. Drive around the area at various times of day and night to get a sense of the kind of activity, and foot or car traffic. Do the homes, schools and businesses there seem to be thriving?

You’ll also want to check neighborhoods for amenities such as transportation, grocery stores, a post office, movie theater and restaurants. Are the services you want open for business and close enough to reach easily?

There are a number of ways to spot a well-kept property. Be sure to check inside and out, as well as take a sweeping look at the property’s place in its neighborhood. Your instincts will likely clue you in to whether this is property to pursue… or a place to pass on by!

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