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Rent Ready Standards

Getting Your Property Rent Ready

As a California Landlord, it's important to understand what a "rent ready" rental property is. This term rent ready refers to the condition of a property that is ready to be occupied by new residents. There are several legal and practical considerations that go into making a property rent ready. Advantage Property Management Services (APMS) is committed to providing A Higher Standard in Property Management, which means our managed properties must be safe, clean, and well-maintained in order to be considered rent ready

California Civil Code and Rental Property Habitability Requirements

California law requires landlords to provide residents with a habitable rental unit. This means that the property must be safe and sanitary, and that all essential appliances and systems must be in working order. California Civil Code Sections 1941-1942.4 outline the specific requirements for habitability. Here’s a brief summary:

  • The property must be structurally sound and free from major defects.
  • The property must have effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors.
  • The property must have a water supply that is capable of producing hot and cold running water, furnished with appropriate fixtures, and connected to a sewage disposal system.
  • At the beginning of a lease, all areas under control of the landlord must be clean, sanitary, and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin.
  • The plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems must be in good working order.
  • The property must have adequate lighting and ventilation.
  • Floors, stairways, and railings maintained in good repair.
  • The property must have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detector(s).

Additional California Code Requirements for Rental Properties

California Health and Safety Code (HSC) Section 17920.3 offers more details from the opposing point of view of what is considered substandard.

There are additional regulations contained in the California Building Code (CBC), the California Residential Code (CRC), and the California Fire Code (CFC).

These are the bare minimum requirements to meet the state’s legal requirements. Local jurisdictions, including Alameda and Contra Costa counties, have more stringent requirements. Residents have their own expectations.

Marketability Aspects of Rent Readiness

In addition to the legal requirements, there are also several marketability aspects of rent readiness. A property that is rent-ready is more likely to attract and retain a quality resident. This is especially important for rental properties in higher rent markets like Pleasanton, CA. Here are the things APMS requires before marketing a property for rent:

  • Completely vacant
  • Property professionally cleaned and free of trash and debris, inside and outside
  • All exterior locks operate with 1 key. We strongly recommend replacing all locks with Kwikset Smartkey hardware
  • Doors and locks all function properly.
  • Landscaping & lawn cut and trimmed.
  • All safety devices operate properly
  • Caulking in all wet areas (kitchen and bathrooms) in good condition, clean and free of mildew.
  • All painted surfaces are fresh with no mismatched touch-up areas or repainting must be done corner to corner.
  • Windows must open, close, and lock properly, and window screens must be in good condition.
  • No trip hazards (vertical change of over 1/4 inch or more at any concrete joint or crack, carpet wrinkles, etc.).

Full Rent-Ready Requirements

There’s a difference between showing a property for rent and actually moving a resident in. In addition to the items above, the following are required before a resident moves in.

  • Professionally cleaned to a ‘Hotel Room Clean’ standard.
  • Carpet and tile/grout professionally steam cleaned and fresh.
  • All bedroom windows must have functioning window coverings that can be opened. All sliding glass doors must have vertical blinds (or similar).
  • No personal property or items in the unit. This includes furniture, knickknacks, toiletries, shower curtains, kitchen or bathroom items, pictures, planters, etc.
  • No lawn equipment including mowers, tools, etc.
  • Garage floor broom swept.
  • All light bulbs work.
  • Doors open & close smoothly, and door stops are installed on all doors.
  • All mechanical components work as designed. Includes HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems, kitchen appliances, laundry appliances, sump pumps, water softeners, sprinkler systems, swamp coolers, gas fireplaces, water filtration systems, etc.
  • Wood-burning fireplace(s) clean of any debris and have a fireplace screen or heat-proof glass doors installed. If non-operational, the fireplace opening on the interior of the home shall be permanently sealed with an aesthetically pleasing material.
  • HVAC system to be in good operating condition, with a new filter installed.
  • All appliances operate as designed.

This list is not meant to cover each and make-ready required item, but it does list some of the most important and often overlooked.

Rent Ready Summary

Making sure your rental property is rent-ready is essential for both legal and practical reasons. By following the myriad of regulations and APMS standards for marketability and full rent readiness, you can ensure that your property is in the best possible condition for new residents. The best residents have a choice–and they choose well-maintained homes. Together, we can ensure that we attract and retain the best residents to help you grow your wealth without the work.