Preparing Your Property for Rent - A Checklist for Landlords

Find out all the essential things to tick off your list before renting out your property.

Pre-Tenancy Checklist: What Property Owners Should Do Before Renting Out Their Property

Renting out your property means taking responsibility for ensuring that it is in good condition and ready for tenants to move in. There are a number of important tasks you should complete to ensure a smooth and successful tenancy. In this article, we'll cover what you should do before your tenants move in.

Clean and Repair

The first thing that you should do before the start of a tenancy is to clean and ensure the property is in good repair. This includes fixing any broken fixtures, repairing any damages, and basically just ensure that everything is in good working condition. 

If you have had a tenant in the property previously, most rental agreements state that the outgoing tenant is responsible for cleaning the property before vacating. Asking the outgoing tenants to have the property professionally cleaned is not legally enforceable but they must leave the property in the same condition in which they received it upon move-in. 

Whilst having the property professionally cleaned isn’t a legal requirement, it’s usually a good investment. Deep cleaning and getting across those big-ticket items like the carpets, windows and walls will not only make the property more attractive to potential tenants but will also ensure that it’s safe, habitable and move-in ready. 

Conduct a thorough Inventory

Before any tenant moves in it’s important to conduct a thorough inventory of the property, which is typically known as the Condition Report.

The process of the Condition Report includes documenting the condition of the property and any furnishings or appliances that are included in the rental. Taking photos and notes of the state of the property will help protect you in case of any disputes over damages or repairs. 

The Condition report is a legal requirement at the start of every tenancy and you are also required to provide a copy of the report to the tenant to fill out in the first week of moving into the property. 

Read more about Condition Reports.

Check the Safety of the Property

Safety - one of the most essential tasks to include in your pre-tenant move-in checklist. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that your property meets certain safety requirements. This includes ensuring that smoke detectors are installed and working properly, as well as carbon monoxide detectors if applicable.

It is also important to ensure that any gas or electrical appliances are in good condition, are functional and have been serviced by a qualified and licensed professional.

Locks should be installed on windows and doors and if there is any furniture provided in the property, it should also meet the safety requirements.

Any potential health hazards like dampness or mould should be immediately addressed and the property should have adequate ventilation. 

It is crucial to ensure that your rental property meets the minimum safety standards before allowing tenants to move in. To understand the safety standards required for rental properties in Australia, you can refer to the state guidelines below: 







NT - Some basic standards are included in the ‘renting in the NT’ guide

ACT - No standards are currently available

Check all the Legals 

Before renting out a property, owners need to ensure that they understand and will meet all legal requirements. This includes ensuring that the property meets all building codes and regulations (part of the safety check), and ensuring that the lease agreement plus deposits, bond or rent payments will be handled properly and according to the rules of your state.

This is also a really good time to check that you have a landlord insurance policy. 

Read more - Is Landlord insurance worth it? 

Utilities and Suppliers

Utilities like electricity, gas, internet and phone services are generally an expense that the tenants pay for once they move in but it’s still a good idea to ensure that everything is operational beforehand. Heating, plumbing/water and electricity are considered essential services and the property will not be classed as habitable if these things aren’t working. 

A leaky pipe might seem insignificant at first, but if it is left unattended for too long, it can cause serious (and costly) damage plus, it will become an inconvenience to both you and your tenant so if an issue is found, take care of it as soon as possible.

Set Clear Expectations

Before any tenants move in, it is important to set clear expectations about the tenancy. This includes discussing the details of the rental agreement, including any rules or restrictions, and ensuring that tenants understand their responsibilities. Payment expectations, including frequency of payments and due dates, should also be discussed and made clear. 

Clear communication at the start of a tenancy can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes later on.

Prepare the Documentation 

Once you have notified the successful tenant and the lease agreement has been agreed upon, you should provide them with all relevant items, receipts, and documents. 

At the beginning of each tenancy, you must provide your tenant with some key items. We call these items ‘The Big 4’ - The Lease Agreement, Condition Report, Bond and Guide.

  • A copy of the tenancy agreement plus any relevant by-laws if the property is in a strata complex
  • A copy of the completed entry condition report
  • Instructions on where to pay bond and copy of the lodgement once lodged
  • A guide/checklist that provides the tenant with a range of helpful items
  • A set of keys to the property

Read more - How to successfully onboard a new tenant to your property.

As we've mentioned, setting the right tone from the beginning can help ensure that your tenant behaves appropriately in the future.

Property investing comes with great responsibility.

Renting out a property can be a great investment, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. These tasks may require some effort and time investment but they are necessary to protect yourself and your property investment, while also providing a safe and habitable space for your tenants. 

If you’d like to find out more about how RentBetter can help you organise these tasks with ease, register for a demo of the platform below.